Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued numerous executive orders that dictated how businesses should respond to COVID-19 in the workplace. However, on October 2, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court invalidated many of the Governor’s COVID-19 related executive orders when it held that she (1) did not have the authority after April 30, 2020, to issue or renew any executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic under Michigan’s Emergency Management Act of 1976, and (2) did not possess the authority to exercise emergency powers under the Emergency Powers of the Governors Act of 1945 because the act unlawfully delegates legislative power to the executive branch in violation of the Michigan Constitution.
In response to the Michigan Supreme Court’s invalidation of these executive orders, the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity issued Emergency Rules related to COVID-19, which Governor Whitmer signed on October 14, and which take effect upon filing with the secretary of state and remain in effect for six (6) months.
Under the Emergency Rules, Michigan employers must, among other things:
Although many Michigan employers have been performing many of the duties contained in the new Emergency Rules, we recommend a fresh review of the company’s COVID-19 safety protocols and compliance posture. If you have any questions on the requirements of the new Emergency Rules, please contact Frank Del Barto, Chair of Masuda Funai’s Employment Practice, or your Masuda Funai relationship attorney.
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