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U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance Interpreting Title IX To Cover Discrimination Based on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

On June 16, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education issued a Notice of Interpretation of Title IX,  which prohibits sex discrimination in education programs receiving federal financial assistance. The  guidance does not address specific LGBTQ+ student issues that schools have been navigating in recent  years, such as names/pronouns, restroom/locker room access, and parent rights. It…

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down Dane County Order Closing Schools

Today, on June 11, 2021, in the matter of James v. Heinrich, 2021 WI 58, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that that local health officers do not have the statutory power to close schools under Wisconsin Statute § 252.03. Additionally, because the schools involved in the case were private religious institutions, the Court held that…

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Contract signing

Wisconsin Supreme Court Declares State’s Mask Mandate is Unlawful

Today, March 31, 2021, the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a 4-3 decision held that Governor Evers exceeded the emergency powers provided to him under Wis. Stat. § 323.10 in issuing a state-wide mask mandate. The Court ruled, “…Executive Orders #82 and #90 – both of which declare a public health emergency in response to COVID-19…

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Governor Evers Takes Action on Open Enrollment Bill

On Friday, March 26, 2021, Governor Evers signed Senate Bill 109, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 18, related to open enrollment. This Legal Update will discuss how open enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year is affected by the Governor’s actions. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools have been offering a virtual learning option…

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Tax Credits for Voluntary Employer-Paid Sick and Family Leave Expanded and Extended through September 30th Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

On Thursday, March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan of 2021 into law. After several modifications by the House and Senate, the final version of the American Rescue Plan includes an extension of the tax credits for employer-paid sick leave and family leave through September 30, 2021. In general, this extends the…

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DOL Issues New Rule for Determining Independent Contractor Status

DOL Issues New Rule for Determining Independent Contractor Status

*On May 5, 2021 the Department of Labor issued a new Final Rule that withdrew this Rule. The Rule was never made effective before it was withdrawn. This withdrawal was expected with the change in administration. Employers should continue to rely on the previous “totality of the circumstances” economic realities test that has been used…

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WHAT TO DO WHEN PARENTS REQUEST PRIVATE SCHOOL TUITION REIMBURSEMENT

WHAT TO DO WHEN PARENTS REQUEST PRIVATE SCHOOL TUITION REIMBURSEMENT

We have been seeing an increased number of due process hearing requests involving demands for reimbursement for unilateral private school placement by parents. The stakes in these situations are often high, particularly if the private placement selected by the parents is a residential program. Before deciding on a course of action, it is imperative to…

Stimulus Bill Impact on FFCRA Paid Leave and Tax Credits

Stimulus Bill Impact on FFCRA Paid Leave and Tax Credits

On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law a new coronavirus stimulus bill that includes provisions which modify and extend certain parts of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  The FFCRA was set to expire on December 31, 2020.  The new stimulus bill does not require employers to continue FFCRA paid leave benefits. …

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EEOC Provides Updated Technical Guidance Addressing COVID-19 Vaccinations

EEOC Provides Updated Technical Guidance Addressing COVID-19 Vaccinations

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has continued to provide guidance for employers regarding how to handle various workplace situations. The EEOC updated its technical assistance questions and answers on December 16, 2020 to address concerns related to COVID-19 vaccinations that have recently become available.  One of the first questions employers…

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IDEA Class Action Brought Against All U.S. School Districts is Appealed

In a previous Legal Update, we discussed the recently dismissed IDEA class action lawsuit, J.T. v. DeBlasio, filed in the District Court for the Southern District of New York as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This Legal Update provides additional information related to the case. In July of 2020, the Plaintiffs’ complaint was filed…

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