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AG Nessel Supports Legislative Effort to Re-engage Economy Safely

LANSING – As Michigan begins to re-engage its economy following the COVID-19 pandemic, Attorney General Dana Nessel is stating her support for several bills that were recently introduced in the Michigan Legislature aimed at improving workplace safety.

Sens. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit; Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield; Sylvia Santana, D-Detroit; Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids; and Sean McCann, D-Kalamazoo, last week introduced bills in the Legislature aimed at protecting workers and public health as Michigan begins to reopen its economy. Similar bills were introduced in the House by Democratic representatives.

“I fully support the steps my partners in the Legislature are taking to ensure workers are safe when they return to work, and the bills they have introduced deserve strong consideration for adoption,” Nessel said. “This pandemic has strained Michigan’s economy, and we all understand the significance of re-engaging our workforce and the important role those hard-working employees play for the financial health of our state. But we must make certain that as we reopen our economy, we do so in a way that maintains protections for employees and ensures Michigan’s economic recovery from this public health emergency is not unnecessarily prolonged.”

The bills include: 

  • Senate Bill 928 (McCann): Presumes essential workers who test positive for COVID-19, without knowing their time of infection, contracted the virus during their employment and are therefore eligible for workers’ compensation benefits; 
  • Senate Bill 929 (Chang): Encourages collaboration among MIOSHA and other state regulatory agencies to create general industry standards to mitigate COVID-19 exposure in the workplace and increases MIOSHA fines and penalties to strengthen accountability; 
  • Senate Bill 930 (Santana): Protects employees from adverse action if they report unsafe work conditions to MIOSHA; 
  • Senate Bill 931 (Moss): Protects employees from adverse action if they are unable to come into work for a number of reasons related to COVID-19; and 
  • Senate Bill 932 (Brinks): Requires employers to obtain, publicly post and make readily available to employees a list of testing sites from their local public health department. 

Michigan has had nearly 5,400 deaths from COVID-19 and more than 56,000 confirmed cases, according to the latest figures. The sweeping pandemic led to the closure of nonessential business operations throughout the state, though some regions and economic sectors are beginning to reopen as the spread of the virus slows.

More information on COVID-19 and Michigan’s plan to re-engage its economy can be found here.