Advocacy News – April 13, 2021
Governor Whitmer moved today to extend the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (MIOSHA) Emergency COVID-19 Workplace Safety Rules (“Emergency Rules”).
The Emergency Rules require employers to “create a policy prohibiting in-person work for employees to the extent that their work activities can feasibly be completed remotely.” They also govern workplace controls, including social distancing, mask-wearing and sanitation practices. The Emergency Rules can be found here and the extension order can be found here.
The Chamber had been hopeful that the Emergency Rules, when extended, would include more flexibility for in-person work, among other changes. Unfortunately, the Governor opted to extend the Emergency Rules, without change, for another six months, or until October 14, 2021.
As reported separately, MIOSHA also released a draft of their proposed permanent COVID-19 workplace safety rules. MIOSHA has said once the permanent rules are in place (which could take six to 12 months), the Emergency Rules will be rescinded.
Despite this latest setback on reopening Michigan’s economy, the Michigan Chamber will continue to advocate that offices are some of the lowest risk settings and should be allowed to reopen with the proper safety protocols in place, especially as more and more Michiganders get vaccinated and we move towards herd immunity. We believe the state should trust job providers and employees to get back to work safely. This is the only way to help struggling businesses and move our state’s economy forward.
The Michigan Chamber is leading the Reopen Michigan Safely coalition. Visit the website today to get involved and to make your voice heard.
Please contact Wendy Block with any questions at email@example.com.