Good morning, .
First, thank you for both your questions and suggestions regarding Governor Whitmer’s “Stay Home. Stay Safe.” Executive Order 2020-21. The MMA team, together with many of our members and our association colleagues, has worked closely with the Administration to achieve an understanding of the Executive Order (EO) and its application to the manufacturing industry while urging greater clarity. The Administration has responded with a FAQ webpage (which will be updated from time to time) and unprecedented access to Jeff Donofrio, Director of Michigan’s Labor and Economic Opportunity. We have a call scheduled daily with Jeff and members of the Governor’s office, in addition to regular communication with his staff throughout the day.
There are two important points that I would like to make today.
First, we have pressed aggressively for greater clarity that would permit critical manufacturing to continue in a safe manner as much as possible in Michigan. While we expect to see some improvement through the FAQs, the Administration does not presently intend to amend the EO. And, today, our staff and members have been repeatedly directed to Item 1 of the EO on page 2, which reads: “This order must be construed to prohibit in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life.” That is the very foundation upon which the Administration rests as it attempts to help our industry make decisions. The Administration has explained that the EO is more strict than some other states because the spread of Covid-19 in Michigan is worse.
Second, the Administration continues to advise that any written designation permitted by the EO does not need to be complicated or provided to the State. For instance, a manufacturer’s declaration that it is part of the critical infrastructure industry defined in the EO and therefore eligible to continue its operations and to identify in writing its supply chain, may do so by mail, e-mail or other written means. An oral designation is sufficient through March 31st. In addition, your critical employees can be identified on your website, through an e-mail or letter. While the Administration does not require employees to carry such written designation on their person while they travel to and from the worksite, we recommend that you encourage them to do so as there is some inconsistent messaging on the subject at the local level and perhaps from the Michigan Attorney General’s office.
We will continue to share guidance from regulators and the legal community. See MMA’s COVID-19 Resources for additional information.
We will continue to answer your questions. My team is working in overdrive to make sure you can do what you do best. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if I or the MMA team can be of assistance.