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Home / News / After court battle, Walker outlaws local sick day ordinances (UPDATE)

After court battle, Walker outlaws local sick day ordinances (UPDATE)

Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday signed a bill banning a Milwaukee ordinance, approved by voters in 2008, that would have required employers provide an average of nine days of sick leave a year for workers.

The new state law prohibits municipalities from mandating local rules for businesses to follow regarding paid time off.

“Patchwork government mandates stifle job creation and economic opportunity,” according to a prepared statement attributed to Walker. “This law gives employers the flexibility they need to put people back to work.”

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett opposed the ordinance, saying it could drive jobs out of the city. The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce has said it would drop its appeal of a March district court ruling in favor of the ordinance.

And 9to5, National Association of Working Women, Milwaukee, the workers’ rights organization defending the ordinance, said it already had turned its attention toward lobbying for a federal law that would establish similar rules.

About 70 percent of Milwaukee voters approved the ordinance, but MAC challenged it in court, arguing the ballot language failed to provide a full description of the law.

Milwaukee declined to defend the ordinance because of fears it would hurt businesses in the city.

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