November 10, 2022
Wisconsin Supreme Court Issues Per Curiam Decision on Right-to-Work Case
The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued its first decision of the 2022-23 term on Nov. 4, a per curiam ruling in which the court dismissed as improvidently granted the review of a per curiam Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision.
Jeff M. Brown
Nov. 10, 2022 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued its first decision of the 2022-23 term on Nov. 4, a per curiam ruling in which the court dismissed as improvidently granted the review of a per curiam Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision.
That decision, Slamka v. General Heating and Air Conditioning Inc., 2020AP128 (March 11, 2021), involved a Dane County Circuit Court ruling that affirmed the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission’s (WERC) dismissal of a job seeker’s complaint against General Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. under Wis. Stat. section 111.04(3)(a).
Jeff M. Brown is a legal writer for the State Bar of Wisconsin, Madison. He can be reached by
email or by phone at (608) 250-6126.
Known as Wisconsin’s “right-to-work” law, section 111.04(3)(a) prohibits requiring a person: 1) to refrain from joining a labor organization or resign membership in a labor organization; or 2) to become or remain a member of a labor organization, as a condition of obtaining or continuing his or her employment.
In Slamka, a three-judge panel for Court of Appeals District II held that WERC properly dismissed Slamka’s complaint on the grounds that the complaint was pre-empted by the National Labor Relations Act.
Justice Ann Walsh Bradley wrote a concurrence to the supreme court’s decision. She argued that the supreme court should have explained why it dismissed its review of the court of appeals decision.
“An examination of such dismissals in recent years reveals a largely inconsistent practice with regard to whether this court provides any explanation for its decision,” Justice A.W. Bradley wrote. “The result of the court’s inconsistent practice is a lack of guidance for potential litigants and the public, as well as an effective negation of numerous hours of work and sums of money spent seeking a decision on the merits.”
Justice Rebecca Dallet joined A.W. Bradley’s concurrence.