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Dems work to expand state's layoff notification law

Some Democratic state legislators want to make sure you know your options if you lose your job or your home.

Sen. Pat Kreitlow, Chippwa Falls, and Rep. Kristen Dexter, Eau Claire, plan to introduce a bill this month to expand the state's layoff notification law.

They want to make employers notify their local workforce development boards as well as the Commerce Department 60 days in advance of a large layoff affecting 50 or more employees.

Firms would also have to give information to laid-off workers about getting unemployment benefits.

Kreitlow says he's hearing about companies that refuse to provide even basic information to help employees move on, but he says many do.

Meanwhile, Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, and Rep. Leon Young, D- Milwaukee, want to make sure those who default on their home mortgages are told about their rights to mediation before getting foreclosed upon.

Their bill would make financial institutions give mediation request forms to borrowers as the first step in any foreclosure proceeding. The bill would then give homeowners two weeks to request mediation, in which a third party seeks to resolve a dispute before it goes to court.

Taylor says borrowers could stay in their homes until the mediation is finished.