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Timely updates on legal issues affecting dealerships and other franchises.

Legal Risks in Requiring Employees to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine

Currently the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for COVID-19 have only been approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that terminating an employee for refusing to receive the vaccine could violate unjust termination principles under Wisconsin law. The bottom line is that currently no state or federal law directly prohibits Wisconsin employers from requiring employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but doing so exposes employers to many forms of potential liability. The legal risks outlined below demonstrate that mandating vaccines is not recommended at this time, and dealers instead may want to consider simply encouraging employees to get vaccinated.

Dealers Are Being Charged With Use Tax by Wisconsin DOR on Computer Software Programs

Dealer management and other computer software programs are essential to auto and truck dealer operations. Most programs used by Wisconsin dealers are purchased from out-of-state vendors and in many, if not most, instances the vendors are not charging sales tax on the purchase. However, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (“WDOR”) is starting to claim that the programs are subject to tax under the Wisconsin Sales and Use Tax Law and, when auditing dealers, imposing a use tax on the dealer where no sales tax was paid, plus 12% interest from the time the sales tax would have been due.

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