Wisconsin Maternity and Pregnancy laws & HR compliance analysis

Wisconsin Maternity and Pregnancy: What you need to know

The Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, maternity leave or related medical conditions. The Act covers all private and public employers regardless of size (WI Gen. Stat. Sec. 111.31, 111.36et seq.).
In general, employers are required to treat pregnancy, childbirth, maternity leave and related medical conditions the same as they would treat any other temporary disability for all employment and benefits purposes.
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With respect to time off and job reinstatement, the WFEA requires that pregnant employees be treated the same as employees with other types of temporary disabilities.
Under the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WFMLA) eligible employees are entitled to 2 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for their own serious health conditions, which may include pregnancy. (WI Gen. Stat. Sec.103.10).
The WFMLA applies to employers with 50 or more employees.
Under the WFMLA, employees may choose to take their leave as unpaid or to substitute any accrued paid leave the employee has for unpaid WFMLA leave.
Compare the FMLA. Under the federal FMLA, the employer may require the employee to use up his or her accrued leave while on FMLA leave.
Under the WFMLA, it is the employee's choice to take his or her leave as paid or unpaid, and the employer may not require the employee to substitute his or her accrued leave.
Employers covered by the WFMLA must offer male and female employees up to 6 weeks of unpaid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child if the leave begins within 16 weeks of the child's birth or placement. (WI Gen. Stat. Sec. 103.10).

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