Dane County Modifies Phase 2 Reopening

Due to a recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases, Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) released Emergency Order #6 on June 25. The new order was effective at 10:00 p.m. on the same day.

The new order modifies three sections of Emergency Order #5:

  • Gatherings inside private property and residences are limited to 10 individuals (a reduction from 50 individuals).
    • There is no change to the limitations on mass gatherings inside commercial facilities (up to 50 individuals) or outside (up to 100 individuals).
  • Restaurants and bars must space tables and chairs to ensure customers who are not living together are at least six feet apart. This applies to outdoor and indoor dining spaces.
    • The previous order only required tables be spaced at least six feet apart.
  • Restaurants and bars must prohibit standing service. Customers must stay seated at all times unless they are “in transit.” PHMDC has explained this means “moving to the restroom is fine but patrons must be seated during their visit.”

PHMDC has updated its FAQ on Phase 2 under the Forward Dane reopening plan to include these changes.

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.

Badger Bounce Back

On April 20, 2020, the Evers Administration released Emergency Order #31 entitled “Badger Bounce Back.” In this order, the administration sets forth a plan for a phased reopening of businesses so that Wisconsinites can get back to work.

Based upon recent federal guidelines, the Badger Bounce Back plan specifies criteria that will enable Wisconsin to begin the gradual process of reopening for business. Criteria include: reductions in cases and COVID-19 symptoms over an extended period of time; sufficient hospital capacity; a robust testing program; adequate personal protective equipment levels; and contact tracing capabilities.

In preparation for fully reopening their doors, employers are encouraged to rely upon federal, state and local regulations and guidance, informed by industry best practices and the WEDC, to develop and implement policies relating to: physical distancing and protective equipment; employee temperature checks and symptom screening; testing, isolating and contact tracing; sanitation; use and disinfection of common and high-traffic areas; business travel; and other best business practices to ensure a safe workplace.

It is clear that this will be a complex and gradual process. It will require Wisconsin employers to be patient, diligent and innovative. Rest assured, the attorneys and HR professionals at Lake Effect HR & Law are available to advise you as you develop plans to restore operations and welcome team members back to the workplace. We look forward to helping businesses move beyond “Safer-at-Home” to “Badger Bounce Back.” Contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

Comprehensive Legislative Proposals to Address COVID-19 Impact

On April1, 2020, Governor Evers announced a second package of legislative proposals to support Wisconsin businesses and citizens who continue to confront unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. This second proposed package is intended to supplement the Governor’s first piece of proposed legislation which included additional funding for public health and healthcare professionals, a waiver of the customary one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance, and other assistance for Wisconsin organizations, residents and communities.

Employers: Include NYC Independent Contractors in Your Anti-Harassment Training

Under the recently expanded New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), employers must include independent contractors in their sexual harassment training. This is a major shift in how independent contractors are generally treated. Employers should include an appropriate disclaimer before providing anti-harassment training to an independent contractor to clarify that the training does not change their independent contractor status.

This training requirement applies to all New York employers with 15 or more total workers. “Workers” includes employees who work outside of New York City and independent contractors. This means that if a Wisconsin based employer has 14 employees in Wisconsin and 1 employee or independent contractor in New York City, that employer must provide the required sexual harassment training to the worker in New York City, and comply with the other applicable New York State and New York City laws. Note that as of February 8, 2020, the New York State Human Right Law will apply to all employers with at least 1 employee in New York.

The attorneys and HR professionals at Lake Effect HR & Law are ready and willing to assist and advise if you have questions related to mandatory anti-harassment training or independent contractors in Wisconsin or other states. Contact us at info@LE-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

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