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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) .

HB 6030

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.

HB 6031

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.

HB 6032

An employer shall not discharge, discipline,  or otherwise retaliate against an employee who does the following:

  1. Opposes a violation of this act
  2. Reports health violations related to COVID-19
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Sec 5.

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:

  1. If the employee has a fever, 24 hours have passed since the fever has stopped without medication.
  2. 10 days have passed since either of the following, whichever is later:
    1. The date the employee’s symptoms first appeared.
    2. The date the employee received the test that yielded a positive COVID-19 test.
  3. 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:

  1. 14 days have passed since the employee last had close contact with the individual.
  2. The individual with whom the employee had close contact receives a medical determination that they did not have COVID-19.
  3. These provisions do not apply to employees of the following –
    1. Health care professional
    2. Worker at health care facility
    3. First responder
    4. Child protective service employee
    5. Worker in a child caring institution
    6. Worker at an adult foster care facility
    7. Worker at a correctional facility

This act is retroactive to March 1, 2020.

HB 6101

Amends Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act to add terms and definitions pertaining to House Bill 6031.

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