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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Michigan Workplace Rights Week encourages health and safety for workers, celebrates historical efforts that created workplace protections

Michigan employers and employees are encouraged to renew their commitment to workplace rights and safety in honor of those who lost their lives at work

April 27, 2021

Media Contact: Camara Lewis, 517-930-4928 

To showcase the state's commitment to the labor movement and establish Michigan as a place for economic opportunity and prosperity for all, the Michigan Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) created a new online resource to celebrate, highlight and support the inaugural Workplace Rights Week, April 26 through May 1, as proclaimed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Workplace Rights Week aims to educate Michigan's workforce about the right to organize, bargain collectively and advocate for better protections, while leveraging their knowledge to create equity amidst a growing Michigan economy.

"Everyone has the right to a fair and prosperous career in our great state," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. "We want our hardworking Michiganders to know that we have their backs and that we're committed to providing resources and programs that will keep them safe and armed with the tools they need to provide for themselves and their families."

The new Michigan.gov/WorkplaceRights website is a streamlined hub for labor information and features resources from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), Bureau of Employment Relations, Wage and Hour and the Workers' Disability Compensation Agency, all housed within LEO, as well as resources from the Michigan Dept. of Civil Rights.

"Every hardworking Michigander that keeps this state running is making a difference - and they deserve easy access to state resources for Workplace Rights and a pathway to professional success," Susan Corbin, LEO acting director said. "These resources will help working people better understand their rights and feel empowered to fight for their protections."

On May 1, 1886, women and men across the nation fought to provide an eight-hour workday and extend Workplace Rights to all. Because of those efforts, every year on April 28, Workers Memorial Day is observed across America to remember those who lost their lives while on the job and to renew the goal to make workplaces safer and healthier.

"Michigan is the home to many hard won, and critical workplace rights that ensure fairness, safety and support," said LEO Deputy Director of Labor Sean Egan. "These rights may be enshrined in law, but all require employees to proactively seek understanding of the rights afforded to them by the LEO agencies created to protect their rights."

Throughout the week, LEO will highlight important facts and resources that educate Michigan's workforce on their rights and equip them with the knowledge to advocate for fair and equitable working conditions.

"Promoting workplace rights educates while enhancing equality, fairness and dignity in the workplace," Egan added.

For additional resources on rights at work visit Michigan.gov/WorkplaceRights.