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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.

Additional guidance

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.

Categories: Business, Covid 19

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