The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) has issued guidance further tightening the protocols governing in-home caregivers for older adults to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the vulnerable individuals they serve. Although the recommended steps are not mandatory, the MDHSS “strongly urges” direct care workers to follow the guidance while providing support to their clients for non-emergency medical care, activities of daily living (ADLs), and instrumental ADLs.1 For purposes of the guidance, “older adults” are persons age 60 or older, and “direct care workers” include, but are not limited to, personal care assistants (PCAs), certified nurse aides (CNAs), home health aides, private duty nurses (RNs), direct support professionals, and informal caregivers who do not reside at the client’s home.
Articles Discussing General Topics Under Michigan Labor & Employment Law.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order No. 2020-21, requiring nonessential businesses and organizations to close their physical workspaces and facilities to customers, most workers, and the public beginning 12:01 a.m. on March 24, 2020. This Order, issued on March 23, 2020, came days 13 after Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency across the state due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
On March 23, 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an Executive Order requiring all individuals currently living in the State of Michigan to stay home or at their place of residence, and prohibiting private gatherings of any number of people not part of a single household. The Order takes effect on March 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., and continues through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
On December 18, 2019, the Michigan Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision on whether the Michigan legislature’s strategy to enact two ballot proposals (one concerning paid sick leave and the other minimum wage) and then amend those proposals before their effective dates was consistent with the Michigan Constitution.1 After studying the arguments, the Michigan Supreme Court issued a splintered opinion with four of the seven justices writing separate opinions. The lead and controlling opinion held that the court lacks jurisdiction to issue the requested advisory opinion.
In an unpublished opinion, a state appellate court held the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) did not provide a cause of action for an applicant whose conditional job offer from the City of Lansing was rescinded after he tested positive for marijuana during a mandatory pre-employment drug test. Eplee v. City of Lansing, 2019 Mich. App. LEXIS 277 (Feb. 19, 2019). This is at least the second decision involving failed drug tests, medical marijuana, and the MMMA; both were decided in the employer’s favor.
One week after taking office, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a directive that prohibits state departments and agencies from asking about current or previous salaries until after extending a conditional offer of employment with proposed salary. Executive Directive No. 2019-10, intended to ensure equal pay for equal work among state employees, went into effect immediately upon receiving the governor’s signature on January 8, 2019.
Michigan joined other states with paid sick leave laws on September 5, 2018, enacting the Earned Sick Time Act. Now, amidst political controversy, the Earned Sick Time Act (which never became effective) has been amended and renamed the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act. The Act requires employers in Michigan to provide their employees with accrued paid leave to use for their own or their family members’ medical needs and for purposes related to domestic violence and sexual assault.
On December 14, 2018, Michigan’s employment law landscape dramatically changed—again—when Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) signed Senate Bills (SB) 1171 and 1175. These lame duck session bills overhaul the recently revised minimum wage and tip law and newly created paid sick and safe time law, respectively. Earlier this year, the Republican-controlled legislature adopted as law two proposed ballot measures covering these topics. As many expected, the legislature moved swiftly after the election to amend these laws before the changes took effect. This article highlights the more notable changes.
On September 5, 2018, Michigan became the 11th state to enact a mandatory paid sick leave law — the Earned Sick Time Act. The act was a citizen petition-initiated measure that the state legislature approved.
On September 5, 2018, the Michigan Legislature adopted as law a proposed ballot measure that will require employers to provide their employees paid leave that can be used for “sick” and “safe” time purposes. Michigan’s Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA) is the Midwest’s first statewide paid sick and safe time (PSST) law. It follows a common theme familiar to employers subject to one or more PSST laws, but as currently written, omits some common PSST components.
The Michigan Legislature has been busy during the first six months of 2018, addressing several issues that will impact employers across the state. Perhaps most significantly, the Michigan Legislature may send the issue of mandatory paid sick time to voters on their November ballot following the submission of over 380,000 signatures in support of the measure. Also, after a contentious ballot initiative process that made its way to the state Supreme Court, the Michigan Legislature repealed the state’s prevailing wage law, ensuring that future public works projects will no longer need to comply with prevailing wage requirements. Finally, the Michigan Legislature amended the state’s Wage and Fringe Benefit Act to clarify compliance for employers that pay employees on a monthly basis. Additional details on these developments can be found below.
On March 26, 2018, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill that prevents local governments from regulating the questions employers may ask of applicants during job interviews. The bill amends a 2015 law that prohibited local governments from banning salary history inquiries on job applications.
On March 26, 2018, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill that prohibits local governments from regulating the information employers can request from prospective employees during the interview process. Public Act 84 amends the Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act (MCL §123.1384), passed in 2015, which imposes a similar restriction on local governments regarding the information employers can request on an employment application.
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights has updated a poster that employers must post at their Michigan work sites. The poster—Michigan Law Prohibits Discrimination—is a required posting under the Michigan Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act and the Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act (MPWDA). The new poster was recently released and has reinserted language addressing accommodation under the MPWDA that had been eliminated in 2011. The new poster now states that “Persons with disabilities needing accommodation for employment must notify their employers in writing within 182 days.”
On March 22, 2016, Michigan joined Wisconsin, Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee by amending its Franchise Investment Law to make it clear that unless otherwise specifically provided for in the franchise agreement, a franchisee is considered the sole employer of workers to whom it pays wages or provides a benefit plan.1 This amendment – one of six bills signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder since December 2015 – is designed to protect franchisors in the wake of the uncertainty created by the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc.2 pertaining to when a company may be considered a joint employer.