On March 24, 2020, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued Emergency Order 12: Safer at Home Order which became effective at 8:00 a.m. on March 25, 2020 and remains in effect until 8:00 a.m. on Friday April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued.

The Order directs that all non-essential for-profit and non-profit businesses close except for Minimum Basic Operations (minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, preserve the physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or related functions, and facilitate employees being able to continue to work remotely from their residences) and operations exclusively consisting of working from home.

Additionally, all non-essential travel in Wisconsin is stopped effective immediately, subject to certain exceptions. The Governor identified a list of what have been identified as Essential Businesses and Operations, which includes professional services such as law firms and accounting, insurance and real estate services.

If a business is not listed as an Essential Business or Operation but believes it should be included in that designation, the business is to consult the information page on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) website and may apply to WEDC using a provided form to request such designation.

All businesses, including Essential Businesses or Operations, are, to the greatest extent possible, to use technology to avoid meeting in person and work remotely.  Essential Businesses are encouraged to remain open and comply with Social Distancing Requirements and ensure that employees and members of the public maintain six-foot social distancing, including when customers stand in line.

Those who live, work, or travel through Wisconsin are encouraged to read the full order, so that they are clear on what is permitted. Violation of the Order is punishable by up to 30 days’ imprisonment, or up to $250 fine, or both.


Also on March 24, 2020, the Department of Labor issued its first round of guidance with a fact sheet explaining the changes for paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave as required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed last week, noting an effective date of April 1, 2020.  You can read the Department of Labor & Industry’s News Release and their Families First Coronavirus Response Act Q&A.


April 1, 2020 Update: The Department of Labor has now issued temporary rules and you can find them at this link.


If you have questions about how the Coronavirus Pandemic affects your business, contact Stacey DeKalb at 612.336.9310 /