Legal Documents & Information

** The information contained here is provided solely for a general information purpose.  It should not be interpreted as legal advice and does not constitute an attorney client relationship. The posted documents are samples and League attorneys have not reviewed them for legal sufficiency. The League’s attorneys do not provide legal representation to individual municipalities or officials; we encourage our members to consult their municipal attorneys on questions of law.**

General Information

State of Wisconsin

Act 185 - State Government Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic 

FAQs on Waiver of Interest on Late Property Tax Payments

The League’s FAQs are here. (PDF) 

Wisconsin Counties Association Supplemental FAQs (PDF) 

Wisconsin Counties Association Model Act 185 Waiver Resolution (Word Doc will download to your computer.)

DOR FAQs on property assessment and taxation during COVID-19 Pandemic, including changes made by Act 185 (PDF)

Guidance on Board of Review Provision in Act 185, Including Sample Notice

The League has prepared an explanation of the Board of Review provision included in Act 185, which includes a sample public notice. Read the memo and sample notice here.

Emergency Orders

Effect of DHS’ Emergency Order #5 on Municipalities  The Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ order prohibiting mass gatherings of 10 or more persons contains several exemptions, some of which provide local governments with flexibility in handling government operations during the public health emergency. Click here to read the full document.

DHS’ Emergency Order #8  Updated Mass Gathering Ban includes hair salons, barber shops, etc.  

Department of Financial Institutions Emergency Guidance on Remote Notarization


**The FFRCA has expired**

As of December 31, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the programs it established, Expanded FMLA Leave and Paid Emergency Sick Leave, have expired. Municipal employers may choose, but are not required, to continue to provide FFRCA-type leave to employees. However, municipal employers who voluntarily continue providing such leave will no longer be exempt from paying the employer-share of FICA taxes for wages paid under the leave. Any tax treatment extension of the FFCRA applies only to private sector employers. Information provided on this page relating to the FFCRA is for reference only. 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

HR 6201 Families First Coronavirus Response SUMMARY March 20, 2020
HR 6201 Families First Coronavirus Response Paid Sick Leave  March 20, 2020

Who is an “emergency responder” under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)? 
“For the purposes of employees who may be excluded from paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave by their employer under the FFCRA, an emergency responder is an employee who is necessary for the provision of transport, care, health care, comfort, and nutrition of such patients, or whose services are otherwise needed to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes but is not limited to military or national guard, law enforcement officers, correctional institution personnel, fire fighters, emergency medical services personnel, physicians, nurses, public health personnel, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, emergency management personnel, 911 operators, public works personnel, and persons with skills or training in operating specialized equipment or other skills needed to provide aid in a declared emergency as well as individuals who work for such facilities employing these individuals and whose work is necessary to maintain the operation of the facility. This also includes any individual that the highest official of a state or territory, including the District of Columbia, determines is an emergency responder necessary for that state’s or territory’s or the District of Columbia’s response to COVID-19.

To minimize the spread of the virus associated with COVID-19, the Department encourages employers to be judicious when using this definition to exempt emergency responders from the provisions of the FFCRA.” (Provided by the Federal Dept. of Labor.) 

Click here for more DOL guidance regarding the FFCRA.

Are employees of a local health department or agency considered “health care providers” that may be excluded from paid leave under the FFCRA?
Yes. The Department of Labor issued guidance clarifying that a “health care provider” who may be excluded by their employer for purposes of emergency paid sick leave and/or expanded family and medical leave includes, among other things, anyone employed at a local health department or agency or at a nursing facility, retirement facility, or nursing home.

A municipal employee’s work is deemed non-essential under the Safer at Home order and is not currently working. Is the employee considered to be “subject to a state or local quarantine or isolation order” and, thus, eligible for emergency paid sick leave under the FFCRA? 

No. The Department of Labor’s temporary FFCRA regulations clarify that, in this situation, the order applies to the employer, not the employee as an individual. The reason for the employee not being able to work is because the municipality, subject to the order, does not have work for the employee.

Does a government employer’s requirement that an individual employee self-quarantine/isolate constitute a “local quarantine or isolation order” for purposes of emergency paid sick leave under the FFCRA?

It is unlikely that the regulations are meant to be applied in this manner. However, depending on the circumstances, the employee may be eligible for emergency paid sick leave under a different qualifying reason – e.g., the employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine.

Sample Employee Policy and Guidance (Revised)
At this time, a policy is not required to implement paid leave under the FFCRA. This sample policy has been prepared for municipalities choosing to use a policy and to provide a more-detailed explanation of the FFCRA’s requirements than contained in the Department of Labor’s Notice poster. Note, municipalities are permitted, but not required, to exempt emergency responders and health care providers from paid leave under the FFCRA. This sample policy excludes emergency responders and health care providers. See “Considerations for Use of Sample Policy (Revised)” on the first page for additional information. Read the sample policy here. (PDF) Revised April 7, 2020. 

Sample FFCRA Employee Leave Request Form - Thanks to R&R Insurance

This is a sample only and it must be modified to suit the particular policies of your organization. Thank you to R&R Insurance for allowing our members to use their form. Sample form here. (PDF) 

Sample Declarations/Proclamations of Emergency & Ratifications

Emergency Declarations - Specific Issues

Racine Installment Payment of Property Taxes Due March 31 March 20, 2020 

Emergency Declarations - General

Green Bay Declaration of Emergency March 16, 2020
Madison/Dane County Order of Public Health Officer Imposing Countywide Moratorium on Mass Gatherings of 50 or More People March 15, 2020
Oshkosh Ordinance Declaring a State of Emergency March 12, 2020
Racine Emergency Declaration March 18, 2020
South Milwaukee Proclamation of Emergency March 13, 2020
South Milwaukee Proclamation of Existence of a Municipal Emergency March 13, 2020
Waunakee Declaration of Emergency March 16, 2020

Sample Public Health Orders

COVID-19 Order Restricting Food and Beverage Sales in the Cities and Villages of Milwaukee, Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, Cudahy, South Milwaukee, and St. Francis Version 1 Issued and Effective as of 2:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Sample Employee Policies

Madison To Employees: Guidance on City Services and Paid Leave March 16, 2020
Racine Employee Emergency Policy to Ensure Continuous Operation of City Services and Employee Safety March 18, 2020

Open Meetings Law Policies & Advisories

Attorney General Office of Open Government Advisory: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Open Meetings March 16, 2020
Madison Ordinance Prohibit meetings in a declared emergency March 12, 2020
Madison Allowing members of the Common Council to appear at meetings telephonically in a declared emergency March 17, 2020

Miscellaneous Legal (Click here.) 

Can Restaurants Providing Meals for Carry-out and Delivery Sell Alcohol?

Reducing Alcohol License Fees.