Governor Finally Lifts Pandemic Restrictions on Employers

Date: July 01, 2021

Michigan’s being the only state with pandemic restrictions ends.

Michigan’s title of being the last state in the nation with pandemic restrictions in place finally ended on June 22. On that date, the Michigan Department of Health and Human services (MDHHS) lifted capacity limits, mask, and social distancing requirements and the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration (MIOSHA) suspended the emergency rules that were renewed in May and, instead, adopted the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules for Covid-19 by reference. The new MIOSHA regulations will expire on December 22, 2021.

Previous attempts by the governor, organized labor advocates, and MIOSHA to make their temporary emergency Covid-19 employer rules permanent were defeated after mounting pressure from NFIB and the business community. The changes also bring an end to months of confusion caused by the Whitmer administration’s contradictory MDHHS orders and MIOSHA rules.

The MDHHS Epidemic Order rescinding the restrictions can be found HERE. The new MIOSHA Covid-19 rule change can be found HERE. The OSHA employer guidance for Covid-19 referenced in the new MIOSHA rules can be found HERE.

As noted in the federal OSHA guidance:

“Unless otherwise required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, most employers no longer need to take steps to protect their fully vaccinated workers who are not otherwise at-risk from COVID-19 exposure. This guidance focuses only on protecting unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers in their workplaces (or well-defined portions of workplaces).”

Under the federal guidelines, mandatory workplace rules, such as mask wearing, social distancing, workstation barriers, and other measures are only required for health care workers. Non-health care workers would not be required to wear face masks, conduct daily health screenings, or social distance. However, employers who wish to continue these practices could choose to do so.

NFIB will continue to update members on any changes to these rules and orders.

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