Latest from KEW Tips

On January 29, 2021 OSHA released guidance to help employers and employees identify risks related to exposure to and contracting of COVID-19 at work. This guidance is intended to apply to most workplace settings, but specifically does not apply to healthcare or emergency response settings/workplaces. The guidance contains recommendations that are advisory in nature and informational in content, as well as reiterating mandatory safety and health standards. It does not create new obligations or new standards to help employers comply with their obligations to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards. Information for Workers OSHA reminds workers and employees of…
Public Health Madison & Dane County (“PHMDC”) recently issued Emergency Order #13, to go into effect at 12:01am on February 10, 2021, replacing Emergency Order #12, which expires at the same time. Citing a reduction in the 7-day case average and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 countywide, PHMDC is, generally, loosening restrictions. In its introductory remarks in Order #13, PHMDC notes that their “conscious, stepwise reopening” has likely contributed to Dane County “having one of the lowest case rates in the state despite it being a population center.” PHMDC notes that as of February 7, a…
Some interesting developments in Wisconsin’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic occurred on February 4, 2021. Specifically, the existence of an official state of emergency changed multiple times. What was the situation as of the morning of February 4? As of Thursday morning, a state of emergency existed in Wisconsin, which had been issued by Governor Evers under Section 323.10 of the Wisconsin Statutes. This allows the Governor to declare a state of emergency lasting up to 60 days. While under a state of emergency, the Governor has certain powers, such as the ability to “issue such orders as he or…
February 6, 2020:Yay! Gift card to my favorite store, “Rad Stuff, Ltd.” OMG, thank you for the best birthday present ever! I can’t wait to go there! February 7, 2021: Oh, yeah I got a gift card to Rad for my birthday last year, I’m going to finally use it! Expires February 6, 2020? Ugh, that sucks. Oh well, guess I’ll toss it. BUT WAIT!!!! The federal government is looking out for consumers! Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act In 2009, Obama signed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act or (“CARD Act”) into action. CARD prohibits expiration…
On Sunday, December 27, President Trump signed into law a general government funding and appropriations bill that included several Coronavirus Response and Relief provisions. The COVID-19 provisions address continued unemployment benefits, provide funding for schools and day cares to operate safely, extend the CDC eviction moratorium, fund another round of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP), and modify some of the rules regarding PPP forgiveness. Stimulus Payments Individuals making less than $75,000 per year, based on their 2019 tax return, will receive $600. Just as with the previous stimulus payment, the benefit decreases $5 for every $100 earned over the $75,000.…
Effective this morning, Dane County Public Health has issued Emergency Order #11, in response to an improvement in COVID numbers in Dane County. As the order omits mandatory school closure, the Public Health Department also released guidance for schools considering reopening in person instruction. What has changed under Emergency Order #11? Mass Gatherings Citing a decline in the 7-day average in the amount of positive cases in Dane County, as well as a  decline in the odds that any one person in a group of 10, 15 or 25 people would test positive for COVID-19, the Public Health Department…
On April 18, 2018, Governor Walker signed 2017 WI Act 317 which contains several provisions pertaining to the rights of landlords and tenants. In general, the changes are landlord-friendly. The breadth of the act is too large in scope for this blog article. But, check back with KEW Tips for more laws affecting landlords. This article will focus on one aspect of the law: Emotional Support Animals, because who doesn’t love our furry (and not so furry) friends? Emotional Support Animals Emotional Support Animals (“ESAs”) are defined as follows: an animal that provides emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship to…
In response to a continued increase in the number of COVID cases, Dane County, through Public Health Madison & Dane County, has issued Emergency Order #10, which took effect at 12:01 a.m. on November 18, 2020 and will remain in effect until December 16, 2020.  The order keeps all restrictions and other primary aspects of the previous order in place, including keeping the county in Phase 2 of Forward Dane, with most businesses allowed to operate at 50% capacity, and restaurants at 25% capacity. The biggest changes in this order are the following: (1) Indoor Mass Gatherings are prohibited. (2)…
Effective November 2, 2020 Wisconsin employers will be required to provide all departing employees, regardless of the reason for the separation with the company, written notice regarding Unemployment Insurance Benefits. What Should the Notice Say? The DWD has suggested language to be included in the notice to be given to employees, including the following: That the employee may file an unemployment claim in the first week that employment stops or work hours are reduced. That the employer direct the employee to the already required Unemployment Insurance poster for information on how and when to apply for benefits. DWD has additional…
In a sequel to our most recent KEW Tip (Evers’ 25% Public Gatherings Limitations Stands; Appeals Expected), a Wisconsin Court of Appeals granted interlocutory review, as well as a temporary injunction, to plaintiffs seeking to overturn the 25% capacity limit issued by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services in Emergency Order #3. As we discussed previously, a judge in Wisconsin in Barron County denied a request for an injunction filed by the Tavern League of Wisconsin and two pro-life groups. The plaintiffs argued that Emergency Order #3 exceeded the powers of the Secretary of the Department of…
On September 22, Governor Evers signed an order, Executive Order #90, declaring a public health emergency across the state, along with a mandatory mask order.  Our analysis regarding the statewide mask order is in this KEW Tips article, Governor Evers Extends Statewide Mask Order. On October 6, Andrea Palm of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, issue Emergency Order #3, limiting indoor public gatherings to 25% of maximum capacity, saving for specific exempt activities. You can see KEW’s write up of Emergency Order #3  in KEW Tips:  Wisconsin Department of Health Services Places Statewide Limits Upon Public Gatherings.…
As COVID-19 cases continue a rapid increase throughout the state, Governor Evers directed the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to issue Emergency Order #3 (“EO 3”), to go into effect on October 8. EO 3 limits public gatherings throughout the state until November 6, 2020. For our Dane County readers, please note that this order does not replace current local Dane County order, which can be found at Public Health of Madison & Dane County. Also, we previously broke down the current Dane County Order KEW Tips, in our article titled: Dane County Requires Face Masks Starting July 13
October 21, 2015. Photo by Beth Skogen Photography.   On this day, five years ago, Jessica, Leslie and Nick officially opened up shop as Kramer, Elkins & Watt, LLC. As we celebrate five fabulous years with mostly ups and a few downs, we thought it would be fun to do an alternative post with some fun KEW facts.   How did the three KEW partners originally meet? All three worked at a law firm located on the west side of Madison.   Whose idea was it to start KEW? Nick got the ball rolling by approaching Jessica with the idea,…
On September 22, Governor Evers announced a new Declaration of Public Health Emergency and  Emergency Order requiring face coverings as the orders issued in July reach their expiration dates. Our analysis of the previous orders can be found here (along with a comparison to the Dane County mask order). Largely, the orders mirror the orders issued in late July. Citing the continued rise of COVID cases, Governor Evers reissued the declaration of a public health emergency under Wis. Stat. § 323.10 and 323.12, which gives him authority, among other powers to “Issue such orders as he deems necessary for the…
Compliance concept with icons and text. Regulations, law, standards, requirements, audit diagram on virtual screen. A flurry of federal and local legislation has been passed in the past five or so months pertaining to COVID. And, although we have blogged about most of this information in the past, the following is a brief rundown of what you need to know now, with hyperlinks to previous, more in-depth explanations. For employers in Dane County, the best place for the most up to date information is the Public Health, Madison & Dane County website. Dane County Employers must do the following:…
On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued an executive order and three presidential memoranda to address concerns created by the COVID pandemic. The Executive Order addressed assistance for renters and homeowners while the memoranda addressed student loan relief, deferring the payroll tax, and unemployment benefits. What is the difference between an executive order and a presidential memorandum? Very little. Both are directives issued by the President of the United States to govern actions by government officials and agencies. The significant differences are that: (1) the President, in an executive order, must cite to the authority the President to issue the…