The American Legislative Exchange Council, or as it is commonly known ALEC, according to their website, is “America’s largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislatures dedicated to the principles of limited government”. It’s current legislative agenda is to try to stop increases in the minimum wage and the mandatory sick leave movement as it sees it as having a negative effect on workers. But in order to keep the minimum wage low or as ALEC describes it; “Maximizing the freedom of businesses and employees to negotiate their own wages” they not only have to convince state legislatures not to raise the minimum wage or provide mandated sick leave, but have to convince all local governments as well. This is a tough job as there are thousands of local entities such as cities and counties that could decide to raise the minimum wage or enforce mandatory sick leave. So ALEC takes the approach to tackle this from the head down by convincing state legislatures that they need to pass laws that prohibit any local entity from passing any type of minimum wage or benefit increase that does not equal the state level. At this task they are making headway. The latest state to buy into ALEC and bar local governments from passing a minimum wage or benefits ordinance is Wisconsin.
New legislation, A748, prohibits counties, cities, and towns from enacting ordinances that: (1) establish or mandate local hour and overtime requirements, including scheduling employee work hours or shifts; and (2) require employers to provide employment benefits, including a retirement, pension, profit sharing, insurance, or leave benefit. The legislation does allow prospective employers to solicit salary information from previous employers and preempts counties, cities, and towns from prohibiting such solicitation. The bill is effective as of March 30, 2018.