Whitmer imposes requirements on businesses returning to in-person work

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced bars and restaurants in parts of Northern Michigan will be...
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced bars and restaurants in parts of Northern Michigan will be allowed to reopen Friday.(WJRT)
Published: May. 18, 2020 at 2:42 PM EDT
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(5/18/2020) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer established new requirements for businesses reopening during the coronavirus pandemic and created a new statewide position to monitor them.

She announced an order on Monday that requires employers to offer protections against coronavirus for all of their workers, customers and communities before resuming in-person work.

The requirements for each employer include:

-- Developing a coronavirus preparedness and response plan available to employees and customers by June 1.

-- Training all workers on workplace infection control practices and use of personal protective equipment.

-- Training workers on what to do if they are diagnosed with coronavirus or begin feeling symptoms of the illness.

-- Training workers on how to report potentially unsafe working conditions.

“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,” Whitmer said.

To make sure businesses properly implement the requirements, Whitmer signed another order creating a statewide director of COVID-19 workplace safety position within the Michigan 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," said Jeff Donofrio, director of the state labor department.

Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber applauded the orders for protecting workers as they return from coronavirus layoffs.

“It’s not right to force people back to work without making sure they’re kept safe," he said. "Anyone returning to work should know they’ll be safe in their workplace, and our state should be acting to hold bad actors accountable."