If an uninsured employer who owes to the department any amount under s. 102.82
or 102.85 (4)
transfers his or her business assets or activities, the transferee is liable for the amounts owed by the uninsured employer under s. 102.82
or 102.85 (4)
if the department determines that all of the following conditions are satisfied:
At the time of the transfer, the uninsured employer and the transferee are owned or controlled in whole or in substantial part, either directly or indirectly, by the same interest or interests. Without limitation by reason of enumeration, it is presumed unless shown to the contrary that the “same interest or interests" includes the spouse, child or parent of the individual who owned or controlled the business, or any combination of more than one of them.
The transferee has continued or resumed the business of the uninsured employer, either in the same establishment or elsewhere; or the transferee has employed substantially the same employees as those the uninsured employer had employed in connection with the business assets or activities transferred.
The department may collect from a transferee described in par. (a)
an amount owed under s. 102.82
or 102.85 (4)
using the procedures specified in ss. 102.83
and the preference specified in s. 102.84
in the same manner as the department may collect from an uninsured employer.
Compensation for injured employee of uninsured employer. 102.81(1)(a)
If an employee of an uninsured employer, other than an employee who is eligible to receive alternative benefits under s. 102.28 (3)
, suffers an injury for which the uninsured employer is liable under s. 102.03
, the department or the department's reinsurer shall pay to or on behalf of the injured employee or to the employee's dependents an amount equal to the compensation owed them by the uninsured employer under this chapter except penalties and interest due under ss. 102.16 (3)
, 102.18 (1) (b) 3.
, 102.22 (1)
, 102.35 (3)
, and 102.60
The department shall make the payments required under par. (a)
from the uninsured employers fund, except that if the department has obtained reinsurance under sub. (2)
and is unable to make those payments from the uninsured employers fund, the department's reinsurer shall make those payments according to the terms of the contract of reinsurance.
The department shall pay a claim under par. (a)
in excess of $1,000,000 from the uninsured employers fund in the first instance. If the claim is not covered by excess or stop-loss reinsurance under sub. (2)
, the secretary of administration shall transfer from the appropriation account under s. 20.445 (1) (ra)
to the uninsured employers fund as provided in subds. 2.
an amount equal to the amount by which payments from the uninsured employers fund on the claim are in excess of $1,000,000.
Each calendar year the department shall file with the secretary of administration a certificate setting forth the number of claims in excess of $1,000,000 in the preceding year paid from the uninsured employers fund, the payments made from the uninsured employers fund on each such claim in the preceding year, and the total payments made from the uninsured employers fund on all such claims and, based on that information, the secretary of administration shall determine the amount to be transferred under subd. 1.
in that calendar year.
The maximum amount that the secretary of administration may transfer under subd. 1.
in a calendar year is $500,000. If the amount determined under subd. 2.
is $500,000 or less, the secretary of administration shall transfer the amount determined under subd. 2.
If the amount determined under subd. 2.
exceeds $500,000, the secretary of administration shall transfer $500,000 in the calendar year in which the determination is made and, subject to the maximum transfer amount of $500,000 per calendar year, shall transfer that excess in the next calendar year or in subsequent calendar years until that excess is transferred in full.
The department may retain an insurance carrier or insurance service organization to process, investigate and pay claims under this section and may obtain excess or stop-loss reinsurance with an insurance carrier authorized to do business in this state in an amount that the secretary determines is necessary for the sound operation of the uninsured employers fund. In cases involving disputed claims, the department may retain an attorney to represent the interests of the uninsured employers fund and to make appearances on behalf of the uninsured employers fund in proceedings under ss. 102.16
. Section 20.930
and all provisions of subch. IV of ch. 16
, except s. 16.753
, do not apply to an attorney hired under this subsection. The charges for the services retained under this subsection shall be paid from the appropriation under s. 20.445 (1) (rp)
. The cost of any reinsurance obtained under this subsection shall be paid from the appropriation under s. 20.445 (1) (sm)
An injured employee of an uninsured employer or his or her dependents may attempt to recover from the uninsured employer, or a 3rd party under s. 102.29
, while receiving or attempting to receive payment under sub. (1)
An injured employee, or the dependent of an injured employee, who received one or more payments under sub. (1)
shall do all of the following:
If the employee or dependent begins an action to recover compensation from the employee's employer or a 3rd party liable under s. 102.29
, provide to the department a copy of all papers filed by any party in the action.
If the employee or dependent receives compensation from the employee's employer or a 3rd party liable under s. 102.29
, pay to the department the lesser of the following:
The amount after attorney fees and costs that the employee or dependent received under sub. (1)
The amount after attorney fees and costs that the employee or dependent received from the employer or 3rd party.
The department of justice may bring an action to collect the payment under sub. (4)
Subject to par. (b)
, an employee, a dependent of an employee, an uninsured employer, a 3rd party who is liable under s. 102.29
or the department may enter into an agreement to settle liabilities under this chapter.
A settlement under par. (a)
is void without the department's written approval.
This section first applies to injuries occurring on the first day of the first July beginning after the day that the secretary files a certificate under s. 102.80 (3) (a)
, except that if the secretary files a certificate under s. 102.80 (3) (ag)
this section does not apply to claims filed on or after the date specified in that certificate.
See also s. DWD 80.62
, Wis. adm. code.
Section 102.18 (1) (bp) does not govern the conduct of the Department or its agent and does not impose any penalty on the department or its agent for bad faith conduct in administering the Uninsured Employers Fund. Section 102.18 (1) (bp) constitutes the exclusive remedy for the bad faith conduct of an employer or an insurance carrier. Because s. 102.18 (1) (bp) does not apply to the department's agent, it does not provide an exclusive remedy for the agent's bad faith. Moreover, sub. (1) (a) exempts the Department and its agent from paying an employee the statutory penalties and interest imposed on an employer or an insurance carrier for their misdeeds, but nothing in sub. (1) (a) exempts the department or its agent from liability for its bad faith conduct in processing claims. Aslakson v. Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc. 2007 WI 39
, 300 Wis. 2d 92
, 729 N.W.2d 712
Uninsured employer payments. 102.82(1)(1)
Except as provided in sub. (2) (ar)
, an uninsured employer shall reimburse the department for any payment made under s. 102.81 (1)
to or on behalf of an employee of the uninsured employer or to an employee's dependents and for any expenses paid by the department in administering the claim of the employee or dependents, less amounts repaid by the employee or dependents under s. 102.81 (4) (b)
. The reimbursement owed under this subsection is due within 30 days after the date on which the department notifies the uninsured employer that the reimbursement is owed. Interest shall accrue on amounts not paid when due at the rate of 1 percent per month.
Except as provided in pars. (ag)
, all uninsured employers shall pay to the department the greater of the following:
Twice the amount determined by the department to equal what the uninsured employer would have paid during periods of illegal nonpayment for worker's compensation insurance in the preceding 3-year period based on the employer's payroll in the preceding 3 years.
An uninsured employer who is liable to the department under par. (a)
2 shall pay to the department, in lieu of the payment required under par. (a) 2.
, $100 per day for each day that the employer is uninsured if all of the following apply:
The employer is uninsured for 7 consecutive days or less.
No injury for which the employer is liable under s. 102.03
has occurred during the period in which the employer is uninsured.
The department may waive any payment owed under par. (a)
by an uninsured employer if the department determines that the uninsured employer is subject to this chapter only because the uninsured employer has elected to become subject to this chapter under s. 102.05 (2)
or 102.28 (2)
The department may waive any payment owed under par. (a)
or sub. (1)
if the department determines that the sole reason for the uninsured employer's failure to comply with s. 102.28 (2)
is that the uninsured employer was a victim of fraud, misrepresentation or gross negligence by an insurance agent or insurance broker or by a person whom a reasonable person would believe is an insurance agent or insurance broker.
The payment owed under par. (a)
is due within 30 days after the date on which the employer is notified. Interest shall accrue on amounts not paid when due at the rate of 1 percent per month.
The department of justice or, if the department of justice consents, the department of workforce development may bring an action in circuit court to recover payments and interest owed to the department of workforce development under this section.
When an employee dies as a result of an injury for which an uninsured employer is liable under s. 102.03
, the uninsured employer shall pay $1,000 to the department.
The payment under par. (a)
is in addition to any benefits or other compensation paid to an employee or survivors or the work injury supplemental benefit fund under ss. 102.46
Collection of uninsured employer payments. 102.83(1)(a)1.1.
If an uninsured employer or any individual who is found personally liable under sub. (8)
fails to pay to the department any amount owed to the department under s. 102.82
and no proceeding for review is pending, the department or any authorized representative may issue a warrant directed to the clerk of circuit court for any county of the state.
The clerk of circuit court shall enter in the judgment and lien docket the name of the uninsured employer or the individual mentioned in the warrant and the amount of the payments, interest, costs, and other fees for which the warrant is issued and the date when the warrant is entered.
A warrant entered under subd. 2.
shall be considered in all respects as a final judgment constituting a perfected lien on the right, title, and interest of the uninsured employer or the individual in all of that person's real and personal property located in the county where the warrant is entered. The lien is effective when the department issues the warrant under subd. 1.
and shall continue until the amount owed, including interest, costs, and other fees to the date of payment, is paid.
After the warrant is entered in the judgment and lien docket, the department or any authorized representative may file an execution with the clerk of circuit court for filing by the clerk of circuit court with the sheriff of any county where real or personal property of the uninsured employer or the individual is found, commanding the sheriff to levy upon and sell sufficient real and personal property of the uninsured employer or the individual to pay the amount stated in the warrant in the same manner as upon an execution against property issued upon the judgment of a court of record, and to return the warrant to the department and pay to it the money collected by virtue of the warrant within 60 days after receipt of the warrant.
The clerk of circuit court shall accept and enter the warrant in the judgment and lien docket without prepayment of any fee, but the clerk of circuit court shall submit a statement of the proper fee semiannually to the department covering the periods from January 1 to June 30 and July 1 to December 31 unless a different billing period is agreed to between the clerk and the department. The fees shall then be paid by the department, but the fees provided by s. 814.61 (5)
for entering the warrants shall be added to the amount of the warrant and collected from the uninsured employer or the individual when satisfaction or release is presented for entry.
The department may issue a warrant of like terms, force, and effect to any employee or other agent of the department, who may file a copy of the warrant with the clerk of circuit court of any county in the state, and thereupon the clerk of circuit court shall enter the warrant in the judgment and lien docket and the warrant shall become a lien in the same manner, and with the same force and effect, as provided in sub. (1)
. In the execution of the warrant, the employee or other agent shall have all the powers conferred by law upon a sheriff, but may not collect from the uninsured employer or the individual any fee or charge for the execution of the warrant in excess of the actual expenses paid in the performance of his or her duty.
If a warrant is returned not satisfied in full, the department shall have the same remedies to enforce the amount due for payments, interest, costs, and other fees as if the department had recovered judgment against the uninsured employer or the individual and an execution had been returned wholly or partially not satisfied.
When the payments, interest, costs, and other fees specified in a warrant have been paid to the department, the department shall issue a satisfaction of the warrant and file it with the clerk of circuit court. The clerk of circuit court shall immediately enter the satisfaction of the judgment in the judgment and lien docket. The department shall send a copy of the satisfaction to the uninsured employer or the individual.
The department, if it finds that the interests of the state will not be jeopardized, and upon such conditions as it may exact, may issue a release of any warrant with respect to any real or personal property upon which the warrant is a lien or cloud upon title. The clerk of circuit court shall enter the release upon presentation of the release to the clerk and payment of the fee for filing the release and the release shall be conclusive proof that the lien or cloud upon the title of the property covered by the release is extinguished.
At any time after the filing of a warrant, the department may commence and maintain a garnishee action as provided by ch. 812
or may use the remedy of attachment as provided by ch. 811
for actions to enforce a judgment. The place of trial of an action under ch. 811
may be either in Dane County or the county where the debtor resides and may not be changed from the county in which the action is commenced, except upon consent of the parties.
If the department issues an erroneous warrant, the department shall issue a notice of withdrawal of the warrant to the clerk of circuit court for the county in which the warrant is filed. The clerk shall void the warrant and any liens attached by it.
Any officer or director of an uninsured employer that is a corporation and any member or manager of an uninsured employer that is a limited liability company may be found individually and jointly and severally liable for the payments, interest, costs and other fees specified in a warrant under this section if after proper proceedings for the collection of those amounts from the corporation or limited liability company, as provided in this section, the corporation or limited liability company is unable to pay those amounts to the department. The personal liability of the officers and directors of a corporation or of the members and managers of a limited liability company as provided in this subsection is an independent obligation, survives dissolution, reorganization, bankruptcy, receivership, assignment for the benefit of creditors, judicially confirmed extension or composition, or any analogous situation of the corporation or limited liability company, and shall be set forth in a determination or decision issued under s. 102.82
Levy for delinquent payments. 102.835(1)(ad)
“Debtor" means an uninsured employer or an individual found personally liable under s. 102.83 (8)
who owes the department a debt.
“Levy" means all powers of distraint and seizure.
“Payment" means a payment owed to the department under s. 102.82
and includes interest on that payment.
“Property" includes all tangible and intangible personal property and rights to that property, including compensation paid or payable for personal services, whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, bonus or otherwise, amounts paid periodically pursuant to a pension or retirement program, rents, proceeds of insurance and amounts paid pursuant to a contract.
(2) Powers of levy and distraint.
If any debtor who is liable for any debt fails to pay that debt after the department has made demand for payment, the department may collect that debt and the expenses of the levy by levy upon any property belonging to the debtor. If the value of any property that has been levied upon under this section is not sufficient to satisfy the claim of the department, the department may levy upon any additional property of the debtor until the debt and expenses of the levy are fully paid.
(3) Duties to surrender.
Any person in possession of or obligated with respect to property or rights to property that is subject to levy and upon which a levy has been made shall, upon demand of the department, surrender the property or rights or discharge the obligation to the department, except that part of the property or rights which is, at the time of the demand, subject to any prior attachment or execution under any judicial process.
(4) Failure to surrender; enforcement of levy. 102.835(4)(a)(a)
Any debtor who fails to surrender any property or rights to property that is subject to levy, upon demand by the department, is subject to proceedings to enforce the amount of the levy.
Any 3rd party who fails to surrender any property or rights to property subject to levy, upon demand of the department, is subject to proceedings to enforce the levy. The 3rd party is not liable to the department under this paragraph for more than 25 percent of the debt. The department shall serve a final demand as provided under sub. (13)
on any 3rd party who fails to surrender property. Proceedings may not be initiated by the department until 5 days after service of the final demand. The department shall issue a determination under s. 102.82
to the 3rd party for the amount of the liability.
When a 3rd party surrenders the property or rights to the property on demand of the department or discharges the obligation to the department for which the levy is made, the 3rd party is discharged from any obligation or liability to the debtor with respect to the property or rights to the property arising from the surrender or payment to the department.
If the department has levied upon property, any person, other than the debtor who is liable to pay the debt out of which the levy arose, who claims an interest in or lien on that property, and who claims that that property was wrongfully levied upon may bring a civil action against the state in the circuit court for Dane County. That action may be brought whether or not that property has been surrendered to the department. The court may grant only the relief under par. (b)
. No other action to question the validity of or to restrain or enjoin a levy by the department may be maintained.
In an action under par. (a)
, if a levy would irreparably injure rights to property, the court may enjoin the enforcement of that levy. If the court determines that the property has been wrongfully levied upon, it may grant a judgment for the amount of money obtained by levy.
For purposes of an adjudication under this subsection, the determination of the debt upon which the interest or lien of the department is based is conclusively presumed to be valid.
(6) Determination of expenses.
The department shall determine its costs and expenses to be paid in all cases of levy.
The department shall apply all money obtained under this section first against the expenses of the proceedings and then against the liability in respect to which the levy was made and any other liability owed to the department by the debtor.
The department may refund or credit any amount left after the applications under par. (a)
, upon submission of a claim for a refund or credit and satisfactory proof of the claim, to the person entitled to that amount.
(8) Release of levy.
The department may release the levy upon all or part of property levied upon to facilitate the collection of the liability or to grant relief from a wrongful levy, but that release does not prevent any later levy.
(9) Wrongful levy.
If the department determines that property has been wrongfully levied upon, the department may return the property at any time, or may return an amount of money equal to the amount of money levied upon.
(10) Preservation of remedies.
The availability of the remedy under this section does not abridge the right of the department to pursue other remedies.
Any person who removes, deposits or conceals or aids in removing, depositing or concealing any property upon which a levy is authorized under this section with intent to evade or defeat the assessment or collection of any debt is guilty of a Class I felony and shall be liable to the state for the costs of prosecution.
(12) Notice before levy.
If no proceeding for review permitted by law is pending, the department shall make a demand to the debtor for payment of the debt which is subject to levy and give notice that the department may pursue legal action for collection of the debt against the debtor. The department shall make the demand for payment and give the notice at least 10 days prior to the levy, personally or by any type of mail service which requires a signature of acceptance, at the address of the debtor as it appears on the records of the department. The demand for payment and notice shall include a statement of the amount of the debt, including costs and fees, and the name of the debtor who is liable for the debt. The debtor's failure to accept or receive the notice does not prevent the department from making the levy. Notice prior to levy is not required for a subsequent levy on any debt of the same debtor within one year after the date of service of the original levy.