4 bills authored by Sen. Coggs become law
MADISON – Senator Spencer Coggs joined Governor Jim Doyle for the signing of four jobs related bills designed to provide protections and social safety nets for employees in Wisconsin. Senate Bills 523, 585, and 586 and Assembly Bill 884 were authored by Senator Coggs and were approved in the Legislature during the recently completed floor session.
“These bills provide every day protection from any employers who are looking to abuse their power over employees and provide a social safety net for any employees who have lost their jobs during this economic turmoil,” said Sen. Coggs.
Coggs’ bills are: Senate Bill 585 which prohibits employers from requiring employees to attend meetings on non-work related matters. The bill seeks to prevent what are known as “captive audience” meetings where employees’ jobs are dependent on their participating in meetings that are not related to the performance of their job duties. Senate Bill 523 prevents the use of taxpayer money to hire an outside firm to conduct activities which would discourage union organizing activities. Assembly Bill 884 makes numerous changes to and updates of the policies of the Unemployment Insurance system. At the recommendation of the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council, there were no decreases in benefi ts or increases in the tax burden on businesses. Senate Bill 586 made slight changes to the state Apprenticeship Program, but by making those changes prevented the program from being taken over by the federal government.
“These bills represent a tremendous step forward in the protections afforded workers in Wisconsin. Senate Bills 585 and 523 provide protection for employees from business owners who take advantage of employees and make them captives in their workplace. The Unemployment Insurance and Apprenticeship Councils at the Department of Workforce Development were instrumental in getting Senate Bill 586 and Assembly Bill 884 assembled for introduction and pushed for in committee,” said Sen. Coggs.
Gov. Doyle also signed Senate Bills 429 and 672 and Assembly Bill 929, all of which were considered by the Senate Committee on Labor, Elections, and Urban Affairs chaired by Senator Coggs. These bills deal with communicable disease presumption for emergency responders and misclassification of workers. Misclassification results in lost income tax revenue and a loss of worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance for employees.