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Governor Doyle Signs Law, Expanding Remedies Under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act to Include Compensatory and Punitive Damages

Labor & Employment Alert Sean M. Scullen

On June 8, 2009, Governor Doyle signed into law 2009 Wisconsin Act 20 -- legislation we discussed in our May 2009 Labor and Employment Alert. In summary, the law amends the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act ("WFEA") to allow a complainant to seek compensatory and punitive damages of up to $300,000 from a jury in circuit court, following an administrative finding of discrimination. As explained in our earlier alert, the amount and availability of the expanded damages vary depending on the size of the employer. The expanded damages will first be available for acts of discrimination that occur after the effective date of the law, which is the second day after publication of the 2009-2011 biennial budget act, anticipated in late June or early July. For more details about the law, please see our May 2009 Labor and Employment Alert.  

If you have any questions regarding these changes to the WFEA or how they affect your employment practices, please contact Sean Scullen at 414-277-5421 / or your Quarles and Brady attorney.