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AG Nessel Addresses Confusion Over Businesses Deemed 'Critical' During Stay Home, Stay Safe Order

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel posted a video online today to address questions surrounding employment rights considering Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order.

The video can be viewed here.

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.

Nessel called on the cooperation of law enforcement agencies and the public to ensure the executive orders are followed.

“We have already put information up on our website specifically directed to the law enforcement community,” she said. “In addition, my staff is working with the Governor’s office to get new information up on their website every day – information that will help clarify which businesses should temporarily suspend or reduce their onsite operations.”

That information can be found through the Guidance for Business page on the state’s website devoted to COVID-19.

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 state’s COVID-19 website also has information on the Governor’s executive orders, directives and FAQs which allows for review of each order and its own frequently asked questions (FAQs).

“We are all in this together. If you can work from home, please do so,” Nessel said. “If you are a business and the Governor’s order requires you to reduce your onsite operations or temporarily suspend your onsite operations, please do that. For those who must work, please follow social distancing guidelines.”

If an employee believes their employer is failing to take the proper precautions to protect employees from exposure to various threats, they can learn how to file a complaint with MIOSHA online.

A summary of the activities people can and cannot do under the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order can be found online here, the text of the order can be found here, and answers to frequently asked questions about the order can be found here.

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.