2015 - 2016 LEGISLATURE
October 1, 2015 - Introduced by Senators Roth, Wanggaard, Darling, S.
, Kapenga, Lasee, Lazich, LeMahieu, Nass, Stroebel and Vukmir,
cosponsored by Representatives Steineke, Rohrkaste, Allen, August, Born,
Brandtjen, R. Brooks, Craig, Czaja, Edming, Gannon, Hutton, Jagler,
Jarchow, Katsma, Kleefisch, Knodl, Knudson, Kremer, Kuglitsch, Murphy,
Murtha, Nygren, Sanfelippo, Skowronski, Thiesfeldt, Tittl, Vorpagel,
Weatherston and J. Ott. Referred to Committee on Labor and Government
SB285,2,5 1An Act to repeal 230.16 (7m) (c), 230.16 (9), 230.19 (2), 230.19 (3), 230.25 (1g),
2230.25 (1m), 230.28 (1) (b), 230.28 (6), 230.31 (2) and 230.40 (3); to renumber
3230.19 (1); to renumber and amend 230.01 (2), 230.16 (7), 230.34 (1) (a) and
4230.43 (1) (a); to amend 62.13 (4) (d), 63.08 (1) (f) 1., 63.08 (1) (f) 2., 63.08 (1)
5(f) 3., 63.37, 63.39 (2m), 66.0509 (1), 230.04 (14), 230.05 (7), 230.08 (2) (c), 230.12
6(1) (h), 230.13 (1) (a), 230.13 (3) (b), 230.15 (1), 230.15 (1m) (c) 1., 230.16 (title),
7230.16 (1) (a), 230.16 (2), 230.16 (3), 230.16 (4), 230.16 (5), 230.16 (6), 230.16
8(7m) (b) 4., 230.16 (10), 230.16 (11), 230.17 (1), 230.17 (2), 230.18, 230.21 (1),
9230.21 (2), 230.21 (3), 230.213, 230.24 (1), 230.24 (2), 230.25 (1), 230.25 (1n) (a)
10(intro.), 230.25 (2) (a), 230.25 (2) (b), 230.25 (3) (a), 230.26 (2), 230.26 (4), 230.28
11(1) (a), 230.28 (1) (am), 230.28 (1) (c), 230.31 (1) (intro.), 230.34 (1) (am), 230.34
12(2) (a), 230.34 (2) (b), 230.35 (3) (d), 230.37 (1), 230.43 (1) (title), 230.43 (1) (b),
13230.43 (1) (c), 230.43 (1) (d), 230.43 (1) (e), 230.43 (5), 230.44 (1) (c), 230.44 (1)
14(e) and 321.65 (3) (g); to create 20.865 (1) (dm), 20.928 (1f), 230.01 (2) (bm),

1230.01 (2) (bp), 230.04 (13m), 230.04 (19), 230.06 (1) (m), 230.06 (4), 230.13 (3)
2(c), 230.15 (6), 230.15 (7), 230.16 (1) (ap), 230.25 (2) (am), 230.31 (3), 230.34 (1)
3(a) 1. to 9. and 230.445 of the statutes; and to affect 2015 Wisconsin Act 55,
4section 9101 (5n) (a) and 2015 Wisconsin Act 55, section 9101 (5n) (b); relating
the state civil service and making an appropriation.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill makes various changes to the state civil service (civil service). The civil
service includes all positions and offices of trust or employment in the service of the
state, except positions and offices in the University of Wisconsin System and the
Wisconsin National Guard. The civil service includes both the classified and
unclassified service. The civil service is administered by the Division of Personnel
Management (DPM) in the Department of Administration (DOA) and the Bureau of
Merit Recruitment and Selection (bureau) in DPM.
The hiring process.
1. This bill replaces competitive examinations with competitive procedures.
Under current law, subject to certain exceptions, appointments to and promotions in
the classified service must be made according to merit and fitness, which must be
ascertained by competitive examinations. This bill changes the manner that must
be used to ascertain the merit and fitness of applicants from competitive
examinations to competitive procedures.
2. This bill requires applicants for positions in the classified service to submit
an application and resume to the bureau.
3. Unless a certain conviction record disqualifies applicants from a civil service
position, this bill prohibits the director of the bureau from asking an applicant on an
application, or otherwise, to supply information about the applicant's conviction
record before the applicant is certified for the position.
4. This bill provides a preference for veterans and certain spouses of veterans
in the hiring process for a classified position in the civil service. Under the bill, if a
veteran or qualifying spouse of a veteran is included on a certification list, the
appointing authority must offer an interview to the veteran or spouse of a veteran.
Additionally, after interviewing candidates for a position, if minimum qualifications,
skills, abilities, competencies, and knowledge are equal among the candidates, an
appointing authority shall give a preference to the veteran. These preferences
replace the preference system under current law, under which veterans and
qualifying spouses of veterans receive preference points. Under current law,
preference points are applied during the process of creating a certification list for a
5. Under the bill, before making an offer of employment to an individual who
currently holds a position in the civil service, an appointing authority must review

the individual's personnel file. This bill also requires the administrator of DPM and
the director of the bureau to provide an appointing authority with access to the
personnel files of such employees.
6. This bill changes the general deadline for making appointments from 60 days
after certification to 30 days after certification. The bill also requires the director of
the bureau to use procedures designed to certify applicants for a vacant permanent
position within 30 days of receiving a request from an appointing authority, rather
than within 45 days under current law.
Probation, reinstatement, restoration, and layoffs.
1. This bill changes the standard probationary period for all original and
promotional appointments to permanent and seasonal positions in the classified
service from six months to two years with a potential waiver after one year. The bill
also changes the probationary period for employees in supervisory or management
positions from one year with a potential waiver after six months to two years with
a potential waiver after one year.
2. This bill limits reinstatement privileges to permanent employees in the
classified service who are on layoff status and reduces the eligibility period for
reinstatement privileges to three years following the date of the layoff. Under
current law, permanent classified service employees who leave the classified service
without any delinquency or misconduct have reinstatement privileges for a five-year
period from the date the employee leaves the classified service. The bill eliminates
reinstatement privileges for permanent classified service employees who leave the
classified service without any delinquency or misconduct for reasons other than
layoff. This bill also eliminates reinstatement privileges for an employee who leaves
the classified service to fill an elective position. Under the bill, the changes to
reinstatement privileges do not apply to classified employees who leave the classified
service before the effective date of the bill.
3. This bill eliminates restoration rights for permanent employees in the
classified service who are laid off on or after the effective date of the bill. Under
current law, a permanent employee in the classified service who is on layoff status
has restoration rights for the three-year period following the layoff.
4. This bill requires appointing authorities to determine layoff status primarily
based on job performance, after which an appointing authority may consider
disciplinary records, seniority, and ability. Under current law, the order of layoff may
be determined by seniority, performance, any combination of seniority and
performance, or by other factors.
Just cause and discipline.
1. The bill requires the administrator of DPM to establish standards for
progressive discipline plans that are prepared by agencies and applied to all
employees in the classified service. The bill specifically requires that the standards
address progressive discipline for both personal conduct and work performance that
is inadequate, unsuitable, or inferior. The bill also requires that each appointing
authority prepare a progressive discipline plan for the appointing authority's agency
that complies with the administrator's standards.

2. Under current law, an employer may remove, suspend without pay,
discharge, reduce the base pay of, or demote (take an adverse employment action
against) a permanent classified employee and certain assistant district attorneys
and assistant state public defenders only for just cause. This bill expressly states
that an employer has just cause to take an adverse employment action against an
employee for work performance or personal conduct that an appointing authority
determines to be inadequate, unsuitable, or inferior, but only after the appointing
authority imposes progressive discipline that complies with standards established
by the administrator of DPM. This bill also expressly states that an employer has
just cause to take an adverse employment action against an employee without
imposing progressive discipline for specific conduct. Such conduct includes theft of
agency property, falsifying agency records, and while on duty, harassing or
intentionally inflicting physical harm on another person.
3. This bill changes the threshold for considering an employee's position
abandoned and disciplining the employee for failing to report for work as scheduled
without contacting a supervisor from 5 consecutive working days during a calendar
year to 3 working days in a calendar year.
Grievance process for certain adverse employment actions.
This bill creates a specific grievance process for classified employees to
challenge adverse employment actions. To begin the grievance process, an employee
must file a complaint challenging the adverse employment decision with the
employee's appointing authority no later than 14 days after the employee becomes
aware of, or should have become aware of, the adverse employment decision. The
appointing authority then conducts an investigation, meets with the employee in
person, and issues a written decision no later than 14 days after receiving the
complaint. To appeal an appointing authority's decision, the employee must file a
complaint with the administrator of DPM no later than 14 days after the appointing
authority issues its decision. Within 30 days of receiving a timely complaint, the
administrator must review the complaint and issue a written decision. To appeal the
administrator's decision, an appointing authority or employee must file an appeal
with the Employment Relations Commission (WERC) not later than 14 days after
receiving the administrator's decision. If an employee fails to satisfy any of the
deadlines described in the grievance process, the employee is deemed to have waived
his or her right to appeal the adverse employment action.
If WERC determines that all of the procedural requirements for an appeal of
an adverse employment decision have been satisfied, it will hear the employee's
appeal under its standard process for state civil service appeals except that WERC
must issue a decision on an appeal of an adverse employment decision no later than
120 days after the appeal is filed.
Discretionary merit award program.
This bill requires the administrator of DPM to create a discretionary merit
award program to provide additional funding to state agencies for the purpose of
providing lump sum monetary awards to classified employees whose performance
exceeds agency expectations. Under the bill, each state agency must certify to the
administrator the amount of additional funding the agency needs to make lump sum

discretionary merit awards to classified employees. The administrator then
distributes the additional funding appropriated for this purpose to state agencies to
make the lump sum merit awards to classified employees.
Other changes:
1. This bill adds to the current employee performance evaluation program a
requirement that each appointing authority conduct an annual performance
evaluation of each employee appointed by the appointing authority.
2. This bill requires an appointing authority to permanently maintain
employee files, and subject to certain exceptions, prohibits the removal of
disciplinary records from employee personnel files.
3. This bill eliminates the requirement that, if the director of the bureau makes
certain findings, competition for a vacancy in the classified service must be limited
to members of the classified service, and it eliminates the authority of the director
to limit competition for promotional opportunities in certain circumstances.
4. This bill requires DOA to consult with each state agency to develop a plan,
by no later than January 1, 2017, for assuming responsibility for services relating
to human resources. This bill also requires, by January 1, 2017, DOA to develop a
plan to assume responsibility for administering payroll services, finance services,
budget and procurement functions, and information technology services for certain
state agencies and boards.
5. This bill requires the administrator of DPM and the director of the bureau
to review all of the following by no later than January 1, 2017:
a. The classification of all positions in the state civil service.
b. The Wisconsin Human Resources Handbook.
c. The feasibility of requiring all agencies to use electronic personnel files and
a uniform personnel evaluation system.
d. The 2015-17 compensation plan.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB285,1 1Section 1. 20.005 (3) (schedule) of the statutes: at the appropriate place, insert
2the following amounts for the purposes indicated: - See PDF for table PDF
SB285,2 1Section 2. 20.865 (1) (dm) of the statutes is created to read:
SB285,6,52 20.865 (1) (dm) Discretionary merit compensation program. The amounts in
3the schedule to supplement the appropriations to state agencies for the cost of
4discretionary merit compensation awards approved by the division of personnel
5management in the department of administration under s. 20.928 (1f).
SB285,3 6Section 3. 20.928 (1f) of the statutes is created to read:
SB285,6,167 20.928 (1f) Each state agency head shall certify to the administrator of the
8division of personnel management in the department of administration, at such time
9and in such manner as the administrator prescribes, the sum of money needed from
10the appropriations under s. 20.865 (1) (dm) for the state agency to make lump sum
11discretionary merit compensation awards to its classified employees. Upon receipt
12of the certifications together with such additional information as the administrator
13prescribes, the administrator shall determine the amounts required from the
14appropriation to supplement state agency budgets. The administrator may not
15approve an agency request for money from the appropriation under s. 20.865 (1) (dm)
16for a discretionary merit award that increases an employee's base compensation.
SB285,4 17Section 4. 62.13 (4) (d) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB285,7,1018 62.13 (4) (d) The examination shall be free for all U.S. citizens over 18 and
19under 55 years of age, with proper limitations as to health and, subject to ss. 111.321,

1111.322, and 111.335, arrest and conviction record. The examination, including
2minimum training and experience requirements, shall be job-related in compliance
3with appropriate validation standards and shall be subject to the approval of the
4board and may include tests of manual skill and physical strength. All relevant
5experience, whether paid or unpaid, shall satisfy experience requirements. The
6board shall control examinations and may designate and change examiners, who
7may or may not be otherwise in the official service of the city, and whose
8compensation shall be fixed by the board and paid by the city. Veterans and their
9spouses shall be given preference points in accordance with s. 230.16 (7) 63.08 (1)
SB285,5 11Section 5. 63.08 (1) (f) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
SB285,7,1512 63.08 (1) (f) 1. The commission may not impose any restriction as to age on any
13veteran who is applying or eligible for a position under this section. The commission
14shall give preference points to veterans and their spouses under s. 230.16 (7) par.
, except as provided under subd. 2.
SB285,6 16Section 6. 63.08 (1) (f) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
SB285,7,1917 63.08 (1) (f) 2. Notwithstanding s. 230.16 (7), persons Persons shall be certified
18from the eligible list under s. 63.05 (1) (b) without adding any preference points to
19any person's grade.
SB285,7 20Section 7. 63.08 (1) (f) 3. of the statutes is amended to read:
SB285,8,221 63.08 (1) (f) 3. After the certification under subd. 2., any veteran or veteran's
22spouse whose grade, plus the points to which the veteran or spouse is entitled under
23s. 230.16 (7) par. (fm), is equal to or higher than the lowest grade on the list made
24under subd. 2. shall be added to the certification list under s. 63.05 (1) (b). The

1number of persons added to a certification list under this subdivision may not exceed
2the number of persons initially certified under subd. 2.
SB285,8 3Section 8. 63.37 of the statutes is amended to read:
SB285,8,13 463.37 Board to keep a register of eligibles. From the returns or reports of
5the examiners, or from the examinations made by the board, the board shall prepare
6and keep a register for each grade or class of position in the service of such city, of
7the persons whose general average standing upon examinations for such grade or
8class is not less than the minimum fixed by the rules of such board, and who are
9otherwise eligible, and such persons shall take rank upon the register as candidates
10in the order of their relative excellence as determined by examination without
11reference to priority of time of examination. The board shall impose no restrictions
12as to age in case of veterans, and veterans and their spouses shall be given preference
13points in accordance with s. 230.16 (7) 63.08 (1) (fm).
SB285,9 14Section 9. 63.39 (2m) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB285,8,2015 63.39 (2m) Notwithstanding s. 230.16 (7) 63.08 (1) (fm), the board shall certify
16persons from the list of eligibles without adding preference points to their grades.
17After the certification under sub. (1) or (2), the board shall add to the certification list
18any veteran or veteran's spouse whose grade, plus the points to which the veteran
19or spouse is entitled under s. 230.16 (7) 63.08 (1) (fm), is equal to or higher than the
20lowest grade on the list of eligibles.
SB285,10 21Section 10. 66.0509 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB285,9,922 66.0509 (1) Any city or village may proceed under s. 61.34 (1), 62.11 (5) or
2366.0101 to establish a civil service system of selection, tenure and status, and the
24system may be made applicable to all municipal personnel except the chief executive
25and members of the governing body, members of boards and commissions including

1election officials, employees subject to s. 62.13, members of the judiciary and
2supervisors. Any town may establish a civil service system under this subsection.
3For veterans there shall be no restrictions as to age, and veterans and their spouses
4shall be given preference points in accordance with s. 230.16 (7) 63.08 (1) (fm). The
5system may also include uniform provisions in respect to attendance, leave
6regulations, compensation and payrolls for all personnel included in the system. The
7governing body of any city, village or town establishing a civil service system under
8this section may exempt from the system the librarians and assistants subject to s.
943.09 (1).
SB285,11 10Section 11. 230.01 (2) of the statutes is renumbered 230.01 (2) (a) and
11amended to read:
SB285,9,1512 230.01 (2) (a) It is the policy of the state and the responsibility of the director
13and the administrator to maintain a system of personnel management which fills
14positions in the classified service through methods which apply the merit principle,
15with adequate civil service safeguards.
SB285,9,21 16(b) It is the policy of this state to provide for equal employment opportunity by
17ensuring that all personnel actions including hire, tenure or term, and condition or
18privilege of employment be based on the ability to perform the duties and
19responsibilities assigned to the particular position without regard to age, race, creed
20or religion, color, disability, sex, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, or
21political affiliation.