Michigan businesses are prohibited from firing or disciplining employees who walk off jobs to take care of “close contacts” with symptoms of the novel coronavirus, under an executive order issued by Gov.
The order requires businesses to treat employees as if those workers have taken medical leave under the state’s paid medical leave act. The order further requires bosses to provide unpaid leave during the state’s coronavirus emergency order if an employee has exhausted their leave. Under Michigan law, private employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide a minimum of 36 hours of paid sick leave annually.
The order follows complaints from workers at large Michigan employers such as
The order has various exceptions for health-care, emergency services, correctional facilities, and child protective services workers. But covered employees will be able to take leave “when they or their close contacts are sick,” and applies when a “close contact” has symptoms of the virus, not just for those who have tested positive.
“Staying home and staying safe is one of the most important things we can do to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, and this executive order will ensure more people can do so without facing discrimination from their workplace,” Whitmer (D) said.
For additional legal resources, visit Bloomberg Law In Focus: Coronavirus (Bloomberg Law Subscription).
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