Sunday, August 16, 2009

Stupid Wisconsin Legislature Tricks

A post wherein we pick up information from McIlheran but digress from his otherwise salient and important point.

When your employee says she needs time off under Wisconsin's family leave law and says it is to tend her live-in boyfriend - you know that now qualifies as family, yes?

It's true: The state budget that Gov. Jim Doyle signed in June says employers who had to grant unpaid family leave on behalf of sick spouses now must grant it for couples who are merely shacking up. This isn't about the state's "domestic partner" registry for gay couples, either: The leave law also applies to unregistered couples of any gender combo.

That part has business miffed. "I don't think it was well thought out," said John Metcalfe, who oversees human resources policy for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. To be an unregistered couple, you just have to meet some criteria: adult, unmarried, unrelated, sharing a home, feeling like a family and "responsible for each other's basic living expenses." A couple needs no official document, and while employers could ask for proof, said Metcalfe, "what are you going to do, go over to their house?"

Our leaders apparently don't care; it's not their money.

Not their money, indeed.

If Doyle can't chase business out of the State with high taxes and crippling regulation, then he'll just bankrupt them by other means.

While it is true that 'family leave' is un-paid, it also leaves a hole in staffing. Could be a very critical position, but hey! "Not OUR problem!!" say Doyle, Risser, and Sherman. "Your business lost customers/money/inventory/production scheduling (pick one) for a few weeks? Tough. WE gave people what they want: free time for which they are unaccountable."

This is not 'hard case' legislating; it's two worse evils combined: 1) another reason for business to leave Wisconsin, and 2) a wrecking-ball aimed at marriage.

Of the two, the latter is far more inimical to the health of the State in the long run. Great. We can have businesses choose other States and demolish the foundation of civilized society, in that order.

Ain't it just Progressive??

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