Updated: Return-to-Work Guidance

By Rebekah Page-Gourley posted 16 days ago


Many Michigan businesses are planning for or beginning the process of reopening in some capacity. Under Mich Exec Order No 2020-176, effective September 4, 2020, any work that is capable of being performed remotely must be performed remotely in all Michigan Regions except 6 and 8. Although not required in Regions 6 and 8, the order states that work capable of being performed remotely “should” be performed remotely. Any businesses requiring in-person work must abide by the workplace safeguards outlined in Mich Exec Order No 2020-175, effective September 3, 2020, which include the following:

  • Developing a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan consistent with guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
  • Designating on-site work site supervisor(s) to implement, monitor, and report on COVID-19 control.
  • Providing specifically delineated COVID-19 training to employees.
  • Holding daily self-screening protocols.
  • Maintaining social distancing protocols.
  • Providing facial coverings, which must be worn if six feet of distance cannot be maintained.
  • Increasing facility cleaning and disinfection, adopting of protocols for cleaning and disinfection, and provision of cleaning supplies.
  • Implementing certain protocols surrounding employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
  • Restricting business-related travel to essential travel only.
  • Encouraging employees to use personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitizer while using public transit.
  • Promoting remote work to the fullest extent possible.
  • Adopting additional infection-control measures as reasonable.

In addition, Mich Exec Order No 2020-175 outlines industry-specific requirements for outdoor work, construction, manufacturing, research labs, retail stores, offices, restaurants and bars, outpatient health care facilities, in-home services, personal service providers (barbers, salons, and spas), places of public accommodation, sports and exercise facilities (gyms, fitness centers, recreation centers, etc.), pools, meat and poultry processing plants, casinos, and racetracks. Under the order, all employers must keep a record of their provision of COVID-19 training, their daily self-screening protocols, and their actions concerning employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19 (reporting to local health department and informing co-workers or others who may have come in contact with them).

Also note that Mich Exec Order No 2020-166, rescinding Mich Exec Order No 2020-36, renews the prohibition on employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against employees who stay home for certain COVID-19-related reasons and changes the quarantine requirements for those who test positive or are symptomatic. See this post for more details.

A number of resources are available for businesses and their attorneys as they begin to return to work, including the following:

If you are aware of other return-to-work resources helpful to Michigan attorneys, or need guidance in a particular area not covered here, please let us know so we can plan to get you what you need.