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Local Governments and School Districts Blog

Wisconsin Act 10 Legal Challenges are Over - Managing the Local Government Workforce

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled the provisions of Wisconsin Act 10 subject to legal challenge are constitutional and therefore binding on all local government employees and public sector unions. In addition, a recent challenge initiated by the Wisconsin Professional Police Association to the constitutionality of Act 10 has been dismissed by the Association. Local government employers now are free to exercise discretion in the managing of the local government workforce.

Much of the management of the local government workforce occurs through employee handbooks adopted by the governing body. Local government officials now have the flexibility to adopt employment policies and procedures that are designed to make the local government unit a "preferred employer" within a specific geographic region. This requires local government officials to think outside the box and address many circumstances relating to the working conditions of government employees.

Ruder Ware will be sponsoring a Local Government Seminar on September 30 that will address the flexibility granted to local governments under the Wisconsin Act 10 legislation and recent Court rulings. The summary of the Seminar can be found at Local Government Invitation.

Municipal employers must now recognize the flexibility that has been given to them but also must exercise their discretion with caution.