Currently under Wisconsin law an employer must provide a day off to an employee every seven days. Well, that is evidently too much time off for state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), who is pushing a bill to change that. According to Grothman, the bill will bring Wisconsin in line with federal law and gives workers a way to make extra money and employers a way to boost production.
It is not uncommon for state law to make stronger demands than federal law—think of all the states with minimum wages above $7.25 an hour—and don't think for a minute that Grothman came up with this legislation by himself:
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the state's largest business organization, brought the idea to them, the two Republicans, Grothman and Sen. Mark Born (R- Beaver Dam), said. The organization was doing a study on discrepancies between federal and state law and discovered federal law imposes no such limits on consecutive work days as long as minimum wage and overtime payment requirements are met, Born said.So because federal law is weaker than state law, Republicans (or, actually, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce) feel the need to weaken existing state law.
If this law passes it will no doubt be abused. While it is supposed to be voluntary, I am sure you will see employers threatening low-wage workers to work 14 days in a row or lose their jobs or see their hours cut. There's just no doubt Walmart, McDonald's, or even some manufacturer would abuse this law.
Unfortunately those who need this protection the most cannot afford their own Republican state senator to kill it.