Protections for Employees Due to COVID-19

On April 3, 2020, Gov. Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-36, which provides protections for employees who stay home when they (or their close contacts) are sick, as related to COVID-19. While the order largely focuses on job-protection requirements for employees as described above, as well as provides directives for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 (or have related symptoms), it also provides guidance regarding how to treat employees who are absent from work related to COVID-19. Specifically, the order explains that employers must treat employees (who stay at home when they are at risk of infecting others with COVID-19) as if they were taking medical leave under Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act.

Further, the order states that should an employee have no paid leave, the leave may be unpaid. Employers may, but are not required to, deduct any hours that the employee stays home from work from the employee’s accrued leave. In addition, the length of an employee’s leave is not limited by any amount of leave that such employee has accrued under the Paid Medical Leave Act and must extend (paid or unpaid) as long as the employee remains away from work during time periods required in the order.

Employers should be aware of these requirements.

Executive Order 2020-36 »