UPDATED July 2021 – Michigan OSHA rescinded the existing COVID-19 Emergency Workplace Rules on June 22, 2021.  This update gives employers much more discretion in determining whether to conduct daily health screenings, face covering mandates and requirements for their COVID-19 response and preparedness plans.

UPDATED May 2021 – Effective May 24, 2021, Michigan OSHA revised its COVID-19 Emergency Rules. Notably, employers may now allow fully vaccinated employees to go unmasked in the workplace even when they cannot consistently maintain a six-foot distance from others. The updated rules are in effect until October 14, 2021. Michigan employers are well advised to review the amended rules and update their COVID-19 policies accordingly.

On November 10, 2020, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“Michigan OSHA”) adopted an Interim Enforcement Plan specific to office work environments, that among other things, reinforced its Emergency Rules for COVID-19 (“emergency rules”) and signaled to employers the intent of Michigan OSHA to conduct unannounced inspections to ensure compliance. Michigan OSHA safety officers intend to issue citations to employers that are not in compliance with the emergency rules.

Which Employers do the Emergency Rules Apply to?

Michigan’s COVID-19 emergency rules apply to all employers with a worksite in the state of Michigan.

What do Michigan’s COVID-19 Emergency Rules Require?

The emergency rules implement workplace safeguards for all businesses and specific requirements for industries, including manufacturing, construction, retail, health care, sports and exercise facilities and restaurants and bars. These rules take effect on October 14, 2020, and shall remain in effect for six months. The requirements imposed by the emergency rules requires that employers:

  • Evaluate routine and anticipated tasks to determine anticipated employee exposure to COVID-19;
  • Categorize jobs into risk categories;
  • Create a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan;
  • Create and implement a policy prohibiting in-person work for employees to the extent that their work activities can feasibly be completed remotely;
  • Establish workplace procedures including face covering and disinfection;
  • Provide employee training;
  • Maintain records of trainings, employee health screenings and required notifications of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Employer Considerations

Now more than ever, employers need to be careful to monitor and protect against the potential of COVID-19 at the workplace. The Michigan requirements demonstrate the potential for employers to have additional legal exposure, which it is best to have clear return to work policies and COVID-19 tracking mechanisms in place. The tracking and resource capability of Sequoia’s Return to Work Center can provide a streamlined solution to address these new challenges and help your business more confidently stay compliant. Please reach out to your Sequoia Client Service team, or connect with them directly in HRX, to learn more about how Return to Work Center can assist you to stay compliant.

Additional Resources

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, medical or tax advice. It provides general information and is not intended to encompass all compliance and legal obligations that may be applicable. This information and any questions as to your specific circumstances should be reviewed with your respective legal counsel and/or tax advisor as we do not provide legal or tax advice. Please note that this information may be subject to change based on legislative changes. © 2020 Sequoia Benefits & Insurance Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Lizet Ramirez – Lizet is a Client Compliance Manager for Sequoia One, where she works with our clients to optimize and streamline benefits compliance. In her free time, Lizet enjoys live music, travel, hiking and spa days.