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Employment — Act 10 — jailers

Wisconsin Court of Appeals


Employment — Act 10 — jailers

Jailers, who work for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, are “public safety employees” within the meaning of the Municipal Employment Relations Act (MERA), as amended by 2011 Wis. Act 10.

“Starting, then, with active law enforcement employees, § 40.02(48)(b)3. does not impose an additional substantial requirement for purposes of determining which employees are deputy sheriffs and, therefore, ‘public safety employees.’  The subsection states that a ‘“deputy sheriff” … is any … employee of a sheriff’s office,’ with specific exceptions.  WIS. STAT. § 40.02(48)(b)3. (emphasis added).  The excepted employees are those ‘whose principal duties are those of a telephone operator, clerk, stenographer, machinist or mechanic and whose functions do not clearly fall within the scope of active law enforcement.’  Id.  Obviously, the jailers in this case are sheriff’s office employees, and they do not have a job that falls into one of the excepted categories.”

“Accordingly, when we track through this limited statutory scheme and apply it to the jailers at issue here, the plain language yields the result that the jailers here are ‘public safety employees’ because they are ‘protective occupation participants’ and they fit the definition of ‘deputy sheriffs’ found in § 40.02(48)(b)3.”


Recommended for publication in the official reports.

2012AP2721 Local 441A v. WERC

Dist. IV, Dane County, Niess, J., Lundsten, J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Rice, David C., Madison; For Respondent: Palek, Roger W., Madison

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