Website - Division of Worker's Compensation
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Council on Workers' Compensation
December 22 , 2015
Members present by teleconference call: Mr. Beiriger, Ms. Bloomingdale , Mr. Buchen,
Mr. Ginsburg, Mr. Herzog. Ms. Johnson, Mr. Kent, Ms. Nugent, Mr. Redman) , Ms. Seiler, and Ms. Thomas,
Mr. Dernbach(Chair) in person
Member Excused: Mr. Brand and Mr. Schwanda
Staff present: Mr. Aiello, Ms. Endter, and Mr. Krueger
- Call to Order/Introductions:
Mr. Dernbach convened the
Worker's Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) meeting at approximately 1:00
p.m. in accordance with Wisconsin's open meetings law. Mr.
called the roll of the members who appeared by telephone. WCD
staff and members of the audience introduced themselves.
Approval of minutes:. A motion was made by Mr. Beiriger to approve the minutes of the
meeting . Ms. Bloomingdale seconded the motion.
The minutes were unanimously
approved without correction.
Draft Agreed upon Bill Approval: A motion was made by
Mr. Beiriger to approve the agreed upon bill and the
accompanying transmittal letter. Ms. Bloomingdale seconded the motion. The
agreed upon bill was unanimously approved. The Council will be notified of
the date that the Secretary's office delivers the bill to Representative Vos
and Senator Fitzgerald. The next floor session begins January 12, 2016.
- Correspondence: Mr. Dernbach reviewed
correspondence to the Council that was received since the last meeting.
A letter from Senator Chris Kapenga dated December 14, 2015, informing the
Council of a legislative proposal in SB 422 to clarify that the owner of
franchise is not the employee of the franchisor unless the franchisor agrees
to it in writing or if the franchisor exercises a degree of control that has
the department finding the franchisor to be the employer. Mr. Buchen asked
if this was a problem or an attempt to get ahead of a problem. Mr. Dernbach
said it was an attempt to get ahead of a problem, that this was in response
to an NLRB decision and followed legislation passed in Texas. Mr. Beiriger
asked if this would exclude anyone from coverage or only clarify who the
employer is in a franchise agreement. Mr. Dernbach said that it would not
exclude anyone from coverage. Mr. Kent explained that this bill was in
response to a case in another jurisdiction where a franchisee was allowed to
make a claim against the franchisor. Mr. Beiriger wants to make sure that
this does not create a situation where coverage is denied when it is
required by Wisconsin law. Ms. Bloomingdale requested that the bill be put
on the agenda for the next meeting so it can be discussed further.
Mr. Dernbach informed the Council that Senator Lasee has introduced SB 375.
Mr. Dernbach will have a copy of the bill sent to the Council, as well as
the assembly companion bill (AB 456). SB 375
provides that real estate brokers and
salespersons may not be considered "employees" for various purposes.
SB 375 sets out the criteria to determine when real estate brokers are
exempt from worker's compensation coverage as employees: when
there is a written agreement that the agent is not an employee for federal
and state tax purposes and 75 percent or more of the agent's income is
related to sales. That agent will not be covered under worker's
Mr. Buchen asked if real estate brokers were not already exempt. Mr. Krueger
said they were not. Mr. Krueger said that some real estate agents operate
under their own broker licenses and are not covered as employees if they
meet the test for independent contractor but that many agents operate under
another brokerage firm's license and are covered. The only true exemptions
from worker's compensation are certain corporate officers and domestic
servants. Mr. Dernbach said that the assembly version of the bill had a
public hearing and executive session on December 10 so that the bill is
ready to be scheduled for the Assembly floor, and that the senate bill will
be set in early 2016. Since the next Council meeting is in March and the
next legislative session may be ending by then, Mr. Beiriger said that the
Council will try to provide comments for the department to forward to
Senator Lasee. In addition, the Council asked the department to provide them
with information on the ramifications of this bill and SB 422. Mr. Dernbach
said the department would provide that.
- Future Meeting Dates:
The next meeting is set for March 8, 2016. The agenda will include
three presentations: by the Minnesota agency on alternative worker's
compensation coverage; by the department's economic staff, Dennis Winters, on
the current state of employment in Wisconsin; and by the Labor and Industry
Motion by Mr. Beiriger, seconded by Ms. Bloomingdale to adjourn.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 1:30 p.m.