Wisconsin--Laws Relating to Pregnancy


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Prohibitions against Pregnancy Discrimination

No employer may engage in discrimination on the basis of sex. Sex discrimination includes discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, maternity leave or related medical conditions; discrimination includes but is not limited to actions concerning fringe benefit programs covering illnesses and disability.

For the text of the statute, click here.[1]

Pregnancy Accommodation

Wisconsin does not provide additional protections to the federal law.

Pregnancy-related Disability Accommodation

Wisconsin does not specifically accommodate pregnancy or its attendant medical conditions as a disability.

Breastfeeding Rights

A mother may breast-feed her child in any public or private location where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be.It is unclear whether this authorization extends to a woman’s place of employment.

For the text of the statute, click here.[2]

Family and Childcare Leave Laws

Employees in the public and private sectors may take up to six weeks of unpaid family leave in a twelve month period because of the birth of a child or the placement of an adoption, as long as the leave begins within sixteen weeks of the birth or placement. Employees may also take up to two weeks of family leave to take care of an immediate family member with a serious health condition, and up to two weeks of pregnancy-related leave in any twelve-month period.

*In the private sector, this provision applies to employers of at least fifty individuals

For the text of the statute, click here.[3]

Employees who leave work due to an immediate family member’s illness or disability may be qualified for unemployment benefits.

*Applies to employers of at least four individuals

For the text of the statute, click here.[4]

Public Sector:

Permanent classified state employees may take up to six consecutive months of maternity or paternity leave. Upon request of the employee, the appointing authority may extend or renew a maternity leave of absence for additional periods of time, not to exceed a total of 6 months. Part or all of the original leave, extension or renewal may be covered by sick leave, leave of absence without pay, earned annual leave, sabbatical leave, holiday leave, compensatory time off at the employee's discretion, or anticipated annual leave.

For the text of the statute, click here.[5]

State workers who earn sick leave may use it for family medical appointments or for the emergency care of an ill or injured family member for up to five days per illness or injury.

For the text of the statute, click here.[6]

Private Sector:

Employees who earn paid leave are entitled to use it for the birth or adoption of a child or to care for an ill immediate family member.

*applies to employers of at least fifty individuals.

For the text of the statute, click here.[7]

For the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, click here.

For the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, click here.

For further information on your pregnancy rights, contact Legal Momentum.

Copyright 2013 Legal Momentum

[1] Wis. Stat. Ann. § 111.36

[2] Wis. Stat. Ann. § 253.165

[3] Wis. Stat. Ann. § 103.10

[4] Wis. Stat. Ann. § 103.10

[5] Wisc. Admin. Code ER 18.14

[6] Wis. Adm. Code E.R. §§ 18.01(4)

[7] Wis. Stat. § 103.10(5)(b)