Avatar
All Posts by Empower Wisconsin

Leave it to Evers: Tony’s Big Labor payback

Empower Wisconsin | March 16,  2020

MADISON — As expected, Gov. Tony Evers Big Labor-ladened Joint Task Force on Payroll and Worker Misclassification has unanimously approved recommendations aimed to please some of Evers’ biggest contributors.

The recommendations ultimately target all contractors, not just the bad apples, and players in the emerging gig economy.

State Sen. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) and Rep. Rob Brooks (R-Saukville) did not attend Thursday’s teleconference. That left an already union-heavy task force to approve proposals that would:

  • Recreate the contractor registry program that was created in 2009 and eliminated in July 2013.
  • Create an interagency coordinated enforcement team.
  • Hire more state employees to investigate and enforce.
  • Increase penalties, eliminate caps, and expand the current construction-only penalties to other industries.

Firms with repeat violations or contractors hiring unregistered or suspended contractors would not be allowed to participate in the contractor registry. Penalties would include a ban from bidding on any public project and certain tax credits.

John Schulze, director of legal and government relations for Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin, said bad employers breaking the law and taking advantage of their workers should be punished. Evers’ task force’s recommendations, however, are “all stick and no carrot.”

“Currently, Wisconsin employers have to follow as many as five different tests to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or employee,” Schulze said. “The task force should have recommended consolidating those various standards into one bright line rule. Also, the task force should have recommended a ‘no-fault audit’ for employers to help them follow the law.”

While the governor has painted a picture of corrupt companies robbing Wisconsin’s working men and women, his task force has failed to address the problematic patchwork of confusing, disconnected labor laws that have cost well-intentioned businesses big, industry advocates say.

Call it return on investment for Big Labor. As MacIver News Service reported, the governor’s campaign hauled in north of $1.57 million from unions, or about 40 percent of the nearly $4 million Evers collected in 2018 campaign contributions. The Carpenters union, for instance, contributed $172,000 to Evers’ campaign.

It’s expected the Democrat will roll the task force’s recommendations into his state budget proposal next year.

Listen to more:

Explore More
WIAA asks students to push Evers’ mask message

WIAA asks students to push Evers’ mask message

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association is asking schools and student-athletes to take part in its #TeamUpToBeatCOVID social media campaign, a move that’s raising eyebrows from some parents concerned about involving kids in an initiative that’s become tinged with politics. 

Read More »

August 7, 2020
GOP lawmakers urge districts to open schools

GOP lawmakers urge districts to open schools

Nearly four-dozen Republican members of the Assembly signed on to a letter calling on education administrators to keep their schools open and “provide every student with an in-class experience.” 

Read More »

August 7, 2020
Jailbird Joe

Jailbird Joe

The former VP and the diverse Democrats’ old white guy candidate presidential candidate knows what it’s like to come from the wrong side of the tracks. But nobody knows the troubles old Joe’s seen. They don’t because his multiple “arrests” never happened. 

Read More »

August 7, 2020
The other pandemic

The other pandemic

Like the coronavirus, domestic violence has no respect for national borders, economic status, or social respectability. 

Read More »

August 7, 2020
DWD spins, while claimants suffer

DWD spins, while claimants suffer

The debacle that is Gov. Tony Evers’ Department of Workforce Development has been trying to do some damage control to cover up widespread incompetence in its Unemployment Insurance division.

Read More »

August 7, 2020
Liberal group sends menacing mailer to voters

Liberal group sends menacing mailer to voters

A Wisconsin voter who registered to receive an absentee ballot for next week’s election not long after got a postcard from a left-wing group. He found its implications to be a threat of public shaming.

Read More »

August 6, 2020
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *