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Employer Update: New Executive Order 2020-42 and Your Operation

Today, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-42, extending and enhancing Stay Home, Stay Safe guidelines until April 30, 2020.  We encourage you to review it carefully for yourself, but here are a few important notes for all our employer and business clients!


Workplace Plans and Protocols.  Under Executive Order 2020-42, all workplaces remaining open are obligated to develop a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan consistent with OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19. Plans should address pragmatic concerns such as how to respond when an employee appears for work with COVID-19-like symptoms or having been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. As a preparedness plan may impact other legal requirements for employers, such as confidentiality of employee medical information, employers should proceed with caution in drafting these plans.

  • Additional requirements for work locations that remain open include:
  • Restricting number of employees present on the premises to no more than strictly necessary.
  • Promoting teleworking to the fullest extent possible.
  • Keeping employees and patrons on premises at least six feet apart—to maximum extent possible.
  • Increasing standards of facility cleaning and disinfection
  • Adopting policies to prevent workers from entering the premises if they display respiratory symptoms or have had contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
  • Adopting any other social distancing practices and mitigation measures recommended by the CDC.

These requirements apply to all employers that remain open (for full or partial operations), including public employers.

In-Person Sales.  Additionally, many businesses still permitting in-person sales must consider whether to curtail staffing, hours and means of operations, or the services provided or goods available to comply with Section 11 of the Order, which additionally requires:

  • Establishing means of regulating entry among patrons to ensure social distancing while waiting to enter, including alternatives to lines.
  • Considering offering curbside pick-up to reduce in-store traffic and reduce lines of patrons
  • Limiting strictly the number of customers permitted in a space, based on store size.
  • Limiting portions of the stores as accessible to customers to encourage customers to venture out only for emergency, essential needs.
  • Beginning April 13, limiting advertising and promotion of “goods that are not groceries, medical supplies, or items that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and basic operation of residences.”
  • Creating a minimum of two hours per week for dedicated shopping time for vulnerable populations, “which for purposes of this order are people over 60, pregnant women, and those with chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.”


Building on Executive Order 2020-21 and clarifying a previous area of misunderstanding amongst some employers, today’s Executive Order explains that only Critical Infrastructure Workers and Employees Necessary to Conduct Minimum Basic Operations can work at their normal work site.  Be sure to have written designations and notices out to those employees if you are a private sector employer.

In addition, the Order provides clarity to who is considered a Critical Infrastructure Worker, limiting it to those positions designated by the Director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security in Guidance issued on March 19, 2020, but not further restricting that term in the context provided by other, subsequent guidance.

REMINDER: Expansive Prohibition on Personal Travel: The Executive Order offers clarity on the limitations on public travel, which may impact some employees’ previous travel plans—including for the upcoming Easter Holiday.


As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions about how Executive Order 2020-42 impacts your business or workforce. Our dedicated team is continuing to monitor the situation as it develops.

This communication is not intended to constitute legal advice. Since the emergency regulations and guidelines are evolving rapidly and each of your circumstances are unique, we encourage you to reach out to us if you have questions about how this or other COVID-19 prompted government actions apply to your place of business.  

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