Madison: Today, Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) expressed deep displeasure at Senate Democrats for passing Senate Bill 20 and asks Governor Doyle to veto this legislation. Senate Bill 20 provides an opportunity for employees who have been fired, not hired, or not been promoted to claim discrimination and get up to $300,000 in damages including punitive damages from a jury in Wisconsin’s circuit courts.
“This bill can give up to $300,000 in punitive damages to people who claim they were discriminated against while similarly-situated employees in Iowa, Illinois and Michigan would get nothing. Punitive damages in Minnesota would be limited to $25,000,” observed Grothman. “We already have 3,500 claims for discrimination in this state and about 85-percent don’t even meet a probable cause determination. Employers are already expressing frustration at spending countless hours of management time as well as paying thousands of dollars to not have to deal with these lawsuits. This bill will not only increase the number of frivolous lawsuits already filed against Wisconsin employers but put Wisconsin at a further competitive disadvantage compared to other states.”
“At first, I didn’t feel these Democrats understood how common and damaging to business these marginal discrimination claims were, but then, these Democrats exempted school districts, cities, and counties from the lawsuits. The message they sent today is clear, ‘We understand that government cannot be expected to deal with this nonsense, but people who risk their own money going into business will just have to lump it,’” said Grothman. “A more clear dislike for business cannot be imagined.”
“At a time when Wisconsin’s economy is the worst it’s been in 30 years, I would think that Senate Democratic leadership would spend their time thinking of ways to attract business rather than pass yet another bill to tear it down,” said Grothman.
If Doyle throws any more sloppy wet kisses to the trial lawyers he’s really going to have to get another stick of lipstick.
What possible good is this bill going to do? I’m not aware of a huge rash of too small judgments for discrimination cases.
Disgusting. Where is WMC on this?
Not sure how to interpret this. By exempting school districts, city and counties, did they protect themselves of costly litigation or deny these groups of people rights that are now given to all others? Either way it stinks.
But suing businesses will stimulate the economy. I mean, all legislation and spending by Democrats helps stimulate the economy, doesn’t it?
it is the same for receiving damages where you are the primary person at fault. What is fault, anyway? A panel will discuss the meaning of the word as regards to tort law and get back to us in one year.
All people on the panel will receive a fine salary and benefits for life at taxpayer expense to define the word fault. The new application to come from this will be that now people with enough money to sue will be able to say; “It is not my fault he was not rich enough to be in an accident.”