On Wednesday, April 23rd, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-57, extending and building upon her earlier executive order expanding eligibility for unemployment benefits during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
This new Order significantly expands the Work Share Program to further encourage employers to utilize the program to avoid layoffs. An employer may apply for a work share plan if layoff would be avoided for just 10 percent of employees in a unit; new employees with less than three months on the job may qualify for the plan and the range of work reduction permitted under the program is expanded to 10-60 percent from the statutory requirement of 15 to 45 percent.
The order also extends benefits to individuals who voluntarily left a job to accept new employment but were unable to start their new position due to the pandemic.
To help manage unprecedented levels of unemployment claims, Executive Order 2020-57 permits state retirees to return to work at the Unemployment Insurance Agency or MIOSHA without impacting their pensions. Additionally, the Unemployment Insurance Agency has released a number of videos to help claimants navigate the system.