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In 2021, Wisconsin’s Republican-led legislature passed a bill to extend work hours for some teenagers, which was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. 

The bill would have permitted employers to schedule teens younger than 16 to start work at 6 a.m. Employers could schedule teens until 9:30 p.m. if the next day was a school day and 11 p.m. if there was no school. 

The bill only applied to businesses not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, which are those making more than $500,000 annually. One sponsor said “small mom and pop” businesses would benefit the most.  

The Assembly passed the bill on a party-line vote. The Senate passed the bill with an “audible” dissent in the voice vote. In his veto message, Evers said the bill would “create two separate systems of work requirements for employers” and “could result unintended consequences.”

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Wisconsin State Legislature: 2021 Senate Bill 332 | Text

Wisconsin State Legislature: 2021 Senate Bill 332 | History

Wisconsin Examiner: Bill allowing later work hours for younger teens passes divided Assembly

NBC15: Wisconsin Senate bill would allow some teens to work later hours

Wisconsin State Legislature: Evers Veto Message SB332

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Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.