New Michigan Employer Requirements: COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan and Training

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) is one of the first states to identify rules for employers to clarify which safety requirements must be followed by all employers to protect employees from COVID-19. These rules went into effect immediately on October 14, 2020 and will be in place for six months.

These new emergency rules are required for all businesses that resume in-person work. These businesses must have a written COVID-19 preparedness and response plan and provide training to their employees on workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of personal protection equipment (PPE), steps workers must take to notify their employer of any symptoms of COVID-19, a suspected case of COVID-19, or a diagnosis of COVID-19, and procedures to follow to report unsafe working conditions.

In addition to the response plan and required training, businesses in certain industries, such as manufacturing, construction, retail, health care, restaurants and bars, and exercise facilities, are subject to further industry specific requirements for their workplaces.

Exposure Risk Determination for All Job Roles

Prior to creating the written COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan, employers should evaluate each job role within their business to determine the exposure risk category.

  • Lower exposure risk: No contact with public or other workers.
  • Medium exposure risk: Contact with coworkers and/or the general public. Frequent and/or close contact (i.e., within 6 feet) with people who may be infected with SARS-CoV-2, but who are not known or suspected COVID-19 patients.
  • High exposure risk: High potential for exposure to sources of COVID-19 (such as healthcare professionals, law enforcement, employees in nursing homes, medical transportation workers, mortuary workers, etc).
  • Very high exposure risk: Very high potential for exposure to known sources of COVID-19 during specific medical, postmortem or laboratory procedures (including healthcare, dental and morgue workers performing aerosol-generating procedures).

There is additional OSHA guidance available as additional resources for assisting with determining the exposure risk:

COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan

A written plan should be developed and implemented to prevent employee exposure to COVID-19. The plan should include details on risk determination for each job as described above as well as addressing the following:

  • Engineering Controls – things put in place to provide barriers between the worker and potential exposure to the virus. This can include things such as air filters, increased ventilation, physical barriers like plexiglass, etc.
  • Administrative Controls – Procedures and practices put in place such as staggered work schedule, teleworking, increased social distancing.
  • Hand hygiene and environmental surface disinfection – required regular cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and equipment. This should include areas such as offices, common areas like breakrooms, bathrooms, any shared electronic equipment and other frequently touched surfaces.
  • Personal protective equipment – what PPE will be required. If an employee is in a high or very high exposure risk and will be in frequent or prolonged close contact with known or suspected cases of COVID-19, the employee must be provided with and wear, at a minimum, an N95 respirator.
  • Health surveillance – required screening protocols to identify known or suspected COVID-19 cases prior to the start of the work shift. Employees should be required to report any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and should be sent home if a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 following current guidance from the CDC. If an employee has a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, employers should let coworkers know of potential exposure while keeping the identity of the employee with the positive diagnosis confidential.
  • Training – all employers should provide training related to COVID-19 exposure prevention which should include how to report signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

The completed COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan should be made readily available to employees and their representatives. This can be done via website, internal network, or a hard copy provided to employees.

COVID-19 Safety Coordinator

Employers should designate at least one person as a COVID-19 safety coordinator. This individual (or individuals) will implement, monitor, and report on the COVID-19 control strategies required for the worksite. A COVID safety coordinator should be on-site at all times when employees are present.

Worksite Postings

Employers should place posters encouraging staying away from work when sick, proper hand hygiene practices, and cough and sneeze etiquette. These postings should be in languages common at your worksite.

Recordkeeping Requirements

Employers are required to maintain a record of all of the following for at least one year from the time of generation:

  • Training records
  • Screening Protocols for each employee or visitor entering the workplace
  • Records of Required Notifications including notifications associated to confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the workplace

Additional Recommendations and Requirements for Specific Industries:

See the following links for additional requirements for specific industries:

Additional Resources

For additional information and guidance, please see the following:

Michigan Auto Reform: How Health Insurance Can Reduce Car Insurance Premiums

Beginning July 2nd, 2020, auto policy coverage requirements in Michigan are changing. With these new law changes, drivers with qualified health coverage could potentially save money by reducing their auto insurance coverage. Anyone with a car insurance policy that begins or renews on or after July 2nd will have the option of choosing a lower coverage amount for their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Previously, Michigan drivers were required to have unlimited PIP coverage, but options now range from unlimited to no coverage at all  Continue reading

Michigan Employers: New Paid Sick Leave Law

Update (1/5/2019):

The Michigan paid sick leave act has been signed into law, and with that several amendments were made.

* The law will go into effect on March 29th, 2019.

* Only employers with 50 or more employees will be required to participate.

* Regardless of participation, all employers in Michigan are required to post the Michigan Paid Sick Leave labor law poster in their places of business.

* There will be exemptions for several types of employees, including, but not limited to overtime exempt employees, temporary employees, and employees who are already covered under a collective bargaining agreement.

* Previously the act stated that each employee would need to accrue 1 hour paid sick leave per every 30 hours worked, due to the amendments this has been updated to 1 hour for every 35 hours worked.

* The original amount of paid sick leave an employer would have been required to allow was 72 hours per benefit year, this has been reduced to 40 hours. The same numbers were adjusted for the required carry over amount.

Michigan has recently joined other states in passing legislature that would require employers to provide paid sick leave to all employees beginning in March 2019.

The paid sick leave law and the new minimum wage law (read more about that here!) were passed with the intention of amending them after the general election in November 2018.  Both were to appear on the ballot this November but now will not as they have already been signed into law. By passing them as laws prior to the hammer-485712_1920election, Congress is now only required a majority vote to amend the laws rather than a vote of three fourths if the initiatives had been passed on the ballots in November.

As the law stands in September 2018 (subject to any future amendments), all employers in Michigan would be required to provide paid sick leave to all employees (full time, part time, temporary, etc). Employees must accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work performed. Continue reading