Michigan: COVID-19 Rules Update

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Recently, Michigan governor’s executive orders for responding to COVID-19 were invalidated in court. In the wake of that ruling, the state and local governments have been striving to put measures in place to manage the pandemic.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued an October 29, 2020 Gatherings and Face Mask Order updating a previous order issued on October 9, 2020. The Order cites in part to its increased positive COVID-19 infection rate, 172 cases per million people, and positive tests have increased from about 2% to 5.5%. The Order adds limits on venue gatherings (50 people). It also limits in-person dining to six people per table, and the dining establishment must keep track of the names and phone numbers of the individuals dining in, as well as the date and time that they dined. Originally, this order was set to expire October 30th; the full order has been amended to remain in place until rescinded, including the mask requirements.

Several bills were also recently passed to protect Michigan employers and went into immediate effect on October 22, 2020 and are retroactive to March 1, 2020.

  • HB 6030 – Businesses in compliance with all COVID-19 laws are immune from liability for tort claims related to exposure to COVID-19. Notably, isolated, de minimis deviations from compliance with COVID-19 laws will not affect immunity as long as the violations are not related to an individual’s injuries.
  • HB 6031 – Employers in compliance with all COVID-19 laws are immune from liability related to exposure to COVID-19. Notably, isolated, de minimis deviations from compliance with COVID-19 laws will not affect immunity as long as the violations are not related to an individual’s injuries.
  • HB 6032 – Employees who have COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19 must stay home until 24 hours have passed since fever has stopped without the use of fever-reducing drugs, 10 days have passed since onset of symptoms or positive test, and symptoms have overall improved. With exception for certain workers, employees who have been in close contact with someone who exhibits symptoms or tests positive must stay home either until 14 days have passed since last contact with the individual or there is a medical determination that the individual did not have COVID-19 at the time of the close contact. Symptomatic employees must get tested for COVID-19 within three days of receiving a request from their employer to do so. Employers cannot retaliate against employees who comply with the bill or oppose violations of the bill, as well as reporting health violations related to COVID-19.

Employers should continue to look for updates to the rules and guidance being issued in Michigan implementing further protections during the pandemic.

Action Items

  1. Update protection procedures where applicable.
  2. Notify employees and train managers on stay-at-home requirements.
  3. Have policies updated where applicable.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2020 ManagEase

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