On March 13, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer executed Executive Order 2020-5. The Executive Order prohibits all assemblages within the state of Michigan of more than 250 people in a single shared space beginning on Friday, March 13 at 5:00pm and ending on Sunday, April 5 at 5:00pm. A “single shared space” includes but is not limited to a “room, hall, cafeteria, auditorium, theater, or gallery.” A willful violation of the Executive Order constitutes a misdemeanor under Michigan law.
Several categories of assemblages are excepted from the prohibition, such as those for the purpose of: industrial or manufacturing work; mass transit; or the purchase of groceries or consumer goods. Other than these three categories, all other gatherings of more than 250 people in one shared space are prohibited. There is no exception for private employers who fall outside of such categories. To that end, private employers whose operations fall outside of these three categories are prohibited by the Executive Order from having more than 250 people in a “single shared space” at one time.
One solution for employers is to scale back operations. They can also stagger employees such that no more than 250 persons are present in a shared space at any given time. It may also be beneficial to encourage or require employees who are so able to work from home. Another solution for some employers is to separate employees across several “shared spaces.” For example, employers who have “satellite offices” or multiple facilities available to its employees should spread employees over multiple locations.
Mark C. Knoth chairs the firm’s Labor, Employment, Employee Benefits & ERISA Practice Group. He counsels and advises business owners, managers and human resources professionals on workplace issues. These include civil rights and anti-discrimination laws; employee discipline; wage and hour; overtime; employee leaves; reasonable accommodations; veterans issues; picketing; secondary boycotts; reductions in force; drug testing; unemployment compensation; affirmative action; and union organizing campaigns, among other matters. He additionally drafts employee policies, handbooks, contracts, and covenants not to compete, and investigates threats of violence, allegations of harassment, and other employee misconduct.
Olivia V. Hankinson counsels and advises business owners, managers and human resources professionals on various labor and employment related issues. These often involve concerns which may implicate employment laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the National Labor Relations Act, and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act. Olivia represents employers with respect to unemployment insurance hearings, MIOSHA violation allegations, EEOC investigations, and other employment law matters. She also drafts employee handbooks, employment agreements, restrictive covenants, and various other employment policies.
Brandi M. Dobbs is an associate at Kerr Russell who supports the business and litigation needs of clients. She focuses on bankruptcy and restructuring. Brandi has successfully guided consumer debtors through Chapter 7 and assisted business debtors through the Chapter 11 process.
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