Employment LawScene Alert: Safer at Home FAQs and COVID-19 Response Plans

As we blogged about here, the State of Wisconsin issued a statewide Safer at Home Order, which came into effect at 8:00 a.m. on March 25, 2020. Since then, Governor Evers has published Safer At Home FAQs regarding that Order. Some of the highlights are:

  • Individuals do not need special permission or documentation to leave their homes, but they must comply with the Order regarding when they are allowed to leave their homes.
  • Essential Businesses and Operations, as defined in the Order, do not need documentation or certification to continue work that is done in compliance with the Order.
  • Essential Businesses and Operations that remain open must comply with social distancing requirements.
  • Businesses that are not Essential Businesses and Operations under the Order can request to be designated as essential by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (“WEDC”) at their website.

Although not explicitly included in the Order or the FAQs, the WEDC encourages businesses to follow best practices related to the development of a COVID-19 response plan. The WEDC recommends that each company develop a written plan, unique to the operations under its control, that documents the identification and mitigation measures taken, including all engineering controls, administrative controls, and safe work practices, and that the company updates that plan on a regular basis for the duration of the COVID-19 Situation. Potential inclusions in such plan include:

  • Discontinuations of in-person meetings.
  • Body temperature scans.
  • Reduction of on-site hours or staggered shifts.
  • Staggered use of shared spaces such as bathrooms, lunchrooms, and breakrooms.
  • Mandatory work from home for all but essential employees.
  • Sanitization processes implemented throughout the company’s facilities.
  • Banning international and domestic travel and policies for employees returning from such trips.
  • Banning all visitors.
  • Employee reporting of COVID-19 symptoms and contact with individuals diagnosed with COVID-19.

O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing remains open during this time and is here to help. We encourage you to reach out with any questions, concerns, or legal issues you may have, including those related to coronavirus or the drafting of a COVID-19 response plan.

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