Open for Business in Wisconsin. Now What?
The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down DHS’s Safer at Home Order on May 13, 2020. The Order was set to expire May 26, 2020. However, the immediate switch from limitations to no limitations, has now put many employers in a position to act more quickly than previously anticipated. This article discusses the current impact of the decision, and offers guidance for employers who no longer are bound by any Safer at Home Order limitations.
Can My Business Reopen?
Before reopening, you must first check to see if you are limited by any local orders. As of the time of this article, the following counties and municipalities have already issued local orders, some of which are similar to the state-wide Safer at Home Order:
- City of Appleton
- Brown County
- Dane County/City of Madison
- Kenosha County
- City of Milwaukee
- Suburban Milwaukee County
- City of Racine
- Rock County
Other jurisdictions, like Waukesha County, have not issued a local Safer at Home Order, but encourage businesses to follow guidelines issued by the CDC and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). These lists will continue to change. Once you determine whether you are able to open, be vigilant in terms of checking regularly on any changes or updates to existing orders, or new orders from additional municipalities that may impact your business.
What to Do if My Business is Able to Reopen?
If your business is now able to reopen, you must take all reasonable precautions to protect your employees and the public. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has issued guidelines to follow. You should review these guidelines closely and make sure you put procedures in place to adhere to these guidelines. The guidelines are available at: https://wedc.org/reopen-guidelines/
If your business is covered by the OSH Act, you must also comply with applicable regulations. OSHA has published a guidance to employers available at: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf. You should also continue to comply with recommendations from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.