February 2, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 33


February 02, 2023

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February 01, 2023

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January 31, 2023

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Wisconsin Passes COVID-19 Civil Liability Exemption for Employers

Businesses, schools, nonprofits, and other employers in Wisconsin are protected from COVID-19 litigation under 2021 Special Session Senate Bill 1, signed into law as 2021 Wisconsin Act 4 by Governor Tony Evers on February 26, 2021. Section 8 of the new law provides employers some of the most expansive COVID-19 civil liability protections in the country.

Beginning March 1, 2020, Wisconsin employers are immune from civil liability for the death of or injury to any individual or damages caused by an act or omission resulting or related to exposure to COVID-19. This immunity will protect employers from claims asserted by employees and patrons alike and extends to individual agents and employees of the company.

This legislation will be applied retroactively, although it does not apply to lawsuits filed before the effective date. Immunity, however, does not apply if the act or omission involves reckless or wanton conduct or intentional misconduct.

While the new law provides substantial protection to Wisconsin companies and employers can be more confident in continuing to operate their businesses, employers still need to continue taking appropriate and recommended precautions against the spread of COVID-19 to protect their employees and the public.

Neighboring Indiana also has enacted a COVID-19 immunity shield that protects companies acting in good faith.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2023National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 57

About this Author

Brian J. Christensen, Jackson Lewis, grievances and arbitrations lawyer, union campaigns attorney
Office Managing Principal and Office Litigation Manager

Brian J. Christensen is the Office Managing Principal and Litigation Manager of the Kansas City Region, Kansas, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice includes representation of management in traditional labor relations matters, including collective bargaining negotiations, grievances and arbitrations, union campaigns and matters before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Mr. Christensen’s practice also includes litigation of a wide array of matters affecting his clients' business in state and federal courts. He ...

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Ronald S. Stadler Litigation Attorney Jackson Lewis Milwaukee, WI

Ronald S. Stadler is a principal in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Ron has extensive hands on, day-to-day experience helping clients comply with the FLSA, the ADA, discrimination issues, hiring and firing issues, collective bargaining, union contract administration, grievance and interest arbitration, wage and hour, unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation, and health insurance matters. He also has substantial experience in defending employers when they find themselves being sued over those issues as well. He prides himself on...

Jonathan E. Sacks Employment Litigation Attorney Jackson Lewis Milwaukee, WI

Jonathan E. Sacks is an Associate in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counseling.

Mr. Sacks represents clients in a wide variety of labor and employment law issues, including wage and hour, non-competition agreements and restrictive covenants, unemployment compensation, hiring and firing, sexual harassment, and conducting internal investigations. His experience includes counseling and defending alleged violations of the FLSA, FMLA, ADA...