Beginning July 1, 2016, Wisconsin employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide eligible employees with up to six weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period when the employee undergoes a procedure for bone marrow or organ donation.
Employees are eligible for the bone marrow and organ donor leave if they have worked for the same employer for at least one consecutive year and if they have worked at least 1,000 hours during the preceding 52-week period.
Details of Leave
While employees are allowed up to six weeks of leave, it may only be requested for the length of time necessary for the employee to undergo the bone marrow or organ donation procedure and to recover from the procedure. Employers have the right to request a written verification from the healthcare provider to confirm when the procedure will take place and the expected length of leave required for the procedure and any additional recovery time necessary.
Employees are expected to make a “reasonable effort” to schedule their procedure so that it doesn’t “unduly disrupt” the operations of the business. Employees should also provide the employer with advance notice when possible.
While the leave can be unpaid and employers are not expected to continue regular wage or salary during the leave of absence, employees can use any accrued and unused paid time off provided by the employer (for example, vacation time).
Continuation of Benefits
Employers are required to maintain group health insurance coverage for employees on bone marrow and organ donation leave under the same conditions that applied immediately before the leave began. The employer must also continue making employer contributions during the leave the same as was done prior to the leave.
Return to Work
Upon returning from the bone marrow or organ donation leave, the employee should be reinstated to the same position they held prior to going on leave. If that position is no longer available, the employee must be placed in an “equivalent position having equivalent compensation, benefits, working shift, hours of employment, and other terms and conditions of employment.”
All covered employers are required to post a notice in one or more places where other notices to employees are typically posted. The notice must be in a format approved by the Department of Workforce Development which list the employees’ rights under the new law.
In addition, employers with 25 or more employees must post, in one or more places where other notices to employees are typically posted, a notice describing the company’s policy with respect to bone marrow and organ donation leave.
Any violation of the posting requirements will result in a penalty of $100 per offense.
To read the full text of the law, click here.
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