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995.12 History History: 2003 a. 73; 2005 a. 155 s. 32; Stats. 2005 s. 995.12; 2007 a. 156.
995.12 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. Jus 16, Wis. adm. code.
995.20 995.20 Legal holidays. January 1, January 15, the 3rd Monday in February (which shall be the day of celebration for February 12 and 22), the last Monday in May (which shall be the day of celebration for May 30), June 19, which shall be the day of observation for Juneteenth Day, July 4, the 1st Monday in September which shall be known as Labor day, the 2nd Monday in October, November 11, the 4th Thursday in November (which shall be the day of celebration for Thanksgiving), December 25, the day of holding the partisan primary election, and the day of holding the general election in November are legal holidays. On Good Friday the period from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. shall uniformly be observed for the purpose of worship. In every 1st class city the day of holding any municipal election is a legal holiday, and in every such city the afternoon of each day upon which a primary election is held for the nomination of candidates for city offices is a half holiday and in counties having a population of 500,000 or more the county board may by ordinance provide that all county employees shall have a half holiday on the day of such primary election and a holiday on the day of such municipal election, and that employees whose duties require that they work on such days be given equivalent time off on other days. Whenever any legal holiday falls on Sunday, the succeeding Monday shall be the legal holiday.
995.20 History History: 1971 c. 226; 1973 c. 140, 333; 1977 c. 187 s. 96; Stats. 1977 s. 757.17; 1983 a. 7; 1983 a. 192 s. 257; Stats. 1983 s. 895.20; 2005 a. 155 s. 33; Stats. 2005 s. 995.20; 2009 a. 91; 2011 a. 75.
995.22 995.22 Wisconsin family month, week and Sunday. The month of November, in which the celebration of Thanksgiving occurs, is designated as Wisconsin Family Month, the first 7 days of that month are designated as Wisconsin Family Week and the first Sunday of that month is designated as Family Sunday. In conjunction therewith, appropriate observances, ceremonies, exercises and activities may be held under state auspices to focus attention on the principles of family responsibility to spouses, children and parents, as well as on the importance of the stability of marriage and the home for our future well-being; and the chief officials of local governments and the people of the state are invited either to join and participate therein or to conduct like observances in their respective localities.
995.22 History History: 1973 c. 333; 1977 c. 187 s. 96; Stats. 1977 s. 757.171; 1983 a. 192 s. 258; Stats. 1983 s. 895.22; 1987 a. 27; 2005 a. 155 s. 34; Stats. 2005 s. 995.22.
995.225 995.225 Fire Prevention Week.
995.225(1) (1) The week in October during which October 9 falls is designated Fire Prevention Week and the Saturday at the end of Fire Prevention Week is designated Wisconsin Firefighters Memorial Day. In conjunction with the week, appropriate observances, ceremonies, exercises, and activities may be held under state auspices to do all of the following:
995.225(1)(a) (a) Commemorate 2 of the most devastating fires in U.S. history, both of which started on October 8, 1871, the Peshtigo fire and the Chicago fire.
995.225(1)(b) (b) Study fire safety tips to help avoid home fires.
995.225(1)(c) (c) Recognize that well-trained, dedicated, and well-equipped fire departments are important to all of the residents of this state.
995.225(1)(d) (d) Recognize that thousands of state firefighters, both full-time and volunteer, dedicate themselves to protecting lives and property.
995.225(1)(e) (e) Express the gratitude of the residents of this state for the valuable contributions that firefighters have made to the other residents of this state.
995.225(1)(f) (f) Honor those contributions and memorialize the firefighters of this state who have died while performing their duties.
995.225(2) (2) The chief officials of local governments and the people of the state are invited either to join and participate in the observances, ceremonies, exercises, and activities under sub. (1) that may be held under state auspices or to conduct similar observances in their respective localities.
995.225 History History: 2003 a. 56, 320; 2005 a. 155 s. 35; Stats. 2005 s. 995.225; 2011 a. 185.
995.23 995.23 Indian Rights Day. July 4 is designated as "Indian Rights Day," and in conjunction with the celebration of Independence Day, appropriate exercises or celebrations may be held in commemoration of the granting by congress of home rule and a bill of rights to the American Indians. When July 4 falls on Sunday, exercises or celebrations of Indian Rights Day may be held on either the third or the fifth.
995.23 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 96; Stats. 1977 s. 757.175; 1983 a. 192 s. 259; Stats. 1983 s. 895.23; 2005 a. 155 s. 36; Stats. 2005 s. 995.23.
995.24 995.24 William D. Hoard Day. October 10 is designated as William D. Hoard Day. Appropriate exercises and celebrations may be held on that day, William D. Hoard's birthday, to honor him and remember him as the 16th governor of Wisconsin and the leading promoter of the dairy industry through his weekly magazine, Hoard's Dairyman.
995.24 History History: 2009 a. 327; 2011 a. 260 s. 81.
995.30 995.30 Ronald W. Reagan Day. February 6 is designated as Ronald W. Reagan Day. Appropriate exercises and celebrations may be held on that day, his birthday, to honor him and remember him as the 40th President of the United States and a promoter of freedom and democracy throughout the world.
995.30 History History: 2011 a. 32.
995.50 995.50 Right of privacy.
995.50(1)(1) The right of privacy is recognized in this state. One whose privacy is unreasonably invaded is entitled to the following relief:
995.50(1)(a) (a) Equitable relief to prevent and restrain such invasion, excluding prior restraint against constitutionally protected communication privately and through the public media;
995.50(1)(b) (b) Compensatory damages based either on plaintiff's loss or defendant's unjust enrichment; and
995.50(1)(c) (c) A reasonable amount for attorney fees.
995.50(2) (2) In this section, "invasion of privacy" means any of the following:
995.50(2)(a) (a) Intrusion upon the privacy of another of a nature highly offensive to a reasonable person, in a place that a reasonable person would consider private or in a manner which is actionable for trespass.
995.50(2)(b) (b) The use, for advertising purposes or for purposes of trade, of the name, portrait or picture of any living person, without having first obtained the written consent of the person or, if the person is a minor, of his or her parent or guardian.
995.50(2)(c) (c) Publicity given to a matter concerning the private life of another, of a kind highly offensive to a reasonable person, if the defendant has acted either unreasonably or recklessly as to whether there was a legitimate public interest in the matter involved, or with actual knowledge that none existed. It is not an invasion of privacy to communicate any information available to the public as a matter of public record.
995.50(2)(d) (d) Conduct that is prohibited under s. 942.09, regardless of whether there has been a criminal action related to the conduct, and regardless of the outcome of the criminal action, if there has been a criminal action related to the conduct.
995.50(3) (3) The right of privacy recognized in this section shall be interpreted in accordance with the developing common law of privacy, including defenses of absolute and qualified privilege, with due regard for maintaining freedom of communication, privately and through the public media.
995.50(4) (4) Compensatory damages are not limited to damages for pecuniary loss, but shall not be presumed in the absence of proof.
995.50(6) (6)
995.50(6)(a)(a) If judgment is entered in favor of the defendant in an action for invasion of privacy, the court shall determine if the action was frivolous. If the court determines that the action was frivolous, it shall award the defendant reasonable fees and costs relating to the defense of the action.
995.50(6)(b) (b) In order to find an action for invasion of privacy to be frivolous under par. (a), the court must find either of the following:
995.50(6)(b)1. 1. The action was commenced in bad faith or for harassment purposes.
995.50(6)(b)2. 2. The action was devoid of arguable basis in law or equity.
995.50(7) (7) No action for invasion of privacy may be maintained under this section if the claim is based on an act which is permissible under ss. 196.63 or 968.27 to 968.373.
995.50 History History: 1977 c. 176; 1987 a. 399; 1991 a. 294; 2001 a. 33; 2005 a. 155 s. 51; Stats. 2005 s. 995.50; 2013 a. 375.
995.50 Annotation Commercial misappropriation of a person's name is prohibited by Wisconsin common law. Hirsch v. S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. 90 Wis. 2d 379, 280 N.W.2d 129 (1979).
995.50 Annotation Oral communication among numerous employees and jail inmates is sufficient to constitute publicity under sub. (2) (c). The plain meaning of "a place" in sub. (2) (a) is geographical and does not include a file of medical records. Hillman v. Columbia County, 164 Wis. 2d 376, 474 N.W.2d 913 (Ct. App. 1991).
995.50 Annotation Disclosure of private information to one person or to a small group does not, as a matter of law in all cases, fail to satisfy the publicity element of an invasion of privacy claim. Whether a disclosure satisfies the publicity element of an invasion of privacy claim depends upon the particular facts of the case and the nature of plaintiff's relationship to the audience who received the information. Pachowitz v. LeDoux, 2003 WI App 120, 265 Wis. 2d 631, 666 N.W.2d 88, 02-2100.
995.50 Annotation An action for invasion of privacy requires: 1) a public disclosure of facts regarding the plaintiff; 2) the facts disclosed were private; 3) the private matter is one that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities; and 4) the party disclosing the facts acted either unreasonably or recklessly as to whether there was a legitimate public interest in the matter or with actual knowledge that none existed. In order to find public disclosure, the matter must be regarded as substantially certain to become one of public knowledge. Olson v. Red Cedar Clinic, 2004 WI App 102, 273 Wis. 2d 728, 681 N.W.2d 306, 03-2198.
995.50 Annotation The recording of sounds emanating from a neighbor's home using a common recording device that was placed inside the defendant's own window was not an intrusion of a nature highly offensive to a reasonable person in violation of sub. (2) (a). Poston v. Burns, 2010 WI App 73, 325 Wis. 2d 404, 784 N.W.2d 717, 09-0463.
995.50 Annotation Sub. (2) (a) has a spatial basis — the invasion of privacy must occur in a place that a reasonable person would consider private or in a manner which is actionable for trespass. In this case, the only action that was allegedly taken by the defendant was the distribution of fliers containing information that was already available to the public. That the information may have inspired others to make phone calls, honk horns, or write letters does not mean that the defendant invaded the plaintiff's private space. Keller v. Patterson, 2012 WI App 78, 343 Wis. 2d 569, 819 N.W.2d 841, 11-0334.
995.50 Annotation Sub. (2) (c) addresses situations where an individual makes public statements about the private life of another person in a highly offensive way. In order to fall under sub. (2) (c), the statements must make information public that was not previously available to the public. Keller v. Patterson, 2012 WI App 78, 343 Wis. 2d 569, 819 N.W.2d 841, 11-0334.
995.50 Annotation The more reasonable interpretation of "use" in sub. (2) (b) is that it does not cover bidding on someone's name as a keyword search term. The holding is limited to the particular "non-visible" type of use at issue in this case. Habush v. Cannon, 2013 WI App 34, 346 Wis. 2d 709, 828 N.W.2d 876, 11-1769.
995.50 Annotation The right to privacy law does not affect the duties of custodians of public records under s. 19.21. 68 Atty. Gen. 68.
995.50 Annotation Surveillance of a school district employee from public streets and highways by the employer school district's agents to determine whether the employee was in violation of the district's residency policy did not violate this section. Munson v. Milwaukee Board of School Directors, 969 F.2d 266 (1992).
995.50 Annotation While the Open Records Law and this statute are related laws, they are only related in that a finding under the Open Records Law that a record should be made public would necessarily mean that "the information was available to the public as a matter of public record." This is true because both statutes apply the same common-law balancing test when determining whether a record is public. When a trial court found only that the procedures delineated in the Open Records Law were not followed, those procedures had no impact on the question of whether a record is public under this section; the procedures are merely procedural, not substantive. Hutchins v. Clarke, 661 F.3d 947 (2011).
995.50 Annotation A person's religious affiliation, standing alone, is not so private that publication would offend a reasonable person and constitute an invasion of privacy under sub. (2) (c). Briggs & Stratton Corp. v. National Catholic Reporter Publishing Co. 978 F. Supp 1195 (1997).
995.50 Annotation The exclusivity provision of the Workers Compensation Act does not bar a claim for invasion of privacy under this section. Marino v. Arandell Corp. 1 F. Supp. 2d 947 (1998).
995.50 Annotation In drafting this section, the legislature used New York's privacy statute as a model. The text of sub. (2) (b) duplicates nearly verbatim New York law. Case law under the New York privacy statute may be particularly useful. Bogie v. Rosenberg, 705 F.3d 603 (2013).
995.50 Annotation A claim under sub. (2) (a) must show that the alleged intrusion into privacy would be highly offensive to a reasonable person. The question of what kinds of conduct will be regarded as a highly offensive intrusion is largely a matter of social conventions and expectations. The offensiveness of the intrusion itself cannot be based on the content or substance captured by virtue of the alleged intrusion. The fact that the plaintiff was embarrassed to be filmed saying something she regretted having said and later deemed offensive did not convert the filming itself into a highly offensive intrusion. Bogie v. Rosenberg, 705 F.3d 603 (2013).
995.50 Annotation Where a matter of legitimate public interest is concerned, no cause of action for invasion of privacy will lie. This newsworthiness or public interest exception should be construed broadly, covering not only descriptions of actual events, but also articles concerning political happenings, social trends, or any subject of public interest. Wisconsin courts have also incorporated the common law exception for incidental use into the statute. Bogie v. Rosenberg, 705 F.3d 603 (2013).
995.50 Annotation Court documents are matters of public interest. It follows that if court documents warrant the public interest exception, Internet search providers and indexes that lead the public to those documents or that capture key terms related to them are likewise entitled to that exception. To the extent that a search provider's profit motives undermine the reliance on the public interest argument, the exception applies even when the entities sharing the information do so largely, and even primarily, to make a profit. Stayart v. Google Incorporated, 710 F.3d 719 (2013).
995.50 Annotation The absence of false light from the Wisconsin privacy statute. 66 MLR 99 (1982).
995.50 Annotation The tort of misappropriation of name or likeness under Wisconsin's new privacy law. Endejan, 1978 WLR 1029.
995.50 Annotation The Case for Reexamining Privacy Law in Wisconsin: Why Wisconsin Courts Should Adopt the Interpretation of the Tort of Intrusion upon Seclusion of Fisher v. Mount Olive Lutheran Church. Infield-Harm. 2004 WLR 1781.
995.50 Annotation The Scope of Wisconsin's Privacy Statute. Backer. Wis. Law. Sept. 2003.
995.50 Annotation Employer Liability for Employment References. Mac Kelly. Wis. Law. May 2008.
995.55 995.55 Internet privacy protection.
995.55(1) (1) Definitions. In this section:
995.55(1)(a) (a) "Access information" means a user name and password or any other security information that protects access to a personal Internet account.
995.55(1)(b) (b) "Educational institution" means an institution of higher education, as defined in s. 108.02 (18); a technical college established under s. 38.02; a school, as defined in s. 38.50 (11) (a) 2.; a public school, as described in s. 115.01 (1); a charter school, as defined in s. 115.001 (1); a private school, as defined in s. 115.001 (3r); or a private educational testing service or administrator.
995.55(1)(c) (c) "Employer" means any person engaging in any activity, enterprise, or business employing at least one individual. "Employer" includes the state, its political subdivisions, and any office, department, independent agency, authority, institution, association, society, or other body in state or local government created or authorized to be created by the constitution or any law, including the legislature and the courts.
995.55(1)(d) (d) "Personal Internet account" means an Internet-based account that is created and used by an individual exclusively for purposes of personal communications.
995.55(2) (2)Restrictions on employer access to personal Internet accounts.
995.55(2)(a)(a) Except as provided in pars. (b), (c), and (d), no employer may do any of the following:
995.55(2)(a)1. 1. Request or require an employee or applicant for employment, as a condition of employment, to disclose access information for the personal Internet account of the employee or applicant or to otherwise grant access to or allow observation of that account.
995.55(2)(a)2. 2. Discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee for exercising the right under subd. 1. to refuse to disclose access information for, grant access to, or allow observation of the employee's personal Internet account, opposing a practice prohibited under subd. 1., filing a complaint or attempting to enforce any right under subd. 1., or testifying or assisting in any action or proceeding to enforce any right under subd. 1.
995.55(2)(a)3. 3. Refuse to hire an applicant for employment because the applicant refused to disclose access information for, grant access to, or allow observation of the applicant's personal Internet account.
995.55(2)(b) (b) Paragraph (a) does not prohibit an employer from doing any of the following:
995.55(2)(b)1. 1. Requesting or requiring an employee to disclose access information to the employer in order for the employer to gain access to or operate an electronic communications device supplied or paid for in whole or in part by the employer or in order for the employer to gain access to an account or service provided by the employer, obtained by virtue of the employee's employment relationship with the employer, or used for the employer's business purposes.
995.55(2)(b)2. 2. Discharging or disciplining an employee for transferring the employer's proprietary or confidential information or financial data to the employee's personal Internet account without the employer's authorization.
995.55(2)(b)3. 3. Subject to this subdivision, conducting an investigation or requiring an employee to cooperate in an investigation of any alleged unauthorized transfer of the employer's proprietary or confidential information or financial data to the employee's personal Internet account, if the employer has reasonable cause to believe that such a transfer has occurred, or of any other alleged employment-related misconduct, violation of the law, or violation of the employer's work rules as specified in an employee handbook, if the employer has reasonable cause to believe that activity on the employee's personal Internet account relating to that misconduct or violation has occurred. In conducting an investigation or requiring an employee to cooperate in an investigation under this subdivision, an employer may require an employee to grant access to or allow observation of the employee's personal Internet account, but may not require the employee to disclose access information for that account.
995.55(2)(b)4. 4. Restricting or prohibiting an employee's access to certain Internet sites while using an electronic communications device supplied or paid for in whole or in part by the employer or while using the employer's network or other resources.
995.55(2)(b)5. 5. Complying with a duty to screen applicants for employment prior to hiring or a duty to monitor or retain employee communications that is established under state or federal laws, rules, or regulations or the rules of a self-regulatory organization, as defined in 15 USC 78c (a) (26).
995.55(2)(b)6. 6. Viewing, accessing, or using information about an employee or applicant for employment that can be obtained without access information or that is available in the public domain.
995.55(2)(b)7. 7. Requesting or requiring an employee to disclose the employee's personal electronic mail address.
995.55(2)(c) (c) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a personal Internet account or an electronic communications device of an employee engaged in providing financial services who uses the account or device to conduct the business of an employer that is subject to the content, supervision, and retention requirements imposed by federal securities laws and regulations or by the rules of a self-regulatory organization, as defined in 15 USC 78c (a) (26).
995.55(2)(d) (d) An employer that inadvertently obtains access information for an employee's personal Internet account through the use of an electronic device or program that monitors the employer's network or through an electronic communications device supplied or paid for in whole or in part by the employer is not liable under par. (a) for possessing that access information so long as the employer does not use that access information to access the employee's personal Internet account.
995.55(3) (3)Restrictions on educational institution access to personal Internet accounts.
995.55(3)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (b), no educational institution may do any of the following:
995.55(3)(a)1. 1. Request or require a student or prospective student, as a condition of admission or enrollment, to disclose access information for the personal Internet account of the student or prospective student or to otherwise grant access to or allow observation of that account.
995.55(3)(a)2. 2. Expel, suspend, discipline, or otherwise penalize any student for exercising the right under subd. 1. to refuse to disclose access information for, grant access to, or allow observation of the student's personal Internet account, opposing a practice prohibited under subd. 1., filing a complaint or attempting to enforce any right under subd. 1., or testifying or assisting in any action or proceeding to enforce any right under subd. 1.
995.55(3)(a)3. 3. Refuse to admit a prospective student because the prospective student refused to disclose access information for, grant access to, or allow observation of the prospective student's personal Internet account.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 380 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before June 30, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after July 1, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 7-1-14)