New Laws Protect Workers from Spread of COVID-19 and Businesses that Implement Safety Measures
Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently signed House Bills 6030, 6031, and 6032 into law. The new laws protect Michigan workers from the spread of COVID-19 and businesses that implement safety measures to keeps workers, customers, and their families safe.
Protection for employees
- The new law requires employers to allow workers who are exposed to or exhibit the symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home.
- Employers may not retaliate against employees for staying home when sick or exposed to the virus.
- The law protects employees who report violations related to COVID-19.
- Employee protections do not apply when workers display symptoms of COVID-19 and fail to make reasonable efforts to schedule a COVID-19 test within three days.
Businesses that violate the law face fines of $5,000 or more.
Protections for business owners
The new laws also protect Michigan businesses that comply with relevant COVID-19-related laws, including epidemic orders and rules. The law makes clear that when a business complies with all COVID-19 related statutes, orders, and rules issued by federal, state, and local authorities, they cannot be held liable for a person becoming sick at the business.
The law further reiterates that when an employer complies with COVID-19 related statutes, orders, and rules issued by federal, state, and local authorities, they cannot be held liable under the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Act for a worker becoming sick at work.
The law states that when a person tests positive or has been exposed or displays symptoms, he or she shall not return to work until:
- 14 days have passed since the employee had contact with an individual who tested positive; or
- The individual with whom the employee had close contact received a medical determination that they did not have COVID-19 at the time of proximity.
Help is available
The business attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are available to answer your questions related to COVID-19 in the workplace. For help or additional information, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.