Gov. Whitmer signs executive order expanding worker protections as Michigan reengages sectors of the economy

LANSING — Monday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed executive order 2020-91 to ensure robust protections for Michigan workers as she continues to re-engage parts of the economy.

This executive order requires all businesses to adhere to strict safety guidelines to protect their workers, their patrons, and their communities from infection. To foster compliance, the governor also signed Executive Directive 2020-6 to appoint a Director of COVID-19 Workplace Safety within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

“The vast majority of Michigan businesses are doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19, but we must do more to ensure Michiganders are safe at work,” Whitmer said. “This executive order, and the Director of COVID-19 Workplace Safety, will help ensure employers take the needed measures to protect workers and customers from the spread of COVID-19. I will continue to work around the clock with LEO Director Donofrio and my partners in health care, business, and labor to ensure protections for every Michigan worker.”

“The governor’s actions make sure that as we reengage our economy, workplaces are safe for employees and customers,” said Jeff Donofrio, director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “The Director of COVID-19 Workplace Safety will help to coordinate safety guidelines across workplaces and ensure workers and employers know the latest ways to keep us safe.”

Under Executive Order 2020-91, businesses that resume in-person work must, among other things, develop a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan and make it available to employees and customers by June 1.

“We’re grateful to Gov. Whitmer for taking action today to save lives and hold down the spread of this awful virus,” said Ron Bieber, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “It’s not right to force people back to work without making sure they’re kept safe. Anyone returning to work should know they’ll be safe in their workplace, and our state should be acting to hold bad actors accountable. We’ll continue to work with the Michigan Economic Recovery Council and with all our affiliates to make sure that guidelines are clear and consistent to keep everyone safe at work, and that families aren’t in danger when folks return home.”

Businesses must also provide COVID-19 training to workers that covers, at a minimum, workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of PPE, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and how to report unsafe working conditions.

Under Executive Directive 2020-6, all state departments and agencies that are responsible for enforcing workplace health-and-safety standards must monitor workplaces for compliance with the rules adopted in Executive Order 2020-91 and, as necessary, take action to enforce the order and ensure compliance.

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