Governor Issues COVID-19 “Stay at Home” Executive Order

Date: March 23, 2020

Essential Workers and Services Exempted

Governor Whitmer today issued a state-wide “stay at home order” to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The order goes into effect tomorrow, March 24, 2020 at 12:01 am, and continues through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm. The order requires citizens to remain in their homes with certain exceptions such as grocery shopping and buying medial supplies or to work if they are deemed an “essential” employee.

The full order can be found HERE.

The order contains exceptions for “critical infrastructure workers” and those necessary to keep up an employer’s “minimum basic operations” including those whose in-person presence is strictly necessary to allow the business or operation to maintain the value of inventory and equipment, care for animals, ensure security, process transactions (including payroll and employee benefits), or facilitate the ability of other workers to work remotely.

The order also specifically references the federal U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency guidelines on ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS.

Also included in the order is language that grants some employer discretion that allows for some flexibility in determining “essential” employees:

  • A business or operation that employs critical infrastructure workers may designate suppliers, distribution centers, or service providers whose continued operation is necessary to enable, support, or facilitate the work of its critical infrastructure workers.
  • Such suppliers, distribution centers, or service providers may designate workers as critical infrastructure only to the extent those workers are necessary to enable, support, or facilitate the work of the original operation’s or business’s critical infrastructure work.
  • Designated suppliers, distribution centers, and service providers may in turn designate additional suppliers, distribution centers, and service providers whose continued operation is necessary to enable, support, or facilitate the work of their critical infrastructure workers.
  • Businesses, operations, suppliers, distribution centers, and service providers must make all designations in writing to the entities they are designating, whether by electronic message, public website, or other appropriate means. Such designations may be made orally until March 31, 2020 at 11:59pm.

NFIB is working to seek more clarification for small business on what is considered “essential” and employees that are deemed “critical infrastructure workers”.

“We need more specificity on the types of businesses that can remain open during the period of the “Stay at Home” order said Charlie Owens, State Director for NFIB in Michigan. “The stay at home order issued by the Ohio Department of Health for that state included a more detailed description of small businesses that included contractors, laundering and dry-cleaning, hardware supply stores, and more and that would be helpful here.”

 

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