EMPLOYER RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
We have gathered a number of state and national resources to assist employers and industry leaders in navigating the current pandemic. We are trying to keep this list as up-to-date as possible with information as we receive it.
New Information provided by the WMC:
WMC Releases COVID-19 Employer Toolkit
April 3, 2020
Toolkit will arm Wisconsin’s business community with the most up-to-date and reliable information as they navigate the continuously changing landscape
MADISON – Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) – the combined state chamber, manufacturers’ association and safety council – released its COVID-19 Employer Toolkit on Thursday to further help employers navigate the difficult circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic has created. This toolkit will help businesses by providing the latest and most relevant information, helpful resources and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
WMC’s COVID-19 Employer Toolkit Includes:
Coronavirus Small Business Guide, Loan Resources & Guidance
Federal Paid Leave Changes under FFCRA
Work Share – A current state solution to help employers avoid layoffs
Federal CARES Act Summary
Frequently Asked Questions
During this public health emergency, WMC has been the key player in keeping our state’s business community informed and connected.
For example, the state chamber’s webinars have reached tens of thousands of individuals and have featured and continue to feature a broad spectrum of speakers including Gov. Tony Evers, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Wisconsin Cabinet Secretaries, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, members of Congress, federal officials and industry leaders.
Additionally, WMC staff and members have had regular discussions with members of the Evers Administration, legislative leaders and other government officials to ensure the business community is part of the solution during this time of need. These conversations have been productive and will continue.
Just last week, WMC released their COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Agenda aimed at providing economic assistance to those in need; a reprieve of costly and burdensome regulations on businesses stepping up during this public health emergency; and getting people back to work quickly following this crisis.
For updates on the business community’s response to COVID-19 and other resources, please visit www.wmc.org/coronavirus.
For more information, please contact:
Nick Novak, 608.239.4866
New Guidance from The Department of Labor
Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced more guidance to provide information to workers and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020. See the guidance here.
Within the guidance, DOL has clarified that workers are not eligible for the new paid leave or FMLA benefits if they are furloughed, or if an employer closes, whether it’s from lack of business or pursuant to a government directive like the Safer at Home order in Wisconsin.
Guidance from Wisconsin Department of Revenue on Tax Payments & Audits
On Friday afternoon (3/27/2020) the Wisconsin Department of Revenue released a new proposed guidance document with several new measures meant to alleviate compliance burdens on Wisconsin taxpayers. Some notable measures include:
Tax payment installment agreements: The Department wants to remind taxpayers that if they cannot pay their entire tax bill at once, they can file an installment agreement. Taxpayers that already have an installment agreement, but are unable to meet the obligations under that agreement, may request a temporary suspension in payments.
Audits: The Department has stated they “generally” will not start new field audits on small businesses during the public health emergency.
Automated collection actions: The Department has stated new levies of assets will not be issued except when revenue agents believe “the state is at risk and immediate collection action is warranted.”
You can review the whole proposed guidance document here.
The Department also announced that small businesses can request one-month extensions for sales and use tax returns due at the end of March and April. The Department will not assess late fees or penalties during these extensions. You can see the entire announcement here.
The Department’s actions are a start, but more work needs to be done to protect business liquidity and delay unnecessary compliance costs during this public health crisis. WMC has proposed a series of tax related items in our COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Agenda.
Gov. Evers Issues Order to Expedite Expansion, Enhance Efficiency of Healthcare Workforce
Yesterday, as part of WMC’s legislative agenda in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we called on the Governor and lawmakers to provide flexible licensing for health care workers. Specifically, we asked for flexibility for retired health care workers and to allow health care workers licensed in other states to practice in Wisconsin. Today, the Department of Health Services did just that through Emergency Order 16.
You can see the full order here.
Trump signs $2T coronavirus relief package
President Trump on Friday signed a $2 trillion economic relief package aimed at helping American workers and businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill includes $1,200 one-time payments to many Americans; sets up a $500 billion corporate liquidity fund to help struggling industries like airlines; allocated $377 billion for aid to small businesses; and boosts the maximum unemployment benefit by $600 per week for four months, among other provisions.
Trump signed the legislation during an Oval Office ceremony at the White House Friday afternoon, just hours after it passed the House.
The massive bill, dubbed the CARES Act, was the result of days of high-stakes negotiations between the Trump administration and Senate leaders.
Click here for more information.
Employers can find information on Unemployment Insurance at:
Payment Options (https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uitax/payments/)
UI Employer Online Services (https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uitax/)
Work-Share Program: Work‐Share avoids layoffs, allowing workers to remain employed & employers to retain trained staff during times of reduced business activity.
DWD has a helpful Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Handbook for Employers, which can be found at: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/ui201/.
State of Wisconsin DWD: Employers Providing Essential Services Need Workers
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) announced 3/18/2020 that they are making funds available to impacted SMALL businesses (less than 20 employees) to cover rent and to meet payroll expenses, including paid leave (including sick, family and other leave related to COVID-19).
Downtown District & Businesses: Corona Virus Response:
Ideas and Resources, Wisconsin Main Street (PDF Document or Word Document)
Wisconsin Small Business Development Center
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC)
Coronavirus (COVID-10) Business Resource Center Provides Links to Latest News, COVID-19 Update Webinars, and other resources
Webinar: March 18th Update with Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Members of his cabinet
Webinar: WMC COVID-19 Update 3-18-2020
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Pandemic Preparedness Resources
Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers: Plan, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019
OSHA/HHS Resources and Information
Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
Preventing Worker Exposure to COVID-19
Additional Resources suggested by OSHA
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Information for businesses during a crisis and a template of a Business Continuity Plan
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Funding Programs Page
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Coronavirus Response Toolkit with shareable Social Media Graphics
COVID-19 Business Preparedness Checklist and other resources
Letter to U.S. Government Leaders on Coronavirus Response, Monday, March 16, 2020
America’s Small Business Development Centers COVID-19 Small Business Resources
National Cyber Security Alliance – COVID-19 Security Resource Library - tips and recommendations on ways to stay safe online such as Avoiding Cyber Threats & Scams and Security Tips for Working Remotely