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March 2020

Executive Order 2020-21 (COVID-19) – What the Stay at Home Order Means for Michigan Citizens and Businesses

On March 23, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued a “stay-at-home” order titled Executive Order 2020-21 (“EO 2020-21”). The stated purpose of the Order is to assist in slowing the spread of novel Coronavirus COVID-19 and to protect the healthcare system from being overwhelmed. This article provides an overview of the Order and how it may impact Michigan citizens and businesses.

At the most fundamental level, EO 2020-21 orders all individuals to stay at their place of residence until April 13, 2020. The Order states that it “must be construed broadly to prohibit in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life.”

However, there are exemptions. Some of the restrictions and exemptions outlined in the Order are as follows (this list is non-exclusive):

  • General Stay at Home: “All individuals currently living within the State of Michigan are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence.”

Residential Related Exemptions: Non-work-related exemptions include performing an outdoor activity, obtaining essential supplies like groceries, or caring for a family member.

  • Business Specific Stay at Home Order: “No person or entity shall operate a business or conduct operations that require workers to leave their homes or places of residence. . .”

Business Exemption: Unless necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations.

> Workers Needed to Sustain or Protect Life (i.e. critical infrastructure workers).

Examples: Health care and public health; Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders; Food and agriculture (including grocery stores); Energy, including certain workers in the electric, petroleum and natural gas and propane gas industries; Water, wastewater, and other public works; Transportation and logistics; Communications and information technology; Critical manufacturing, Financial Services and others.

> Workers Needed to Conduct Minimum Basic Operations (Of a Business)

Defined as those whose in-person presence is strictly necessary to allow the business or operation to maintain the value of inventory and equipment, care for animals, ensure security, process transactions (including payroll and employee benefits), or facilitate the ability of other workers to work remotely. Id.

  • No Gatherings Outside of Single Household – all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household are prohibited. However, the Governor has indicated that religious gatherings are exempted although people are encouraged to social distance.
  • Social Distancing – Social distancing measures must be adhered to if a person leaves the home under a qualified exemption.

See the Full Order at EO 2020-21.

If you have questions about the Executive Order feel free to reach out to our attorneys as noted below. 

Richard S.

Benjamin L.

Nicholas J.

Foley, Baron, Metzger & Juip, PLLC has implemented a work from home policy that is compliant with EO 2020-21. Our Attorneys are available via mobile phone, email, and online video conferencing.