Wisconsin Assembly Ends Workplace Discrimination Awards

February 23, 2012

The Wisconsin State Assembly has passed a bill that would put an end to punitive and compensatory damages for workplace discrimination.

Currently, workers can file discrimination complaints with the state Department of Workforce Development seeking reinstatement, back pay, costs and attorney fees. They also can file an action in circuit court to recover compensatory and punitive damages.

If a judge finds discrimination existed, he or she must order defendants to pay up to $300,000 in compensatory and punitive damages depending on the size of the business. The bill would eliminate such awards.

The Assembly passed the bill 60-35 on Tuesday. The Senate approved the measure in November. It now goes to Republican Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.

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