Wisconsin Judge Reinstates Emergency Order Restricting Indoor Gatherings

Update 10/26/2020

The statewide indoor capacity restrictions in Emergency Order #3 are not enforceable, at least for now. On October 23, 2020, a Wisconsin court of appeals reinstated a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the statewide restrictions. The court of appeals decision follows conflicting rulings from two district courts on whether Emergency Order #3 should be enforced pending the outcome of the lawsuits filed against Governor Evers’ administration.

This is a constantly evolving issue. Employers should ensure they are following the current state and local public health restrictions applicable to their organization. Summaries of the public health orders can be found here.


10/20/2020

On October 19, 2020, Barron County Circuit Judge James C. Babler reinstated Emergency Order #3, which limits indoor gatherings throughout Wisconsin to no more than 25% of the total occupancy limit for the room or building. DHS Secretary Andrea Palm’s Emergency Order #3, effective from October 8 until November 6, 2020, exempts schools, polling locations, political rallies, churches, and some businesses, such as grocery stores. On October 14, 2020, a Sawyer County district court had temporarily blocked the Order in response to a lawsuit from state Tavern League members, who argued that Secretary Palm did not have authority to pass the statewide limitations.

Immediately following Judge Babler’s decision to uphold the statewide restrictions, Governor Evers issued a press release stating, “This critically important ruling will help us prevent the spread of this virus by restoring limits on public gatherings. This crisis is urgent.” See Lake Effect’s prior blog on Emergency Order #3.
As a reminder, employers must comply with any local public health orders such as those in Dane County that impose stricter requirements than those set forth in Emergency Order #3. See Lake Effect’s summary of local health orders.

The Lake Effect team will continue to monitor important COVID-related updates such as these from federal, state, and local authorities. Please keep watching for blogs and emails from us for important legal updates and HR best practices. Contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

WI Emergency Order #3 – Statewide Limits on Indoor Public Gatherings

Indoor public gatherings are limited statewide starting on October 8, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. and ending on November 6, 2020 under Emergency Order #3. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm issued the order on October 6, 2020.

Emergency Order #3 restricts “public gatherings” to 25% or less of the established indoor capacity limit of a building or room. This applies to any business that is open to the public, including restaurants, retail stores, and office lobbies. If the building or room has no capacity limit (e.g., a home), public gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people. The order defines a “public gathering” as an “indoor event, convening, or collection of individuals, whether planned or spontaneous, that is open to the public and brings together people who are not part of the same household in a single room.”

The order places no restrictions on outdoor gatherings, such as outdoor seating areas at a restaurant or bar; on indoor spaces that are not open to the public, such as a manufacturing plant or an office building; or on invitation-only indoor gatherings.

Employers in counties or cities with their own local public health orders and guidance (such as Dane, Milwaukee, Outagamie, and Winnebago Counties) will need to determine the restrictions applicable to their organization. DHS’s Frequently Asked Questions clarifies that Emergency Order #3 supersedes the requirements in local orders that are less restrictive. Conversely, requirements in local orders that are more restrictive will continue to be enforced. For example, a restaurant in Dane County will be required to comply with the applicable restrictions in Dane County’s PHMDC Emergency Order #9 (see Lake Effect’s blogs on the PHMDC orders) and the 25% indoor capacity restriction in the new statewide Emergency Order #3.

Exempt from the order are:

  • Most childcare settings
  • Placements for children in out-of-home care, such as foster and group homes
  • 4K-12 schools
  • Institutions of higher education
  • Health care and public health operations
  • Human services operations
  • Public infrastructure operations
  • State and local government operations
  • Churches and other places of religious worship
  • Political rallies, demonstrations, and other speech protected by the First Amendment
  • State and federal facilities

The Lake Effect team will continue to monitor important COVID-related updates such as these from federal, state, and local authorities. Please keep watching for blogs and emails from us for important legal updates and HR best practices. Contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

Governor Evers Extends Statewide Mask Mandate and Public Health Emergency

On September 22, 2020 Governor Evers released two orders. Emergency Order #1 amends his earlier order to extend the statewide face mask mandate to November 21, 2020. This emergency order does not change the face mask requirements that were included in the previous mandate. Lake Effect’s summary of the requirements can be found here. Dane County and other local mask mandates also remain in effect. However, the Governor’s Emergency Order #1 supersedes any local order that is less restrictive.
Governor Evers also released Executive Order #90 declaring a public health emergency and designating the Department of Health Services as the lead agency to respond to the emergency. This order effectively extends the public health emergency previously declared in Executive Order #82.

The Lake Effect team will continue to monitor important COVID-related updates such as these from federal, state, and local authorities. Please keep watching for blogs and emails from us for important legal updates and HR best practices. Contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

Public Health Madison Dane County Issues Emergency Order #9

UPDATE

On September 1, 2020, PHMDC released Emergency Order #9 Amendment. The only change made to Emergency Order #9 was to allow for in-person instruction for students in any grade with a disability and/or with an IEP who may need to receive in-person instruction. This change is reflected in paragraph 4.d. on page 5 of the order.

*****

Prohibits In-Person Instruction for Grades 3-12

Effective Monday, August 24, 2020, public and private schools in Dane County may not hold in-person student instruction for students in third to twelfth grades under Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) Emergency Order #9. Schools may conduct kindergarten to second grade classes in-person with certain restrictions, including a requirement that the school also offer virtual learning options for its K-2 students. In order to open, schools must also adopt and distribute to staff PHMDC’s COVID response plan, which has not yet been posted.

Emergency Order #9 also modifies requirements applicable to child and youth care; expands the County’s face mask requirements; clarifies restrictions on religious groups; and changes the use of “bar” to “tavern,” as defined under Wisconsin statutes. The other requirements of PHMDC Emergency Order #8 remain unchanged.

School Closures

  • All school buildings and grounds – public and private – may open for in-person student instruction only for grades K-2. These schools must also offer a virtual option for students.
  • Although not included in the Emergency Order, PHMDC stated that it may consider reopening grades 3-5 for in-person instruction if Dane County sustains at or below a 14-day average of 39 cases per day for four consecutive weeks. For PHMDC to consider reopening grades 6-12 for in-person instruction, Dane County must sustain at or below a 14-day average of 19 cases per day for four consecutive weeks. PHMDC also noted that if there are more than 54 average cases per day over a two-week period, they would consider closing all schools to in-person instruction. We anticipate that PHMDC would provide orders when metrics permit reopening certain grades, or closing all grades.
  • Under revised requirements, all schools must:
    • Implement a hygiene policy and procedure (Section 4.d.i.), and a cleaning policy and procedure(Section 4.d.ii.)
      • PHMDC has not changed these policy requirements
    • Implement a written protective measure policy and procedure (Section 4.d.iii.) that includes several new requirements to ensure that:
      • When indoors and on buses, students age 5 and older and employees wear face masks and, to the greatest extent possible, maintain at least six feet distance from others.
      • Students and employees who cannot wear a face mask (based on the exceptions set forth in Section 2.c.) maintain at least six feet distancing from others when indoors and on buses.
      • Students and employees, to the greatest extent possible, maintain at least six feet distance from others when outside.
      • Student and employee groupings are as static as possible by having the same group of students stay with the same employees as much as possible. Mixing between groups must be restricted as much as possible.
      • While common areas (such as cafeterias and gyms) may be open, student groupings should be in distinct spaces within the common areas and not mix with one other.
    • Implement PHMDC’s action plan for COVID-19 cases
      • PHMDC will post this plan here when it is available
    • Document employee receipt, acknowledgment, or training on the cleaning, hygiene, and protective measure policies and the COVID action plan (Section 4.d.iv).
    • Post PHMDC’s workplace requirements poster in a location where it is easily viewed by all employees.
      • Employers can email this to all its employees if all or some of your school staff is working from home.

Modified Restrictions on Child and Youth Care

  • Groups or classrooms must be limited to 15 or fewer children regardless of the children’s ages.
    • Under previous orders, the limit was 25 children if they were all 13 years or older.
  • Organizations must also require children who are 5 years or older to maintain at least six feet apart to the greatest extent possible.

Expanded Face Coverings Requirements

  • A face covering is still required for all individuals age 5 or older. Children 2-5 years old are encouraged to wear a face covering. Note that PHMDC has clarified that children under the age of 2 should never wear a covering.
  • In addition to being required indoors, in line to enter a building, or in a vehicle with individuals outside of your home, face masks are now also required outdoors at a restaurant or tavern.
  • As a reminder, all organizations are required to post PHMDC’s “Face Covering” sign, or a similar sign, that is visible upon entering the property.
    • This posting requirement includes residential properties that have shared common indoor spaces, e.g. hallways, lobbies, mailrooms.
  • Recall that a face covering is defined as “a piece of cloth or other materials that is worn to cover the nose and mouth completely.” This may include a bandana, cloth face mask, a disposable or paper face mask, a neck gaiter, or a religious face covering. It does not include a face shield, mesh mask, a mask with holes or openings, or a mask with vents.

Religious Group Gatherings

  • PHMDC clarified that religious entities are exempt from mass gathering requirements only for religious services and practices.

Violations of this order are considered ordinance violations and are enforceable by any local law enforcement official.

The Lake Effect team will continue to monitor important updates such as these from Dane County and other counties across the state. Please keep watching for blogs and emails from us for important legal updates and HR best practices. Contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

FFCRA & FLSA Updated Guidance From The Department Of Labor

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently updated its COVID-19 guidance related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This guidance from DOL addresses questions employers may confront as their communities face new public health orders and in-person school closures and delays.

FFCRA Guidance

As a reminder, employees may be eligible for up to 80 hours of leave under FFCRA’s Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and up to 12 weeks of leave under FFCRA’s Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA). See our FFCRA Overview for the particular requirements of each leave program.

Employers should also note that a district court in New York recently struck down several significant FFCRA regulations, including those EPSLA regulations related to employees on temporary layoff or furlough and the expansive scope of the healthcare provider exemption for both EPSLA and EFLMLEA leaves. The impact of the ruling is not clear at this point, and we expect more information in the near future. We will keep you posted in our blogs about any changes to FFCRA as a result of that legal process and other lawsuits that are currently pending. In the interim, employers should contact legal counsel before denying a FFCRA leave request.

DOL’s guidance on FFCRA includes almost 100 frequently asked questions about the leave programs. Three that are of particular significance relate to virtual school and returning employees:

  • Online Schools Are “Closed”
    • Under the guidance, a school that has moved to an online platform for instruction is “closed” for purposes of FFCRA. (Question #70) This means that employees may be eligible to take up to a total of 14 weeks of continuous or intermittent EPSLA and EFMLEA leave to care for a child whose school is operating virtually. Although not specifically addressed by DOL, this guidance would also apply to schools operating a hybrid model. Under the hybrid model, the school is “closed” on those days in which a student cannot attend the physical school but open on those days when in-person instruction is offered.
    • If the school offers an option for virtual or in-person instruction, the school is not “closed” and FFCRA leave is not available for caregivers who choose the virtual option.
    • Employees who used some of their leave in the spring or summer when schools were closed due to COVID-19 are entitled to use their remaining amount in the fall if they are otherwise eligible.
  • Requiring a Negative COVID-19 Test Before Returning to Work
    • According to DOL, employers may require that an employee test negative for COVID-19 before returning to work from FFCRA leave as long as this requirement applies to all employees. (Question #94)
    • However, requiring a negative test is not mandatory. Dane County employers should note that PHMDC now strongly recommends against requiring employees to test negative before returning to work. Instead, employers may rely on the CDC (or your local public health department) guidelines for monitoring symptoms over a period of time.
  • Employers May Not Discriminate Based on Use of or Eligibility for FFCRA Leave
    • Employers may not use an employee’s request for FFCRA leave, or an assumption that the employee will request leave, to make any employment decision, including whether to recall an employee from furlough. (Question #97)

FLSA Guidance

DOL added important clarifications for non-exempt and exempt employees in its updated FLSA guidance. The updates include:

  • Flexible Scheduling for Non-Exempt Employees
    • To allow “needed flexibility” during the pandemic, employers that allow their non-exempt employees to work remotely with flexible schedules do not need to count all of the time between the first and last work activity during the day as hours worked. Instead, employers only need to pay for those hours actually worked. (Question #15)
    • This flexibility allows “windowed work” for non-exempt employees. Windowed work is breaking up a workday into blocks – or windows – of business and personal time while working from home.
  • Changes to Exempt Employees’ Job Duties and/or Salaries
    • As long as employers continue to pay the required minimum weekly salary of $684, employers may temporarily require exempt employees to perform non-exempt job duties and may prospectively reduce exempt employees’ salaries due to economic reasons related to COVID-19. (Questions #16 and #19)
    • Note that exempt employees must be paid their full salary for any week during which they perform any work, with the exception of their first and last workweeks.

We are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace. Keep watching for blogs and emails from your Lake Effect team for important legal updates and HR best practices. The attorneys and HR professionals at Lake Effect HR & Law are ready and willing to help. Contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

WI Public Health Emergency and Statewide Mask Mandate

On July 30, 2020, Governor Evers released two Executive Orders: Executive Order #82 declares a Public Health Emergency through September 28, 2020; Emergency Order #1 mandates face coverings statewide starting August 1, 2020. Please also see Frequently Asked Questions to clarify the mask mandate.

Individuals ages 5 and older will be required to wear face coverings in all indoor or enclosed spaces, other than their private residences, and when others who are not members of the individual’s household or living unit are in the same room or enclosed space. The Order also encourages individuals to wear masks “in other settings, including outdoors when it is not possible to maintain physical distancing.” Emergency Order #1 provides the following clarifying definitions:

  • Enclosed space” is defined as “a confined space open to the public where individuals congregate, including but not limited to outdoor bars, outdoor restaurants, taxis, public transit, ride-share vehicles, and outdoor park structures.”
  • Face covering” is defined as “a piece of cloth or other material that is worn to cover the nose and mouth completely.” Further, the Order notes that “[a] ‘face covering’ includes but is not limited to a bandana, a cloth face mask, a disposable or paper mask, a neck gaiter, or a religious face covering. A ‘face covering’ does not include face shields, mesh masks, masks with holes or openings, or masks with vents.”
  • Physical distancing” is defined as “maintaining at least six feet of distance from other individuals who are not members of your household or living unit.”

Individuals do not need to wear face coverings:

  • at a private residence with only the members of their household or living unit;
  • outside when able to physically distance;
  • indoors when no one else is present in a room or enclosed space;
  • when eating or drinking;
  • when in a car alone or with members of their household or living unit;
  • when communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, and communicating while wearing a mask is not possible;
  • while sleeping;
  • while swimming or being on duty as a lifeguard;
  • when giving a religious, political, media, educational, artistic, cultural, musical, or theatrical presentation for an audience, so long as there is at least 6 feet between the presenter and other individuals;
  • when working if wearing a face covering poses a safety risk, as determined by government safety guidelines or regulations;
  • when there is a need to temporarily remove a face covering to confirm identity, such as entering a bank, credit union, or other financial institution or when having to show that they match their identification card when buying alcohol;
  • when engaging in activities where federal or state law or regulations prohibit wearing a face covering.

Emergency Order #1 also notes exemptions from the mask mandate in the following circumstances:

  • children under the age of 2, but children between the ages of 2 and 5 are encouraged to wear face masks when physical distancing is not possible;
  • individuals who have trouble breathing;
  • individuals who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance;
  • individuals with medical conditions, intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, or other sensory sensitivities that prevent the individual from wearing
    a face covering. Of note, in such instances, individuals are not required to carry and provide documentation supporting such conditions and inability to wear a mask; and
  • incarcerated individuals.

Emergency Order #1 will be enforced by local and state officials, with violations possibly resulting in civil fines up to $200.
Please keep in mind that Dane County and other local mask mandates also remain in effect.
The Lake Effect team will continue to monitor important COVID-related updates such as these from federal, state, and local authorities. Please keep watching for blogs and emails from us for important legal updates and HR best practices. Contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

Emergency Order #8: Required Face Mask Poster for Customers and Visitors

Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) released another important update to Emergency Order #8. PHMDC is now requiring that all businesses post PHMDC’s Face Masks Required for Customers and Visitors sign at any entrances of their building(s). This is designed to clarify that the PHMDC mask mandate applies to all customers and visitors, as well as employees, other than those who may have a qualifying disability. This requirement is effective immediately and is included under section 4(i) of Emergency Order #8. This new, required sign appears to replace PHMDC’s prior Face Masks for Customers Required sign which was encouraged, but not required, in Emergency Order #8.

We want to remind employers once again of the other existing and required PHMDC postings and policies:

The Lake Effect team will continue to monitor important updates such as these from Dane County and other counties across the state. Please keep watching for blogs and emails from us for important legal updates and HR best practices. Contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

PHMDC Emergency Order #8: Clarifications

We have some important clarifications of the mask requirements under Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) Emergency Order #8. During the Madison Chamber of Commerce’s Lunch (UP)date: Moving Forward with Forward Dane on July 9, 2020 (click link to see the webinar video), Chamber President Zach Brandon and various members of the PHMDC leadership provided important clarifying information about the mask requirements:

  • Employees must wear masks “whenever they could come in contact with others,” regardless of the distance between them. This means that even if employees are 6 or more feet apart in an office, workplace, or warehouse, they must wear masks because they could come in contact with one another. (See minutes 10:30 – 15:30)
  • If employees occupy individual offices or are alone in a conference or other room with a closed door and close the door, they may remove their masks. Organizations should establish a policy that if an employee’s or conference room’s door is closed, other employees should knock and request entry, then the employee inside can “mask up” and grant the other employee access.
  • Employees in cubicles need to wear a mask at all times, regardless of social distancing because they may come in contact with others by moving around their workspace or while others are walking past. The same holds true for employees who work significant distances apart in a warehouse or manufacturing facility, as they may come in contact with others at any time. (See minutes 10:30 – 15:30)
  • Employers must provide each employee with at least one (1) mask that covers the employee’s mouth and nose snugly. PHMDC anticipates this will be a cloth mask. If the employee loses or damages the mask, it is the employee’s responsibility to replace the mask. An employee may also wear their own mask if it satisfies the fit and coverage requirements by snugly covering the nose and mouth. Importantly, the PHMDC staff noted that face shields are not a substitute for masks, as they have been shown to provide insufficient protection. (See minutes 16:00 – 18:00)
  • If an employee indicates that they are unable to wear a mask due to having an ADA-qualifying disability, the employee must provide medical documentation to support that request. Then, following the customary ADA Interactive Dialogue Process, the employer and employee should engage in discussion to determine a reasonable accommodation. It is not a reasonable accommodation to be in the workplace without a mask. A reasonable accommodation may be to allow the employee to work remotely, to assign new job duties or location, or to provide Family Medical Leave. (See minutes 33:00 – 34:00)
  • If an employee refuses to comply with the mask order for other than an ADA-qualifying reason, the employer should remind staff of the PHMDC Order. If the employee still refuses, the employer may send the employee home without pay and follow the normal process to discipline an employee who fails to comply with your workplace rules. (See minutes 18:30 – 19:30)
  • If a customer/client refuses to wear a mask, a business owner may initially ask if the person is unable to wear a mask due to a disability and then must engage in an interactive discussion of accommodation of policies. This does not mean the customer can enter without a mask, it means that the business owner and customer develop a reasonable accommodation and provide alternate service such as bringing the product or food curbside, provide it to go, deliver the product to their home, etc. If the customer declines the reasonable alternative, that satisfies the interactive process and the business can refuse entry. In the unfortunate event that the discussion becomes confrontational, the business may contact authorities. (See minutes 24:00 -29:30)

The Lake Effect team will continue to monitor important updates such as these from Dane County and other counties across the state. Please keep watching for blogs and emails from us for important legal updates and HR best practices. Contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

Dane County Public Health Emergency Order #8

Addendums to this post:

Emergency Order #8: Required Face Mask Poster for Customers and Visitors

PHMDC Emergency Order #8: Clarifications


Starting Monday, July 13 at 8:00 a.m., individuals over 4 years old must wear a mask when inside and around people they do not live with under Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) Emergency Order #8. PHMDC also launched a webpage dedicated to providing additional information about the new order and face masks generally.

Most of the requirements in Emergency Order #7 remain in place. However, there are two important changes for employers:

  • All individuals age 5 or older must wear a face mask (or other face covering) that covers their nose and mouth
    • This face covering requirement applies when individuals are:
      • In any enclosed building where other people, except people who live together, could be present
      •  In line to enter any indoor space
      • In any public transportation, paratransit vehicle, taxi, private car service, ride-sharing vehicle, or any other vehicle for hire
    • Individuals may remove their face covering:
      • While eating or drinking
      • When communicating with an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing, and communication is impossible through other means
      • While obtaining a service that requires the temporary removal of a face mask
      • If necessary to confirm their identity
      • When a federal or state law prohibits the face covering
    • The following individuals are exempt from the requirement to wear a face covering:
      • Individuals who cannot wear a face mask due to government safety guidelines that apply to their work
      • Individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevent them from wearing a face covering
    • Organizations can, but are not required to, post PHMDC’s model “masks required” sign
  • Employers must revise their required protective measure policy
    • Organizations are required to implement hygiene, cleaning, and protective measure policies. Emergency Order #8 only changes the protective measure policy, which now must ensure:
      • Individuals are at least six feet from others whenever possible
      • Employees are provided with and wear face coverings at all times when indoors
        • Note: This means employers must provide masks to their Dane County employees.
    • Note that employers are required to document that employees receive, acknowledge, or are trained on the policy. For example, an email with the revised policy sent with read receipt likely satisfies this requirement. If you would like to schedule a meeting with us to discuss the policy requirements, prepare a customized policy and/or training for your organization, please contact us.

Violations of this order are considered ordinance violations and are enforceable by any local law enforcement official. PHMDC has created a new complaint team that will evaluate and address complaints.

The Lake Effect team will continue to monitor important updates such as these from Dane County and other counties across the state. Please keep watching for blogs and emails from us for important legal updates and HR best practices. Contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

Dane County Public Health Emergency Order #7

In response to the recent spike in the number of positive COVID-19 cases, Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) released Emergency Order #7 on July 1, 2020. This new order is effective July 2 at 8:00 a.m.

Determining that “planned phases are no longer useful,” PHMDC has also revised its Forward Dane plan. Dane County is in a rebound stage under the new Forward Dane. PHMDC will continue to monitor the same nine metrics but is modifying, at least for now, how and when the county re-opens.

The primary changes in Emergency Order #7 are:

  • Employers must post PHMDC’s Workplace Requirements for Employers and Workers guidance in a prominent location where all employees may view and access. If employees are working remotely, this may require emailing the poster to employees or posting it on an internal network.
  • Outdoor mass gatherings are limited to 25 people.
  • Indoor mass gatherings on any property are limited to 10 people.
  • Group fitness classes and all sports activities are under the restrictions for mass gatherings. They are therefore limited to 25 people outdoors and 10 people indoors, not including employees.
  • Indoor seating capacity at restaurants has been reduced to 25%.
  • Bars are prohibited from any indoor seating but may offer takeout service and outdoor seating.
    • Restaurant and bar seating continues to be restricted to tables 6 feet apart and limited to 6 people who are in the same household.
  •  Summer school classrooms are limited to no more than 15 students who are 12 years old or younger, and no more than 25 students who are 13 years old or older.

Emergency Order #7 has not changed the requirements that employers develop compliant workplace hygiene, cleaning, and protective measure policies, and document their employees’ receipt, acknowledgment, or training on the policies. If you would like to schedule a meeting with us to prepare a customized policy and/or training for your organization, please contact us.

Please see Forward Dane and the accompanying legal requirements set forth in Emergency Order #7 for details applicable to your industry. Below is a summary of Emergency Order #7.

Mass Gatherings

  • The following limited mass gatherings are permitted as long as people maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet
    • Inside with up to 10 people, not including employees
    • Outside with up to 25 people, not including employees
  • Mass gatherings include concerts, festivals, fairs, parades, movies, performances, shows, trainings, meetings, conferences, sporting events, group fitness classes, and sports activities for children and adults
    • Note that group fitness classes and all sports activities have been added to the definition of mass gatherings
    • Religious services are not mass gatherings
    • Drive-in movie theaters or other drive-in activities are not mass gatherings

Child Care, Youth, Education, Libraries, Public Spaces, and Sports

  • Childcare facilities must restrict groups and classrooms to no more than 15 children if the children are 12 years or younger, or no more than 25 children if the children are at least 13 years old
    • There should be no interaction between the groups or classrooms, and staff interaction between groups must be limited to the greatest extent feasible
  • Public playgrounds and splash pads are open, but physical distancing must be maintained
  • Public courts and fields are open, but physical distancing must be maintained
    • Games for low-risk sports – as defined in the order – are allowed if physical distancing is maintained
    • Games between teams for medium and high-risk sports – as defined in the order – are not allowed, but games within a team for medium and high-risk sports are allowed if physical distancing is maintained
    • All sports activities are subject to the mass gathering restrictions (25 people outdoors, and 10 people indoors)
  • K-12 schools may open for in person instruction and extracurricular activities if schools create, distribute, and implement the required hygiene, cleaning, and protective measure policies with their staff; and develop and implement a written action plan for a COVID-19 outbreak with certain items outlined in the order.
  • Continuing education and higher education institutions must maintain physical distancing to the greatest extent possible; may determine policies for safe operation; and must adopt strict policies to ensure safe living conditions before opening dorms and other congregate living situations

All Businesses, Libraries, Community Centers, and Religious Entities

  • Capacity must be limited to 50% of approved capacity level
    • See this guide to determining capacity level
    • This does not apply to restaurants and bars – see below
  • Organizations must implement required hygiene, cleaning, and protective measure policies, and document that employees receive and acknowledge, or are trained on, these policies
  • Employers must post PHMDC’s Workplace Requirements for Employers and Workers guidance in a prominent location where all employees may view and access it
  • Organizations must limit staff and customers on site, and continue to facilitate remote work to the greatest extent possible, including offering virtual services, meetings, and and/or alternating work teams or staggering shifts
  • When remote work is not possible, all organizations must:
    • Where possible, offer curbside pick-up and drop-off, and delivery
    • Where possible, provide a way for customers to pay, and make appointments and reservations online or over the phone
    • Provide door-to-door solicitation with physical distancing
    • Ensure physical distancing in waiting areas with appropriate spacing of chairs

Additional Industry Specific Requirements

  • Restaurants, bars, and stores that sell food, groceries, and alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages must
    • Encourage pick-up and delivery options
    • Prohibit self-dispensing of bulk items and condiments
      • Beverage stations may remain open
    • Prohibit sampling of food and self-service of unpackaged food, e.g. salad bar, buffet
      • This prohibition does not apply to produce in stores
    • Limit indoor dine-in capacity at restaurants to 25% of approved seating levels; space tables and chairs to ensure 6 feet of physical distancing; and limit each table to 6 customers, all of whom must live together
      • Bars are not allowed to have any indoor seating
        • Customers may enter a bar only to order, pick-up and pay for food and beverages, or while in transit (e.g. to use the bathroom)
        • “Bar” is defined as “an establishment in which fermented malt beverages are sold for consumption upon said premises and whose sale of alcohol beverages accounts for at least 51% of the establishment’s gross receipts and whose primary business is that of a bar”
      • Limit outdoor seating if tables and chairs are spaced 6 feet apart and each table is limited to 6 customers, all of whom must live together
        • This applies to restaurants and bars
      • Space bar stools in restaurants at least 6 feet part for customers who do not live together
      • Customers must be seated at all times when not in transit (e.g. to go to the bathroom)
  • Retail stores must
    • Limit the number of customers inside the business to no more than 50% of capacity, not including employees
    • Offer at least two hours per week of dedicated shopping time for vulnerable individuals if your store is larger than 50,000 square feet
    • Prohibit sampling, including of food and any goods
  • Salons and spas must
    • Limit the number of customers to 50% of approved capacity (if capacity is four or less, one customer is permitted)
    • Space customer chairs, tables, and stations at least 6 feet apart
    • Require employees to always wear face coverings when customers are present
    • Require customers to wear face coverings to the greatest extent possible
  • Gyms and fitness centers must
    • Provide disinfecting materials for members to use on equipment before and after use, and increase frequency of cleaning of equipment, common areas, locker rooms, and restrooms
    • Limit the number of individuals on site (excluding employees) to 50% of approved capacity
    • Space equipment at least 6 feet apart to the extent possible
    • Use floor markings to indicate appropriate physical spacing, particularly in areas where people congregate or cluster
    • Offer group exercise classes only if physical distancing is maintained and there is no person-to-person contact
      • Note that group exercise classes are now considered a mass gathering and are subject to those restrictions (10 people indoors, and 25 people outdoors, excluding employees)
    • Prohibit all activities where physical distancing cannot be maintained between people who do not live together
    • Close saunas and steam rooms
  • Places of amusement and activity must
    • Require payments and reservations only online or over the phone to the extent possible
    • Schedule events or the start of an activity to ensure physical distancing between all individuals who do not live together
    • Space seating, stations, or other areas to ensure at least at least at least 6 feet of physical distancing between individuals who do not live together
    • Limit the number of individuals on site (excluding employees) to 50% of approved capacity
      • Events such as concerts, festivals, shows, etc. are also subject to the restrictions on mass gatherings
    • Disinfect all equipment between each customer’s use
  • Lodging facilities must
    • Prohibit guests from congregating in lobbies or common areas
    • Adopt cleaning protocols for guest rooms and common areas based on PHMDC guidelines
    • Provide personal protective equipment and training to housekeeping staff for proper handling of linens and cleaning/disinfecting supplies
    • Comply with all other guidelines, such as those that apply to restaurants and bars, if applicable
  • Drive-In movie theaters and other drive-in activities must
    • Prohibit outdoor seating
    • Prohibit customers from leaving their car except to purchase or pick up food or drinks, or to use the restroom
    • Encourage pick-up and delivery of food and drinks, and prohibit any self-service of unpackaged food and self-dispensing of condiments
    • Reservations and payments should be made in advance online or over the phone to the greatest extent possible

Other industries

  • Health care, public health, human services, infrastructure, manufacturing, and government operations are subject to specific provisions and restrictions under Emergency Order #7, namely these organizations must implement required cleaning and hygiene policies, and comply with other applicable PHMDC, state, and federal requirements

Leased Property

  • Landlords and rental property managers may enter and show leased residential properties if all individuals wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing

Violations of this order are considered ordinance violations and are enforceable by any local law enforcement official.

The Lake Effect team will continue to monitor important updates such as these from Dane County and other counties across the state. Please keep watching for blogs and emails from us for important legal updates and HR best practices. Contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

Lake Effect HR & Law, LLC
(844) 333-5253 (LAKE)
info@le-hrlaw.com

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