Despite Wisconsin’s worsening COVID numbers (e.g., total positive cases, deaths) and signs of support in Milwaukee for certain protective measures, there remains considerable resistance by business owners and others to mask mandates and other emergency rules. For example, 50+ Milwaukee-area businesses have received warnings and a Middleton coffee shop lost its lease, all related to defiance of such rules. Milwaukee has since eliminated warnings and increased fines for COVID-related violations, as seen with a recent fine levied against Trinity Three Irish Pubs, and has issued a new order reducing gathering limits to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors.
Meanwhile, the state emergency order capping bars and restaurants at 25% capacity is currently stayed while the case is pending before the Court of Appeals, while a new lawsuit has been filed to overturn the statewide mask mandate.
And then there are the very real challenges businesses are facing themselves, relative to mask-wearing and other safety protocols (and those who refuse). This has required a whole new sort of employee training, involving education on state and local mandates, new company policies, and how to diffuse tension involving customers and/or fellow employees.
Business Takeaway: The legal battle regarding pandemic-related mandates continues. However, it may not be wise to await the results. Regardless of where you might stand on these issues, not only are the penalties increasing in severity and frequency, so is other exposure [see Second Hand Infection Lawsuit Exposure above]. Contact Adam at 414-446-8800 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the mask mandate and/or potential penalties for businesses (or wish to have someone to blame, i.e., corporate counsel, should your employees or customers complain).