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In an employment law update we published last week, we told you that the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) was considering extending its Emergency Rules for the workplace (available here) for an additional six months. On Monday, April 12, Governor Whitmer announced that that the MIOSHA Emergency Rules would be extended for an additional six months once they expire on April 14. This means that all current MIOSHA Emergency Rule provisions will remain in full effect until October 12, 2021, or until the Emergency Rules are rescinded.
MIOSHA’s Emergency Rules have been the primary source of COVID-19 protocols for employers since they took effect last October. While the Emergency Rules cover a wide range of COVID-19 protocols in the workplace, you should be mindful of the following important requirements of the Emergency Rules:
- Have a written COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan;
- Perform daily health screenings to exclude sick employees from the workplace and carry out deep cleaning whenever a known COVID-19 exposure has occurred;
- Require masks whenever social distancing is not feasible or whenever in common areas (hallways, restrooms, meeting rooms);
- Prohibit in-person work to the extent remote work is feasible and be prepared to articulate why in-person work is necessary for any employees who are required to work onsite;
- Supply masks and other personal protective equipment to employees;
- Comply with industry-specific regulations if your operations fall within one of the workplace categories in Rule 9 of the Emergency Rules.
As noted in our update last week, MIOSHA has also begun the process to put more permanent rules into place. So far, there is no indication of what those more permanent rules will be or whether MIOSHA will keep the Emergency Rules in effect for the entire six-month extension. For the time being, Michigan employers should continue to adhere to the Emergency Rules exactly as before. Keep in mind that you and your employees must continue to follow the Emergency Rules even if some or all onsite personnel have received COVID-19 vaccinations as there is currently no exception for vaccinated employees.
Our employment law experts will keep you updated as the State’s COVID-19 rules and regulations continue to evolve.
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