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Whitmer issues Emergency Rules for workplace safety, workers’ comp for frontline workers

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: October 22, 2020


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed new emergency rules to provide protections for frontline workers and workplace COVID-19 requirements for the safety of all workers in Michigan.

Whitmer approved the three emergency rules in the wake of the Michigan Supreme Court decision which invalidated all her pandemic-related executive orders made after April 30.

She issued emergency rules clarifying workers’ compensation coverage for health care employees and first responders who test positive for coronavirus. COVID-19 positive health care, emergency medical services, law enforcement, fire safety and others are presumed eligible for compensation for personal injuries under the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act if they are diagnosed by a physician or as a result of a presumed positive test result.

“These brave men and women have been on the front lines of this pandemic, putting themselves at risk to protect our families,” Whitmer said. “These emergency rules will provide some crucial support for these workers who are most susceptible to contracting COVID-19.”

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) issued emergency workplace rules, signed by Whitmer, to protect employees from COVID-19. The workplace emergency rules require businesses that resume in-person work to have a written COVID-19 preparedness and response plan and provide thorough employee training for infection-control, the proper use of personal protection equipment (PPE), steps workers must take to notify the business of any COVID-19 symptoms or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and how to report unsafe working conditions.

Gov. Whitmer also signed emergency rules permitting administrative law judges who conduct hearings on behalf of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) and the Public Service Commission (PSC) to continue to remotely hold these hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout the post COVID-19 transition period.

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