The Wisconsin Supreme Court split Thursday on a lawsuit challenging Milwaukee’s paid sick leave ordinance. Seventy percent of Milwaukee voters approved a binding referendum nearly two years ago, which would require employers to give paid sick leave. The Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce sued to block the mandate from taking effect, calling it unconstitutional and unworkable. In June of last year Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Thomas R. Cooper agreed, ruling the ordiance “invalidly enacted and unconstitutional.” Cooper’s decision was appealed by the workers’ rights group 9-to-5.
Justices Michael Gableman, David Prosser and Patience Roggensack voted to uphold Cooper’s decision, with Justices Shirley Abrahamson, Ann Walsh Bradley and Patrick Crooks voting to overturn. Justice Annette Ziegler abstained from the case. The court’s ruling sends the case to the appeals court for further review.