Good morning, .

Over the past 72 hours, we have worked closely with Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her Administration to ensure that Michigan’s manufacturing sector can continue to drive solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, sustain Michigan’s economy and support Michigan families. The Governor’s order issued this morning, to restrict non-essential activity and direct residents to remain at home or in their place of residence to the maximum extent feasible, will without a doubt impact all aspects of life for Michiganders. However, because of the work that MMA has done to educate state government on the importance of our industry and the products it delivers, Michigan manufacturing will be permitted to continue operations under the limitations described in the order.

Executive Order 2020-21, effective from March 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and continuing through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., is a temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. The order permits individuals to attend to essential personal needs, and most importantly, permits Michigan manufacturers, as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, to continue some in-person operations with designated critical infrastructure workers and workers designated as necessary to conduct minimum basic operations. Businesses and operations maintaining in-person activities must still adhere to social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons.

For purposes of this order, “critical infrastructure workers” are those workers described in the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency guidance issued 3/19/20, including certain workers in each of the following sectors:

  • Health care and public health
  • Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders
  • Food and agriculture
  • Energy
  • Water and wastewater
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Public works
  • Communications and information technology, including news media
  • Other community-based government operations and essential functions
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Hazardous materials
  • Financial services
  • Chemical supply chains and safety
  • Defense industrial base

Additionally, “critical infrastructure workers” will include:

  • Child care workers (including workers at disaster relief child care centers), but only to the extent necessary to serve the children or dependents of critical infrastructure workers as defined in this order. This category includes individuals (whether licensed or not) who have arranged to care for the children or dependents of critical infrastructure workers.
  • Workers who perform critical labor union functions, including those who administer health and welfare funds and those who monitor the well-being and safety of union members who are critical infrastructure workers, provided that any administration or monitoring should be done by telephone or remotely where possible.

Members should take note of the following process identified for designating suppliers and distributers and should recognize that abuse of this designation authority will result in sanctions:

  • A business or operation that employs critical infrastructure workers may designate suppliers, distribution centers, or service providers whose continued operation is necessary to enable, support, or facilitate the work of its critical infrastructure workers.
  • Such suppliers, distribution centers, or service providers may designate workers as critical infrastructure workers only to the extent those workers are necessary to enable, support, or facilitate the work of the original operation’s or business’s critical infrastructure workers.
  • Designated suppliers, distribution centers, and service providers may in turn designate additional suppliers, distribution centers, and service providers whose continued operation is necessary to enable, support, or facilitate the work of their critical infrastructure workers.
  • Such additional suppliers, distribution centers, and service providers may designate workers as critical infrastructure workers only to the extent that those workers are necessary to enable, support, or facilitate the work of the critical infrastructure workers at the supplier, distribution center, or service provider that has designated them.
  • Businesses, operations, suppliers, distribution centers, and service providers must make all designations in writing to the entities they are designating, whether by electronic message, public website, or other appropriate means. However, designations may be made orally until 3/31/20 at 11:59 p.m.

Obviously, much work remains to fully understand and clarify the impact of the Executive Order on our industry. As a result, we will continue to work with the Administration on your behalf.

In my conversations personally with the Administration and in the language of Executive Order 2020-21, Governor Whitmer has made clear that her team will be continually reevaluating the need for this order and its expiration.

MMA is committed to supporting our members as you weather this crisis. We will continue to provide you with information from Governor Whitmer and legislative leaders. 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.