August 11, 2020
Governor Whitmer has issued an updated Executive Order (E.O.) prohibiting employers from discharging, discipling and retaliating against employees who choose to stay home when they or their close contacts are sick or symptomatic. The new E.O. has been revised to reflect updated guidance from the Centers on Disease Control (CDC) on the period of self-quarantine after a COVID diagnosis or the onset of symptoms.
E.O. 2020-166 specifies that an employer shall not discharge, discipline or otherwise retaliate against an employee for staying home when s/he is at particular risk of infecting others with COVID-19 and to treat employees as if they were taking medical leave under Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act. If paid leave is not available, the leave may be unpaid. It is important to note that, under Executive Order, the PMLA applies to all employers, not just those with 50 or more employees.
The E.O. specifies that any and all individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or who display one or more of the principal symptoms should, apart from seeking medical care, remain in their home or place of residence until 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever without use of fever-reducing medications or 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared; since they were swabbed for a test that yielded the positive result; and other symptoms have improved. Principal symptoms are defined as fever, sore throat, a new uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, new onset of a severe headache, and new loss of taste or smell.
For those people who have had close contact (i.e., within six feet for 15 more minutes) with an individual who tests for positive or with an individual who displays one or more of the principal symptoms, the E.O. specifies they should remain in their home until 14 days have passed since the last close contact with the sick or symptomatic individual or the individual displaying COVID-19 symptoms receives a negative COVID-19 test.
The E.O. does not apply to health care professionals, workers at a health care facility, first responders, child protective service employees working at child care institutions, workers at adult foster care facilities, or workers at correctional facilities.
E.O. 2020-166 replaces E.O. 2020-36 and is effective immediately. Please contact the Chamber team if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.