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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Does the new COVID-19 Return to Work policy penalize employers for situations outside of their control?

For example, an employer cannot control if an employee is immune-compromised or if an employee does not have access to customary childcare arrangements or reasonable alternatives.

The Agency’s new COVID-19 Return to Work policy seeks to both reduce exposure to COVID-19 for both employees and workplaces, and not penalize employers or employees if employees cannot return to work due for a COVID-19 reason.

In most situations, employers are not being charged nor required to make contributions to the state unemployment fund if their employees are unemployed for a COVID-19 reason. Under Michigan Executive Order 2020-76, for employees who have been laid off or on a leave of absence and receiving state unemployment benefits since March 16, 2020, employers are not being charged if their employees receive unemployment benefits as a result of COVID-19. Under the federal CARES Act, for employees receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Relief (FPUC), and/or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits, employers are not being charged if their employees are receiving these benefits.