Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced this morning via Twitter that he intends to issue what is being labeled a “Safer at Home” Order on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Though the formal requirements of the Order have yet to be announced, Governor Evers has stated, “Workers providing essential care or services in our communities will be allowed to continue to travel to and from work.”
The governor has not announced the scope of “essential care or services” but stated that it “includes folks like healthcare professionals, grocers, family caregivers, among other people whose work is critical for folks across our state.”
The governor’s office has further indicated that Wisconsin’s Order will be substantially based on the similar “safer at home” Order put into effect in Ohio earlier this week. (See here for Foley’s discussion of that Order and a link to the actual Ohio Order.) Wisconsin employers are advised to review the Ohio Order to discuss with their Foley relationship partner to determine whether they are likely to be deemed “essential.”
Nevertheless, we cannot assume at this time that the Wisconsin Order will be identical to the Ohio Order. Accordingly, until the actual Wisconsin Order is released, Wisconsin businesses will be left in a state of uncertainty as to whether they will be allowed to continue to operate.
Governor Evers has not announced when the new Order will go into effect. It may be effective as early as Wednesday, March 25, 2020, giving businesses as little as one day to assess whether they meet the thus far unannounced definition of “essential.”
Foley will continue to monitor this developing situation and will update this alert as soon as more information is available. For more information about recommended steps, please contact your Foley relationship partner. For additional web-based resources available to assist you in monitoring the spread of the coronavirus on a global basis, you may wish to visit the CDC and the World Health Organization.
Foley will continue to keep you apprised of relevant developments. Click here for Foley’s Coronavirus Resource Center for insights and resources to support your business during this challenging time.