The Wisconsin government has passed several laws to govern the employee-employer relationship. These laws are generally less favorable to employees than those offered in many other states. Contact a labor lawyer today if you believe that your employer has violated federal or state employment laws.

Part-time vs. Full-time

Wisconsin generally does not define “part-time” and “full-time” employment status. However, it is important to note, an employee must usually work more than 40 hours during a work week to qualify for overtime pay.

Minimum Wage

Generally, the minimum wage in Wisconsin is set at $7.25.  There are, however, exceptions.  For example, tipped employees: are protected by a minimum wage rate of $2.33.

Wisconsin also categorizes employees who are under the age of 20, who have been employed for fewer than 90 days, as “opportunity employees”. Opportunity employees are protected by lower minimum wage rates. Generally, opportunity employees are only protected by a minimum wage rate of $5.90.


Employees that are covered by Wisconsin’s overtime laws must be paid time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked more than 40 hours per week. However, like many states, there are numerous exceptions. Employees that are exempt from overtime protections include:

  • Salaried executives, administrative employees, and other professionals,
  • Outside salespersons,
  • Certain employees of retail and service establishments paid by commission,
  • Certain transportation employees (including taxi drivers),
  • Agricultural employees, and
  • Certain computer professionals.

There are other categories of exempt employees. Contact a labor lawyer today if you believe that you qualify for overtime pay, but have not received overtime pay.


Under Wisconsin law, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees (including job applicants) because of any of the following:

  • Age,
  • Ancestry,
  • Arrest and Conviction Record,
  • Color,
  • Creed,
  • Disability,
  • Genetic Testing,
  • Honesty Testing,
  • Marital Status,
  • Military Service,
  • National Origin,
  • Pregnancy or Childbirth,
  • Race,
  • Sex, and
  • Sexual Orientation.

Wisconsin laws also prevent employers from discriminating based on an employee’s use or nonuse of lawful products off the employer’s premises during nonworking hours (such as the use of alcohol).

Wisconsin also offers protections to employees who have filed harassment complaints against their employer. An employer may not retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint, for assisting with a complaint, or for opposing discrimination in the workplace.

Paid Vacation, Health Coverage and Other Benefits

Wisconsin generally does not mandate that employers provide any specific benefits to their employees. However, an employer might be required to provide certain benefits under federal law. Furthermore, an employee may be entitled to benefits under his or her employment agreement.

Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer to Help Me?

If you believe that you have been mistreated by your employer, contact a local employment lawyer today.