Michigan governor signs executive order expanding worker protections as state prepares to reopen economy

Gretchen Whitmer calls for appointment of new director of COVID-19 Workplace Safety

Michigan (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – On Monday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed executive order 2020-91 to ensure robust protections for Michigan workers as she continues to re-engage parts of the economy.

This executive order requires all businesses to adhere to strict safety guidelines to protect their workers, their patrons, and their communities from infection.

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 51,915 as of Monday, including 4,915 deaths, state officials report.

“I know many businesses and workers are eager to get back to work. This executive order provides a roadmap of how to do that in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of Michiganders first,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “COVID-19 has changed how we must think about workplace safety. Because every worker in every industry across this state is impacted by the threat of this virus, we must work with our businesses to educate them on their responsibilities and then we must be diligent in ensuring that they abide by them.

To foster compliance, the governor also signed Executive Directive 2020-6 to appoint a Director of COVID-19 Workplace Safety within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO).

“The vast majority of Michigan businesses are doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19, but we must do more to ensure Michiganders are safe at work,” said Whitmer.

“This executive order, and the Director of COVID-19 Workplace Safety, will help ensure employers take the needed measures to protect workers and customers from the spread of COVID-19. I will continue to work around the clock with LEO Director Donofrio and my partners in health care, business, and labor to ensure protections for every Michigan worker.”

“The Governor’s actions make sure that as we reengage our economy, workplaces are safe for employees and customers,” said Jeff Donofrio, Director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “The Director of COVID-19 Workplace Safety will help to coordinate safety guidelines across workplaces and ensure workers and employers know the latest ways to keep us safe.”