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  The law in Wisconsin (including Madison) currently does not prevent using criminal background to screen potential clients. However, federal law does prohibit using arrest records (open criminal cases are considered arrest records) as a basis for a denial. Even if you are a small local landlord, you are subject to the federal law as an applicant that you deny could sue you under the federal law.  The United States Department of Housing and Urban…
The U.S. Department of Labor recently proposed further rulemaking for tip regulations, which delayed some regulations until December 2021, while others took effect on April 30, 2021.  The FLSA allows an employer to count a limited amount of tips received by its tipped employees as a credit toward the employer’s Federal minimum wage obligations. This is called a tip credit, and employers may only claim it if their tipped employees retain all the tips they…
  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on June 24 that it is extending its order, Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19, set to expire on June 30, until July 31. In issuing this extension, the CDC indicated that this is intended to be the final extension.   The content of the moratorium remains the same as the that of the previous extension, in March of…
Let’s start with some background on unemployment insurance in Wisconsin. This article focuses on unemployment insurance from an employer’s perspective and specifically under Wisconsin state law. As such, we are not discussing the expanded unemployment provisions in the CARES Act, which primarily impact separated employees applying for unemployment benefits under more broad eligibility criteria. As the CARES Act provisions are federally funded, they have minimal impact on employers. In our experience, employers are not even…
On May 18, Public Health of Madison and Dane County (“PHMDC”) announced the next steps in response to COVID, largely in light of the CDC’s recent update on May 13 that fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks or physical distance in any setting (see here for more information from the CDC). As we discussed in a recent KEW Tip, Dane County is currently subject to Emergency Order #16, which will be effective…
Whether an individual worker can or should be classified as an employee or independent contractor is a crucial question that every employer needs to answer before bringing on a worker. This article is focused on issues facing Wisconsin employers. This article is broken down into two sections: FAQs Tests which include both Wisconsin and Federal As an initial matter, note that this article uses the word “worker” when referring to an individual who could be…
Public Health Madison & Dane County (“PHMDC”) has issued Emergency Order #16 to replace Order #15 (our analysis of Order #15 can be found here), which expires at midnight on May 5. The new order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on May 5 and will be effective until June 2. PHMDC notes that, as it gradually reopens Dane County, that the 7-day case average is down from 78 on April 7 to 64…
On April 2, 2021, Public Health Madison & Dane County (“PHMDC”) issued a new emergency order, to go into effect on April 7. Order #15 notes that on March 10, when Emergency Order #14 came out, the 7-day case average was 55 and 7-day hospitalization average was 23. As of April 1, the case average was 51 and the hospitalization average was 23. Further, more than 89% of adults aged 65 or older in Dane…
On March 31, 2021, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin issued its ruling in Fabick v. Evers, finding that Governor Evers exceeding his authority in issuing multiple Executive Orders declaring states of emergency due to the COVID-19 Pandemic under Wis. Stat. § 323.10. In ruling that Governor Evers surpassed his statutory authority, the court terminated the existing state of emergency and, with it, the statewide mask mandate. Background Wis. Stat. § 323.10 allows a Governor to…
The CDC’s eviction moratorium, first put in place by the Trump Administration in September of 2020, has been extended until June 30, 2021. The new Director of the CDC signed the extension order on March 28.   What do residential landlords absolutely need to know? The existing moratorium has been extended until June 30, 2021. That means that, generally speaking, a landlord may not evict a tenant for failure to pay rent if the tenant…