Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.
Under Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order effective March 24, 2020, only essential businesses or operations that employ critical infrastructure workers are allowed to continue in-person operations.1 The Order, which remains in effect until April 13, 2020, also allows non-essential businesses to designate employees as essential if their in-person presence is “strictly necessary” to maintain the value of inventory and equipment, to care for animals, to ensure security, to process transactions, or to help other employees work remotely.
On March 25, 2020, the Oakland County Health Division issued an amended emergency order requiring employers of critical infrastructure workers at open businesses and operations, and employers of employees designated as essential for carrying out minimum business operations, to develop and implement a daily screening program for all such employees.2 The screening criteria must include these questions:
- Whether the employee has had a fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or diarrhea. If a touchless thermometer is available, a temperature check is “strongly recommended” in lieu asking the employee if they have had a fever.
- Whether the employee has had any close contact in the previous 14 days with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Whether the employee has travelled outside of Michigan in the previous 14 days.
If the employee responds “yes” to question 1, the employer must exclude the employee from work until the employee has had no fever for at least 72 hours AND their other symptoms have improved AND at least 7 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared. If the employee responds “yes” to question 2, the employer must exclude the employee from work until 14 days after the close contact. If the employee responds “yes” to question 3, the employer must exclude the employee from work until 14 days after the travel unless the travel was associated with the employee commuting between their home outside of Michigan and their place of employment in Michigan. The Health Division has created a Staff Screening Checklist for Businesses to help employers comply with the Emergency Order. Exempted from the Order are healthcare organizations with an infection control program in place.
The Emergency Order, which remains in effect until April 13, 2020, also requires employers of critical infrastructure workers at open businesses and operations, and employers of employees designated as essential for conducting minimum business operations, to develop and implement a plan to maintain social distancing of at least six feet between employees working alongside each other and customers waiting in lines inside or outside of the business. Where necessary to meet this requirement, employers must limit the number of employees and customers allowed inside their facilities at any one time, use visual markings and signage, limit the number of entrances, and establish specialized hours. Employers are also required to post the Executive Order at each entrance and publish the order to “members of the public at large by all reasonable means available.” The Order offers no guidance on how employers can comply with the latter requirement if they are not a public entity with the ability to send an email, alert, or some other form of electronic communication to the general public.
1 On March 28, 2020, the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued an advisory memorandum and guidance on identifying essential critical infrastructure workers. The advisory list identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are typically essential to continued critical infrastructure viability. However, the Director notes that the list is advisory in nature and should not be considered a federal directive or standard.
2 The Health Division issued its original Emergency Order (2020-5) for Control of Pandemic on March 24, 2020. The amended order narrowed the screening criteria for travel from “domestically” to “outside of Michigan,” expanded the criteria an employee who has exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 must meet before they can return to work, and added the travel exception for employees who work in Michigan but live outside the state.