Michigan Governor’s Executive Order Struck But Replaced
By: Claudia D. Orr, Plunkett Cooney
By now I am sure you have heard that the Michigan Supreme Court struck a blow to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Oct. 2 finding that the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act was an unconstitutional grant of authority by our state legislature to the executive branch, thus striking her executive orders.
On Oct. 5, the court issued an order clarifying that its prior ruling is effective immediately.
Employers should not be under the delusion, however, that all restrictions and requirements are now null and void. On Oct. 5, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued Emergency Order Under MCL 333.2253 – Gathering Prohibition and Mask Order.
This order again mandates wearing face coverings in public (with the same exemptions as the executive orders including children under age five, those who cannot medically tolerate them, while eating or drinking at restaurants, etc.) and imposed many of the same limitations on the size of gatherings in various settings.
On Oct. 14, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration refiled its Emergency Rules – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with the Secretary of State requiring health surveillance by employers, the implementation of workplace controls, training, personal protective equipment and other health and safety measures by industry based on their specific exposure risk. These rules remain in effect for six months.
The long and short? Very little has changed. Michiganders are expected to continue exercising precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Employers should also be cognizant of and follow any orders issued by their local county health department.
This article was written by Claudia D. Orr, who is Secretary of the Board of Detroit SHRM, a member of the Legal Affairs Committee, and an experienced labor/employment attorney at the Detroit office of Plunkett Cooney (a full service law firm and resource partner of Detroit SHRM) and an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association. She can be reached at [email protected] or at (313)983-4863. For further information go to: http://www.plunkettcooney.com/people-105.html.
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