As we noted in our blog of April 9th, Wisconsin still-Governor Scott Walker signed into law a bill which repealed the state’s 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act by eliminating compensatory and punitive damages to plaintiffs who prove employment discrimination.

The Daily Beast reported that the prior law, which banned discrimination based on race, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and other factors, was enacted to deal with gender pay disparaties.  

Steven Verburg now reports in the Wisconsin State Journal that veterans groups — the Wisconsin Association of Concerned Veterans Organizations executive board and Wisconsin’s Council on Veterans Programs, which advises the state Department of Veterans Affairs – claim that “Military veterans are the big losers” under the new law.  They contend that there are similar limits on available damages to veterans who sue in federal court, but that these limitations do not apply to other protected classes under the federal law.

Accordingly, says one Wisconsin employment lawyer, the new state law, by tracking federal law and eliminating compensatory and punitive damages for veterans, leaves vets with no remedy for damages arising out of stressful deployments and “the kinds of emotional pain and suffering that compensatory damages are meant to address.”