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EmploymentLauren E. Maddente


Anyone who has ever applied for a license to work in a regulated occupation is aware that the process can be incredibly cumbersome.

A new Wisconsin law should make the process smoother and hopefully faster.

The bipartisan legislation (2021 Wisconsin 118) signed by Governor Evers on December 9, 2021, aims to fast-track the occupational licensing process.

This law applies to many occupations, including general contractors, dentists, nurses, bartenders, social workers, cosmetologists, manicurists, counselors, and emergency medical technicians.

Prior to the law’s enactment, an application for an occupational license would go to one of the State’s nearly 300 credentialing boards for review.

Cumbersome procedures and requirements followed.

Under the new law, the Department of Safety and Professional Services (“DSPS”) must review and forward the application to the applicable licensing board, with a recommendation for approval, denial, or conditional approval.

If DSPS forwards the application recommending it be approved, the law requires that the relevant board approve the application.

If the board does not act to approve the application within ten business days of its receipt from DSPS, the application will be deemed approved, with any conditions recommended by DSPS.

The law also authorizes licensing boards to delegate authority to DSPS itself, to decide whether an occupational license application should be approved or denied.

Since DSPS has been delegated such authority, it must approve, conditionally approve, or deny the application at this first step.

The law authorizes DSPS and the licensing boards to promulgate rules to effectuate its provisions.

If rules are proposed, the process should begin in the next few months.

FOS will continue to monitor these developments.

If you have any questions about this new law, general employment issues, or any other legal matter, contact your FOS attorney.