Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Temporarily Allowing Administrative Hearings by Video Conference and E-Signatures on Related Documents 

On Wednesday, March 25th, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-23, which temporarily allows the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, Unemployment Insurance Agency, and other administrative hearings to be held by video conference or phone in place of in-person hearings. The order also temporarily allows e-signatures in place of written signatures on related documents.  Administrative hearing notifications, normally made in person, temporarily can be made by mail or email under the order.  

“Michigan’s workforce is making unprecedented sacrifices as we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19,” Gov. Whitmer said. “Through video conferencing and other electronic means, this order will allow us to continue addressing disputes in the workplace and ensure we are meeting the needs of those filing for unemployment benefits during this challenging time.”  -Governor Gretchen Whitmer

E.O 2020-23 section language related to our industry. 

 5. Hearings held under the Administrative Procedures Act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, as amended, MCL 24.201 et seq., as well as under the MAHS Administrative Hearing Rules, R 792.10101 et seq., and any informal hearings required by statute, rule, or regulation, may proceed by telephone or by electronic means, including video conferencing. To the extent necessary, strict compliance with the rules and procedures of the Administrative Procedures Act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, as amended, MCL 24.201 et seq., and the MAHS Administrative Hearing Rules, R 792.10101 et seq., is temporarily suspended. This does not apply to hearings by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

6. Notice and service of process required by the Administrative Procedures Act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, as amended, MCL 24.201 et seq., and the MAHS Administrative Hearing Rules, R 792.10101 et seq., may be provided by mail or by electronic means, including email. To the extent necessary, strict compliance with rules and procedures under the Administrative Procedures Act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, as amended, MCL 24.201 et seq., and the MAHS Administrative Hearing Rules, R 792.10101 et seq., is temporarily suspended.

7. Administrative rules or emergency rules may be filed with the secretary of state electronically, including by email. To the extent necessary, strict compliance with rules and procedures under the Administrative Procedures Act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, as amended, MCL 24.201 et seq., is temporarily suspended.

8. Pursuant to section 18 of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, 2000 PA 305, as amended, MCL 450.848, the Department of Technology, Management and Budget is directed to authorize the acceptance, use, and reliance upon electronic signatures for a signature required by sections 11(b)(4), 32b(3), and 54f of the Michigan Employment Security Act, 1936 (Ex Sess) PA 1, as amended, MCL 421.11(b)(4), 421.32b(3), and 421.54f. Pursuant to section 7 of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, 2000 PA 305, as amended, MCL 450.837, a signature must not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form, and if a law requires a signature, an electronic signature satisfies the law.

9. Pursuant to section 18 of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, 2000 PA 305, as amended, MCL 450.848, the Department of Technology, Management and Budget is directed to authorize the acceptance, use, and reliance upon electronic signatures for a signature required under the Administrative Procedures Act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, as amended, MCL 24.201 et seq., including any requirement of a signature for filing administrative rules or emergency rules with the secretary of state. Pursuant to section 7 of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, 2000 PA 305, as amended, MCL 450.837, a signature must not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form, and if a law requires a signature, an electronic signature satisfies the law.

10. This order is effective immediately and remains in effect through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm.

 

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