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HR Cheat Sheet - 2021

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Your guide for staying up-to-date on key employment laws for the state of Wisconsin.

Wage and Hour Laws

Federal Minimum Wage

$7.25 Per Hour

State Minimum Wage

$7.25 Per Hour

State Tipped Minimum Wage

$2.33 Per Hour

Overtime Pay


  • Must pay overtime for hours in excess of 40 hours/week.
  • Hours worked in excess of 8 hours/day are not overtime.
  • Learn more about exceptions.

State Tip Credit

Employers are permitted to take a tip credit towards their minimum wage obligation for tipped employees equal to the difference between the required wage and the applicable minimum wage.

Day of Rest

1 every 7

Employers operating factories or mercantile establishments in Wisconsin must provide employees with at least one period consisting of 24 consecutive hours of rest in each calendar week. Learn more.


  • Pay dates: must include all wages earned up to 31 days before the day of payment
  • Pay frequency: Must pay at least monthly, on regular paydays designated in advance by the employer.

Final Pay

Discharged / Resigned: Any employee with no written contract for a definite period, who quits or is discharged must be paid in full no later than the date on which the employee regularly would have been paid or within one month of end of employment, whichever is earlier. Sales agents employed in a commission basis are an exception.

Types of Leave

Federal Family Medical Leave Act

For serious health conditions of employees or family members

  • Applies to employers with 50 employees for 20+ weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.
  • For eligible employees with a qualified reason like birth of child, adoption or placement of foster child, family member with a serious medical condition, or employee has a serious medical condition, qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on covered active duty.
  • Up to 12 weeks off for their own or a family member’s qualified reason. Up to 26 weeks to care for a covered Service member.
  • Unpaid leave.

Wisconsin Family Medical Leave Act

Only covers family members with a serious health condition

  • Applies to employers with 50 or more permanent employees
  • Family Leave Purposes: birth of child, adoption or placement of foster child, family member with serious medical condition
  • Medical Leave Purposes: Inpatient care in a hospital, nursing home, or Hospice, and Outpatient care that requires continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider.
  • Unpaid leave.

Military Leave

For active duty, training or related leave

  • May qualify for TDI benefits.
  • Dependent on length of service
  • Prohibits discrimination and retaliation
  • Includes past, present, and future service
  • Eligible for same benefits as employees in furlough or LOA
  • Unpaid leave

 Voting Leave

For voting in an election

  • Wisconsin law requires employers to provide any person entitled to vote in an election up to three (3) hours of time off to vote.
  • Employee must provide notice prior to Election Day.
  • Voting leave does not need to be paid.
  • Employer may designate the time of the day for the absence.

 Workers' Compensation (WC)

For work injury / illness that occur on the job or related to the job

  • An employee who is injured at work or suffers from an occupational disease is entitled to have all bills paid for all medical, surgical, and hospital treatment relating to the injury.
  • The law requires employers with three or more full- or part-time employees to obtain workers’ compensation coverage. Learn more about employers who qualify.

 Jury Duty / Court Leave

For absence related to jury duty or court leave

  • No employer may discharge an employee because the employee complied with a subpoena to testify in an action or proceeding pertaining to a crime
  • An employer must grant an employee a leave of absence without loss of time in service for the period of jury service

 Paid Time Off

Determined by your company policy

  • Not mandatory. Employers choose to offer paid leave (e.g. sick leave, vacation, holidays, volunteer days)
  • If offered, unused vacation days should be cashed out when an employee leaves if the policy requires it.

 Americans with Disabilities Act

For qualified disabilities

  • Employer provides reasonable accommodation of time off
  • Employees may qualify for TDI to provide wage replacement benefits
  • No maximum leave period set by law
  • Unpaid leave
  • Applies to employers with 15 or more employees

 Victim's Leave

Employees / minors in domestic / sexual violence

Victims of crimes have the right to:

  • Attend court proceedings in the case; and
  • Be provided with appropriate intercession services to ensure their employers will cooperate with the criminal justice process and the juvenile justice process in order to minimize an employee’s loss of pay and other benefits resulting from court appearances.

From interim HR assistance, workshops and training, HR audits and more, to a PEO partnership, our services are designed to help business attract, retain, develop and motivate their employees. Contact us to learn more.

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