Good afternoon, .

This morning, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-36, which builds upon her previous “Stay Home. Stay Safe.” order to specify how long individuals infected with or exposed to COVID-19 must stay in their homes. Of particular concern to employers is the order’s prohibition on discharge, discipline or retaliation of employees who are staying home in compliance with the order.

The order specifies that employers must treat employees who are staying home in compliance with the order as if they are taking medical leave under Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act. All Michigan employers, regardless of whether they are subject to Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act, must permit employees to stay in their homes and use leave, whether paid or unpaid, as follows:

  • For employees who test positive for, or are symptomatic of COVID-19, until:
    • 3 days have passed since symptoms have resolved, AND
    • 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared or they were swabbed for a test that yielded a positive result
  • For employees who have had close contact with an individual who tests positive for, or is symptomatic of COVID-19, until:
    • 14 days have passed since the last close contact with the sick or symptomatic individual, OR
    • The symptomatic individual tests negative for COVID-19

Executive Order 2020-36 also prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining or retaliating against an employee who fails to provide required documentation regarding a COVID-19 diagnosis or symptoms.

The order does allow employers to take a negative employment action if an employee refuses to return to work after the specified timelines have passed or if the employee consents to the action.

An employer that violates the order would be subject to the $1,000 administrative penalty included in the Paid Medical Leave Act.

MMA will continue to keep you updated on this and other legal and regulatory developments relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to check out the MMA COVID-19 Resources page for a wide range of information and resources to help you navigate this challenging time.