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Gov. Whitmer reinstates protections for Michigan workers during COVID-19 pandemic

Under the executive order, employers must treat employees who stay home when they are sick as if he or she were taking medical leave.
 (MGN Image with WLUC Edits in Canva)
(MGN Image with WLUC Edits in Canva) (WLUC)
Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 5:50 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (Press Release/WLUC) - Friday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-166 to reinstate protections for Michigan workers as the state continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The governor signed this order after the federal government allowed federal pandemic unemployment assistance for Americans who have lost work as a result of this virus to lapse at the end of July, putting pressure on more people to return to work, even if they’re sick. Under the Executive Order, the governor prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against employees who make the responsible choice to stay home when they or their close contacts are sick.  

“Since day one of this fight, I have urged people to do their part to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19, and that includes staying home when you are sick. But after the federal government allowed pandemic unemployment assistance benefits to lapse at the end of July, more working people are feeling pressure to return to work so they can provide for themselves and their families, even if they’re sick,” said Governor Whitmer. “As we have reengaged sectors of our economy, and in turn put thousands of Michiganders back to work, it is still vital that employees feel empowered to make the right choice to say home if they, or someone they have been in contact with is sick. These protections will help to slow the spread of the virus and save lives, but we still need the federal government to work together in a bipartisan way to expand unemployment benefits and provide support for our workers and their families.”  

Under the executive order, employers must treat employees who stay home when they are sick as if he or she were taking medical leave.

Any and all Michiganders who test positive for COVID-19 or who display one or more of the principal symptoms, such as a fever, sore throat, a new uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, severe headache, and new loss of taste or smell should stay home. Individuals must remain home until 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever without medication or 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared or were tested positive. 

As a rule, if an individual has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or has had close contact with a confirmed positive case they should only leave their home for essential trips, to obtain food, medicine, or medical care. Additionally, they may leave to partake in an outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity consistent with remaining at least six feet from others.  

To view Executive Order 2020-166, click here.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.    

For continuing coronavirus coverage from TV6 & FOX UP, click here.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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