The Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WFMLA) has several distinctions from the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Once such difference is that under the FMLA a leave year may be calculated in four different ways (calendar year, fixed 12-month period, rolling forward and rolling backward), while leave covered under the WFMLA must be calculated on a calendar year basis. This means that in Wisconsin all eligible employees' WFMLA leave banks were renewed on January 1 and will expire at midnight on December 31.
Although leave under the WFMLA must be administered on a calendar year basis, employers in Wisconsin may administer federal FMLA leave using one of the other methods. For purposes of calculating an employee's leave, leave time under the WFMLA may run concurrently with the FMLA; thus, an employee covered by both Wisconsin law and the FMLA will not, in most cases, be entitled to more than 12 weeks of unpaid leave.
Because the WFMLA leave banks were just renewed on January 1, now is the best time for Wisconsin employers to take a look at their current leave policies and practices as well as leave usage by their employees. Such review should be done with seasoned employment law counsel.
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development: Equal Rights
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development: Comparison of the FMLA and the WFMLA (Publication ERD-9680-P)
State Provided Family and Medical Leave Forms
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development: Family and Medical Leave References