Liability Package Passes the House
October 14, 2020
Late last night after hours of negotiations a legislative package consisting of coronavirus liability protections for businesses passed the Michigan Legislature and moves to the Governor’s desk for a signature. This legislation will help prevent potential COVID-19 lawsuits for employers as well as provide employee protections for employer retaliation.
The following is a summary of the package (HB 6030-6032, 6101) .
A Business/Person who acts in compliance with all federal, state, and local statutes, rules, regulations, executive orders, and agency orders related to COVID-19 that had not been denied legal effect at the time of the conduct or risk that allegedly caused harm is immune from liability for a COVID-19 Claim.
An isolated deviation from strict compliance with such statutes, rules, regulations, executive orders, and agency orders unrelated to the plaintiff’s injuries does not deny a business/person the immunity.
This applies retroactively to any claim or cause of action after March 1, 2020.
Amends Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act –
An employer is not liable for an employee’s exposure to COVID-19 if the employer was operating in compliance with all federal, state, and local statutes, rules, and regulations, executive orders, and agency orders related to COVID-19 that had not been denied legal effect at the time of exposure.
An employer shall not discharge, discipline, or otherwise retaliate against an employee who does the following:
- Opposes a violation of this act
- Reports health violations related to COVID-19
- Complies with the following, including where an employee who displays the principal symptoms of COVID-19 does not report to work and later tests negative for COVID-19.
- This does not apply to an employee who after displaying the principal symptoms of COVID-19, fails to make reasonable efforts to schedule a COVID-19 test within 3 days after receiving a request from their employer to get tested for COVID-19
An employee who tests positive for COVID-19 or displays the principal symptoms of COVID-19 shall not report to work until all of the following are met:
- If the employee has a fever, 24 hours have passed since the fever has stopped without medication.
- 10 days have passed since either of the following, whichever is later:
- The date the employee’s symptoms first appeared.
- The date the employee received the test that yielded a positive COVID-19 test.
- The employee’s principal symptoms of COVID-19 have improved.
An employee who has close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 or with an individual who displays the principal symptoms of COVID-19 shall not report to work until 1 of the following is met:
- 14 days have passed since the employee last had close contact with the individual.
- The individual with whom the employee had close contact receives a medical determination that they did not have COVID-19.
- These provisions do not apply to employees of the following –
- Health care professional
- Worker at health care facility
- First responder
- Child protective service employee
- Worker in a child caring institution
- Worker at an adult foster care facility
- Worker at a correctional facility
This act is retroactive to March 1, 2020.
Amends Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act to add terms and definitions pertaining to House Bill 6031.