June 1, 2016

On April 1, 2016, Gov. Walker signed SB 517 into law, creating Act 345. The new law requires employers with 50 or more employees working in Wisconsin to provide 6 weeks of unpaid leave (within a 12 month period) to eligible employees who are serving as bone marrow or organ donors. The law does not apply to governmental employers. Employees are eligible if they have worked for the employer for 52 weeks and at least 1,000 hours in the most recent 52 week period.

Employers may request certification from a health care provider. While on leave, the employer must provide the employee with an opportunity to continue coverage under the group health plan under the same terms and conditions as if they were an active employee. Upon return, the employee would be reinstated to the same or equivalent position.

The law is effective July 1, 2016. Affected employers should review their employee handbooks and revise as necessary. Additionally, there is a posting requirement, but the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has not yet made the poster available. Importantly, while the law applies to employers with 50 or more employees, employers with 25 to 49 employees are required to post their policies regarding bone marrow and organ donor leave.

Act 345 »