March 30, 2020
LANSING – Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office has received hundreds of phone calls, emails and social media posts from Michiganders asking how Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders impact them, and in response to those questions, Nessel will issue videos regularly to provide answers and more clarity for residents.
Nessel today released a second video providing answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the orders, including whether businesses should notify employees if one of their coworkers has contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“Yes. The Center for Disease Control says that employers must notify coworkers when someone has tested positive for COVID-19,” Nessel said. “Because of privacy laws though, special care should be taken so that any notice given doesn’t disclose the identity of the individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.”
Nessel’s first video focused largely on the Stay Home, Stay Safe order, which has been of particular concern for many Michigan residents. The order was issued to protect the public health and welfare. Willful violations of the order can result in a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail for each violation. Violations should be reported to law enforcement that oversees the jurisdiction in which the alleged offense occurred.
The Attorney General’s office added a new section to its website Thursday, Know Your Employment Rights, to provide Michigan residents with more information on the legal rights of employees and employers under the executive order.
“This public health emergency is unprecedented, and we are facing new challenges that have never been presented before,” Nessel said. “But as we work through this pandemic together, we are overcoming those obstacles. Michiganders are resilient, and I am confident we will make it through this crisis stronger than before. Again, I urge everyone to do your part and stay safe so that we can slow the spread of COVID-19.”
A summary of the activities people can and cannot do under the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order can be found online here.
The state’s COVID-19 website also has information on the Governor’s other executive orders, directives and FAQs which allows for review of each order and its own questions and answers.
Anyone seeking interpretation of an executive order should first review those orders and the FAQs posted online. If an answer is not found, requests for an interpretation of an executive order can be emailed to the Michigan Department of Attorney General. Frequently monitoring the FAQs is recommended as they are updated often.