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Whitmer reinstates protections for Michigan workers after loss of federal unemployment assistance

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Posted at 5:37 PM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 17:37:27-04
(WXYZ) —

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order reinstating protections for Michigan workers after federal pandemic unemployment assistance lapsed at the end of July.

Under the executive order, employers are prohibited from discharging, disciplining or retaliating against employees who make the 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 Executive Order 2020-1, 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.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.