Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office – in tandem with Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeffrey Getting – sent a cease and desist letter today to Crystal Car Wash in Portage for failing to comply with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order, which limits business operations during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The business is not considered critical infrastructure under the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order and should not be maintaining on-site operations, but reports indicated it was still open.
The Stay Home, Stay Safe order prohibits any person or entity from operating a business or conducting operations that require workers to leave their homes or places of residence, except to the extent those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct basic minimum operations.
“It is clear that Prosecutor Getting feels the same way I do when it comes to protecting the public health and welfare of this state’s residents, and I thank him for his cooperation on this matter,” Nessel said. “Businesses across Michigan must carefully consider the legal and financial consequences they will face if they are not complying with the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order, as well as their individual moral responsibilities to protect the health and safety of their customers and employees. We all have a role to play in this public emergency, and we will get through this by working together.”
Willful violations of the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order can result in a $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail for each offense, as well as licensing penalties for businesses and other entities. Violations should be reported to law enforcement agencies overseeing the jurisdiction in which the alleged offense occurred.
“During this unprecedented medical crisis we are all being asked to make sacrifices for the common good,” Getting said. “We each have to do our part to limit the number of people who are being exposed to this deadly virus. Those people who choose to willfully ignore Governor Whitmer’s executive orders are putting everyone in greater jeopardy. That can’t be allowed to continue. The threat of criminal prosecution is a serious step to take. It is not one that is done lightly. But it is a step that both the office of the Attorney General and the Kalamazoo County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney are prepared to take if necessary.”
The Attorney General’s office recently added a new section to its website, Know Your Employment Rights, to provide Michigan residents with more information on the legal rights of employees and employers under the executive order.
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.