Wisconsin Strikes Down Stay-at-Home Order: Non-essential Businesses Prepare to Reopen

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May 14, 2020
Peter Hansen
SmithAmundsen Labor & Employment Alert

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The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Emergency Order 28, the Safer at Home Order, for failing to follow emergency rulemaking procedures in a lengthy 161-page opinion - effective immediately.  So, what does this mean for Wisconsin employers?

Local Orders Still Apply

Local officials may enact their own stay-at-home orders – and indeed, some already have. Dane and Kenosha counties each issued orders adopting the majority of Emergency Order 28’s provisions, effective immediately and continuing to May 26, 2020.  Brown County issued a similar order in effect until May 20, 2020, the City of Racine issued an order in effect until May 26, 2020, and Milwaukee’s Mayor has taken the position that the city’s prior stay-at-home order in still in place.

More local orders will follow, so any employer planning on reopening or changing their practices as a result of the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision must verify that they are not violating any local order.

Preparing the Workplace

Non-essential businesses preparing to reopen can take a number of steps recommended by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to prevent and reduce COVID-19 transmission among their workforce, including:

Employers should also consider implementing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for responding to COVID-19, including: