A recent article featured in the Michigan Oil & Gas News covered the passing of two crucial Covid-19 related unemployment and employer liability protections. Subscribe to the Michigan Oil & Gas News Today! for more great content.
The Michigan Legislature has passed two bills codifying numerous COVID-related protections in the wake of a Michigan Supreme Court ruling that vacated Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders related to the pandemic.
The Michigan Supreme Court on Oct. 12 had made clear the decision was effective when the order was entered on Oct. 2.
Michigan Senate Bill 886
Introduced by Sen. Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth) restores some language from the governor’s executive orders that provides flexibility in unemployment claims during the pandemic and protects employers from a spike in their unemployment taxes.
The bill ensures that Michigan maintains access to federal funding for extended unemployment benefits by temporarily maintaining a 26-week state benefit duration and allows employers a full year to protest unemployment claims made between March 15, 2020 and Jan. 1, 2021. The bill restores the requirement that a claimant be actively engaged in a work search as a condition of receiving benefits.
House Bills 6030, 6031 & 6101
Introduced by Rep. Tom Albert (R-Lowell), Rep. Tommy Brann (R-Wyoming) and Rep. Wendell Byrd (D-Detroit), respectively, provide protections for employers from all civil tort claims and actions under the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA), as long as the employer follows all relevant statutes, rules, regulations and orders that were in legal effect at the time.