Michigan Executive Order 2020-91: What Employers Need to Know for Reopening Business

May 19, 2020Legal Alerts

Michigan Executive Order 2020-91: What Employers Need to Know for Reopening Business

On May 18, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-91 (“Order”) into effect, which details the requirements on employers reopening for business in Michigan.

The Order reaffirms and builds upon previous directives for employers permitted to reopen business. In addition to more stringent requirements for industries such as manufacturing, construction, laboratories, retail, and food and beverage (found here), the Order requires that all businesses permitted to reopen (and thereby “require their employees to leave their homes or residences for work”) must, at a minimum:

  1. Develop a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan consistent with recommendations in Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, developed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, by June 1, 2020, or within two weeks of resuming in-person activities, whichever is later. The plan must be made available to employees, labor unions, and customers, whether via website, internal network, or by hard copy.
  2. Designate one or more worksite supervisors to implement, monitor, and report on the COVID-19 control strategies required under the Order. The supervisor must remain on site at all times when employees are present. An on-site employee may be designated to perform the supervisory role.
  3. Provide COVID-19 training to employees that covers, at a minimum:
    1. Workplace infection-control practices.
    2. The proper use of personal protective equipment.
    3. Steps the employee must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
    4. How to report unsafe working conditions.
  4. Conduct a daily entry self-screening protocol for all employees or contractors entering the workplace, including, at a minimum, a questionnaire covering symptoms and suspected or confirmed exposure to people with possible COVID-19.
  5. Maintain at least six feet social distancing to the maximum extent possible, including through the use of ground markings, signs, and physical barriers, as appropriate to the worksite.
  6. Provide non-medical-grade face coverings to employees.
  7. Require face coverings to be worn when employees cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace, and consider face shields when employees cannot consistently maintain three feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace.
  8. Increase facility cleaning and disinfection to limit exposure to COVID-19, especially on high-touch surfaces (i.e., door handles), paying special attention to parts, products, and shared equipment (i.e., tools, machinery, vehicles).
  9. Adopt protocols to clean and disinfect the facility in the event of a positive COVID-19 case in the workplace
  10. Make cleaning supplies available to employees upon entry and at the worksite, and provide time for employees to wash hands frequently or to use hand sanitizer.
  11. When an employee is identified with a confirmed case of COVID-19, within 24 hours notify both:
    1. The local public health department and
    2. Any coworkers, contractors, or suppliers who may have come into contact with the person with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  12. Follow Executive Order 2020-36 and any executive orders that follow it that prohibit discharging, disciplining, or otherwise retaliating against employees who stay home or who leave work when they are at particular risk of infecting others with COVID-19.
  13. Establish a response plan for dealing with a confirmed infection in the workplace, including protocols for sending employees home and for temporary closures of all or part of the worksite to allow for deep cleaning.
  14. Restrict business-related travel for employees to essential travel only.
  15. Encourage employees to use personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer on public transportation.
  16. Promote remote work to the fullest extent possible.
  17. Adopt any additional infection-control measures that are reasonable in light of the work performed at the worksite and the rate of infection in the surrounding community.

Furthermore, all offices must:

  1. Assign dedicated entry point(s) for all employees to reduce congestion at the main entrance.
  2. Provide visual indicators of appropriate spacing for employees outside the building in case of congestion.
  3. Take steps to reduce entry congestion (e.g., by staggering start times, adopting a rotational schedule in which only half of employees are in the office at a particular time) and ensure the effectiveness of screening.
  4. Require face coverings in shared spaces, including during in-person meetings and in restrooms and hallways.
  5. Increase distancing between employees by spreading out workspaces, staggering workspace usage, restricting non-essential common space (i.e., cafeterias), providing visual cues to guide movement and activity (e.g., restricting elevator capacity with markings, locking conference rooms).
  6. Turn off water fountains.
  7. Prohibit social gatherings and meetings that do not allow for social distancing or that create unnecessary movement through the office.
  8. Provide disinfecting supplies and require employees wipe down their work stations at least twice daily.
  9. Post signs about the importance of personal hygiene.
  10. Disinfect high-touch surfaces (i.e., whiteboard markers, restrooms, handles) in offices  and minimize shared items (i.e., pens, remotes, whiteboards) when possible.
  11. Institute cleaning and communications protocols when employees are sent home with symptoms.
  12. Notify employees if the employer learns an individual (including a customer, supplier, or visitor) with a confirmed case of COVID-19 has visited the office.

Although these requirements may seem overwhelming upon first glance, many of these items can be implemented via a comprehensive COVID-19 preparedness and return-to-work plan and corresponding employee training. Our team can help with any of your tailored training needs, return- to-work plans, or employment issues. Please contact James M. Reid, IV or Zoey A. Mayhew for more information. In addition, please join us for our upcoming Breakfast Briefings webinar, Returning to Work: COVID-19 Considerations and Trainings