City of Milwaukee’s Stay at Home Order Exempts Construction

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the City of Milwaukee’s Health Department issued a written Stay at Home Order, which goes into effect on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. In general, the Order requires City of Milwaukee residents to stay at home, and requires all businesses located within the City to “cease all activities at facilities located within the City except Minimum Basic Operations,” as defined in the Order. The Order includes a list of exceptions for “Essential Businesses and Operations,” which does not prevent employees from working at facilities that are deemed to qualify.

Under paragraph 13h of the City’s Stay at Home Order, construction and construction-related activities are defined as “Essential Businesses and Operations,” which have been exempted from the mandate of the Stay at Home Order. The Order lists “Building and Construction Tradesman and Tradeswomen” along with “plumbers, electricians . . . operating engineers, HVAC, [and] painting” as “Critical Trades” that are exempt from the Order. “Construction” is also listed in the definition of “Essential Infrastructure,” exempt from the Order under paragraph 10.

Suppliers of materials and equipment for construction activities are also exempt from the Stay at Home Order. Under paragraph 13u, “manufacturing companies, distributors, and supply chain companies producing and supplying essential products and services in and for industries such as . . . Construction” are listed among exempt “Essential Businesses and Operations.” Although the Order does not specifically mention architects, engineers or other design professionals, such professionals are arguably also exempt from the Stay at Home Order, as “other service providers who provide services that are necessary to . . . Essential Businesses and Operations” under paragraph 13h—the provision which exempts “critical trades,” including construction.

At least for the time being, the construction industry in Milwaukee will remain open for business.

The full Order can be found here.

If you have questions contact Steve Slawinski at 414-276-5000 or