Latest from KEW Tips

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…
Citing a rise in COVID cases across Wisconsin, Governor Evers issued two new orders on July 30, 2020. First, he issued Executive Order #82, declaring Wisconsin to be in a state of public health emergency for the next 60 days (the maximum period allowed by state law). State law authorizes Govern Evers to issue “such orders as he deems necessary for the security of persons and property” during a public health emergency.  One provision of the Governor’s declaration authorizes the commander of the Wisconsin National Guard to activate the Guard as necessary to provide personnel and support for the August…
In response to an increase in COVID cases, Dane County, through Public Health Madison & Dane County, has issued an Emergency Order #8, to take effect beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, July 13 and remain in effect until further notice.  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. The biggest change in this order is that it requires the wearing of a face mask (face covering) while indoors, with specific requirements as follows: Who Does the Mask Order Apply to? Everyone aged…
  On June 15, 2020, The Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in Bostock v. Clayton County.  In a 6-3 decision, the Court found that protections in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extend to homosexual and transgender employees. Employers across the country may no longer discriminate against LGTBQ employees, linking disparate treatment based on an employee’s sexual orientation or preference to discrimination based upon sex, something explicitly forbidden by the Civil Rights Act.   If I Run a Business in Wisconsin, Does This Affect Me? Wisconsin state anti-discrimination laws already explicitly prohibit discrimination based upon sexual…
In response to rising COVID case numbers in and around Madison, Dane County has released new, more restrictive rules to enforce social distancing. Dane County is still in Phase 2, but has made the following changes. The new rule, Dane County Emergency Order #7  (“Order #7) goes into effect on July 2, 2020, at 8am.   Rules for Businesses Businesses must place Public Health of Dane County’s “Workplace Requirements for Employers and Workers” in a prominent location where all employees may access and view it. The County noted that these restrictions will be in place for at least one month…
In May 2020, the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin released its decision in State v. Troy Lasecki, affirming that a landlord could face a misdemeanor conviction for failing to properly account for a security deposit or failure to return it without good reason. Before looking at what happened in this case, a brief discussion of security deposit laws may be helpful. Section 704.28 of the Wisconsin statutes obliges a landlord to return a tenant’s security deposit, minus acceptable withholding, no later than 21 days after the end of the tenancy. A provision of the administrative code which is enforced by…
As you may have heard, Dane County has moved to Phase 2 of its Forward Dane Reopening Plan. This is provided in Dane County Emergency Order # 5 (“Phase Two Order”) which looks substantially similar to Emergency Order #4 (“Phase One Order”) which announced Phase One. Parts of the Phase Two Order are pasted below: added/changed text is bold; Phase One Order Text that has been removed from the Phase Two Order is [italicized in brackets]: Notes from KEW are in bold italics. 2. Mass Gatherings. A Mass Gathering is a planned event with a large number of individuals in…
Are you prepared for Phase One of Forward Dane?  This afternoon, Friday, May 22, 2020, Public Health Madison Dane County issued Emergency Order #3 which moves Dane County into Phase One of Forward Dane starting on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.  The text of today’s Order #3 can be found here. On May 18, 2020, Public Health Madison Dane County had issued Emergency Order #2 – its stay at home order – and its phased reopening plan, Forward Dane. Today’s order outlines much of what was already outlined in Forward Dane but focuses only on Phase One. …