(1) Required frequency of payments. Every employer shall as often as monthly pay to every employee engaged in the employer's business, except those employees engaged in logging operations and farm labor, all wages earned by the employee to a day not more than 31 days prior to the date of payment. Employees engaged in logging operations and farm labor shall be paid all earned wages no less often than at regular quarterly intervals. Any employee who is absent at the time fixed for payment or who for any other reason is not paid at that time shall be paid thereafter at any time upon 6 days' demand. The required frequency of wage payments provided in this subsection does not apply to any of the following:
(a) Employees covered under a valid collective bargaining agreement establishing a different frequency for wage payments, including deferred payments exercised at the option of employees.
(b) School district and private school employees who voluntarily request payment over a 12-month period for personal services performed during the school year, unless, with respect to private school employees, the employees are covered under a valid collective bargaining agreement which precludes this method of payment.
(c) Employees of the University of Wisconsin System other than university staff, as defined in s. 36.05(15) .
(d) Employees who receive compensatory time off under s. 103.025 in lieu of overtime compensation.
(e) A part-time fire fighter or a part-time emergency medical services practitioner, as defined in s. 256.01(5) , who is a member of a volunteer fire department or emergency medical services program maintained by a county, city, village, or town or of a volunteer fire company organized under ch. 181 or ch. 213 and who, by agreement between the fire fighter or emergency medical services practitioner and the entity employing the fire fighter or emergency medical services practitioner, is paid at regular intervals, but no less often than annually.
(2) Payment to discharged or resigned employees. Any employee, except a sales agent employed on a commission basis, not having a written contract for a definite period, who quits employment or who is discharged from employment shall be paid in full by no later than the date on which the employee regularly would have been paid under the employer's established payroll schedule or the date of payment required under sub. (1), whichever is earlier.
(3) Payment upon death of employee. (a) In case of the death of an employee to whom wages are due, the full amount of the wages due shall upon demand be paid by the employer to the spouse, domestic partner under ch. 770, children, or other dependent living with the employee at the time of death.
(b) An employer may, not less than 5 days after the death of an employee and before the filing of a petition or application for administration of the decedent's estate, make payments of the wage due the deceased employee to the spouse, domestic partner under ch. 770, children, parents, or siblings of the decedent, giving preference in the order listed.
(c) If none of the persons listed in par. (b) survives, the employer may apply the payment of the wage or so much of the wage as may be necessary to paying creditors of the decedent in the order of preference prescribed in s. 859.25 for satisfaction of debts by personal representatives.
(d) The making of payment in the manner described in this subsection shall discharge and release the employer to the amount of the payment.
(4) Payment to certain separated employees. Whenever an employee is separated from the payroll of an employer as a result of the employer merging, liquidating or otherwise disposing of the business, ceasing business operations in whole or in part, or relocating all or part of the business to another area within or without the state, the employer, or the successors in interest of the employer, shall pay all unpaid wages to the employee at the usual place of payment within 24 hours of the time of separation.
(5) Enforcement. Except as provided in sub. (1), no employer may by special contract with employees or by any other means secure exemption from this section. Each employee shall have a right of action against any employer for the full amount of the employee's wages due on each regular pay day as provided in this section and for increased wages as provided in s. 109.11(2) , in any court of competent jurisdiction. An employee may bring an action against an employer under this subsection without first filing a wage claim with the department under s. 109.09(1) . An employee who brings an action against an employer under this subsection shall have a lien upon all property of the employer, real or personal, located in this state as described in s. 109.09(2) .
(6) Wage claim. In an action by an employee or the department against the employer on a wage claim, no security for payment of costs is required. In any such proceeding the court may allow the prevailing party, in addition to all other costs, a reasonable sum for expenses. No person other than an employee or the department shall be benefited or otherwise affected by this subsection.
(7) Protection of employees. Section 111.322(2m) applies to discharge and other discriminatory acts arising in connection with any proceeding under this section.
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