Executive Order 2020-24: Temporary expansions in unemployment eligibility and cost-sharing - RESCINDED

EXECUTIVE ORDER

 

No. 2020-24

 

Temporary expansions in unemployment eligibility and cost-sharing

 

Rescission of Executive Order 2020-10


 

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death. It is caused by a new strain of coronavirus not previously identified in humans and easily spread from person to person. There is currently no approved vaccine or antiviral treatment for this disease.

 

On March 10, 2020, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services identified the first two presumptive-positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. On that same day, I issued Executive Order 2020-4. This order declared a state of emergency across the state of Michigan under section 1 of article 5 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, the Emergency Management Act, 1976 PA 390, as amended, MCL 30.401-.421, and the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945, 1945 PA 302, as amended, MCL 10.31-.33.

 

The Emergency Management Act vests the governor with broad powers and duties to “cop[e] with dangers to this state or the people of this state presented by a disaster or emergency,” which the governor may implement through “executive orders, proclamations, and directives having the force and effect of law.” MCL 30.403(1)-(2). Similarly, the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945 provides that, after declaring a state of emergency, “the governor may promulgate reasonable orders, rules, and regulations as he or she considers necessary to protect life and property or to bring the emergency situation within the affected area under control.” MCL 10.31(1).

 

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, protect the public health, and provide essential protections to vulnerable Michiganders, it is reasonable and necessary to temporarily suspend rules and procedures to expand eligibility for unemployment benefits and cost-sharing with employers.

 

Executive Order 2020-10 took such action. This order reaffirms that action and clarifies and strengthens its expansion of eligibility for unemployment benefits and cost-sharing with employers. With this order, Executive Order 2020-10 is rescinded.

 


 

Acting under the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and Michigan law, I order the following:

 

  1. Strict compliance with subdivision (a) of subsection (1) of section 29 of the Michigan Employment Security Act, 1936 (Ex Sess) PA 1, as amended (“Employment Security Act”), MCL 421.29(1)(a), is temporarily suspended, as follows:

 

  1. An individual must be considered to have left work involuntarily for medical reasons if they leave work because of self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to elevated risk from COVID-19 due to being immunocompromised, displaying the symptoms of COVID-19, having contact in the last 14 days with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, the need to care for someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or a family care responsibility as a result of a government directive.

 

  1. An individual may be deemed laid off if they became unemployed because of self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to elevated risk from COVID-19 due to being immunocompromised, displaying the symptoms of COVID-19, having contact in the last 14 days with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, the need to care for someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or a family care responsibility as a result of a government directive.

 

  1. Strict compliance with subsection (3) of section 48 of the Employment Security Act, MCL 421.48(3), is temporarily suspended. An individual on a leave of absence because of self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to elevated risk from COVID-19 due to being immunocompromised, displaying the symptoms of COVID-19, having contact in the last 14 days with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, the need to care for someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or a family care responsibility as a result of a government directive, must be considered to be unemployed unless the individual is already on sick leave or receives a disability benefit.

 

  1. Strict compliance with subsections (4) through (7) of Rule 421.210 of the Michigan Administrative Code is temporarily suspended. An individual who becomes unemployed and files a claim for unemployment benefits within 28 days of the last day worked must be considered to have filed on time.

 

  1. Strict compliance with subsection (d) of section 27 of the Employment Security Act, MCL 421.27(d), is temporarily suspended. Each eligible individual who files a claim or has an active claim as of the effective date of this order will receive not more than 26 weeks of benefits payable in a benefit year.

 

  1. Strict compliance with subsection (1) of section 28c of the Employment Security Act, MCL 421.28c(1), is temporarily suspended. The Unemployment Insurance Agency may approve an employer’s participation in a shared-work plan upon application by the employer, regardless of whether the employer has met the requirements of MCL 421.28c(1).

 

  1. Any benefit paid to a claimant that is laid off or placed on a leave of absence must not be charged to the account of the employer(s) who otherwise would have been charged but instead must be charged to the Unemployment Insurance Agency’s non-chargeable account. Effective March 25, 2020 at 11:59 pm, the benefits conferred on employers by this section are not available to employers determined to have misclassified workers.

 

  1. Strict compliance with subdivision (a) of subsection (1) of section 28 of the Employment Security Act, MCL 421.28(1)(a), is temporarily suspended. For purposes of the able, available and seeking work requirements in section 28, MCL 421.28, suitable work is unavailable because of COVID-19, which satisfies the requirements of section 28 for all claimants.

 

  1. Unless otherwise specified in this order, this order is effective retroactive to March 16, 2020. This order expires on April 22, 2020 at 11:59 pm.

 

  1. Executive Order 2020-10 is rescinded.

 

  1. Consistent with MCL 10.33 and MCL 30.405(3), a willful violation of this order is a misdemeanor.

 

Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Michigan.