Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that prohibits workers from collecting damages in employment discrimination cases.
The legislation eliminates compensatory and punitive damages for acts of employment discrimination or unfair honesty, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). The bill repeals 2009’s Act 20, which for the first time imposed punitive and compensatory damages under Wisconsin’s employment discrimination law.
Under current state law, employees who prevail in discrimination lawsuits can collect between $50,000 and $300,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. The Republican bill blocks anyone from collecting such damages in employment discrimination suits.
The state Department of Workforce Development could still award an employee back pay, costs and attorney fees, however.
Democrats say the bill hurts women who might suffer discrimination in the workplace.
Walker signed the bill on April 4 but announced the signing on April 5. His spokesman says it was easier to include the announcement in a broader release noting the governor signed dozens of bills over the two days.