August 1, 2021

Volume XI, Number 213

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July 29, 2021

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MIOSHA Lifts Emergency Workplace Rules for Most Employers

As Michigan returns to full capacity, gathering restrictions and face mask orders have been lifted. On Monday, June 22, 2021, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) filed new COVID-19 emergency rules to align with the federal OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standards. Most notably, MIOSHA’s new emergency rules “supersede the entirety of the emergency rules filed on May 24, 2021,” and expressly adopt the federal OSHA standards for the healthcare industry.

Given the new MIOSHA rules, employers in non-healthcare settings are now able to dial back their workplace rules and may use their “best judgment” in determining whether to maintain:

  • Daily health screenings;

  • Face covering requirements; and

  • Social distancing requirements.

In other words, it is no longer necessary for these employers to implement a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan with engineering and administrative controls, basic infection prevention measures (including requiring face coverings and social distancing for unvaccinated workers), and daily employee screening, training, and record-keeping.

With the changed rules, MIOSHA encourages workplaces to follow the available CDC and OSHA recommendations to mitigate hazards. Employers remain obligated to provide a safe and healthy work environment. In evaluating their options, employers may decide to follow OSHA’s federal guidelines for protecting unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers. These guidelines can be found on OSHA's website: osha.gov/coronavirus/safework

© 2021 Varnum LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 175
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About this Author

David E. Khorey, Labor Employment Attorney, Varnum, Workplace Confidentiality Matters Lawyer
Partner

Dave’s “client-centered” practice involves a variety of labor and employment issues. He provides practical and confidential ongoing advice and consulting on a number of sensitive and complex labor and employment matters, from problem employee situations to multi-facility collective bargaining negotiations. His representative clients include diverse industries (such as automotive, printing, transportation and hospitals) throughout the nation.  

Dave has also served as chair of the firm.

Honors & Recognitions...

616-336-6618
Ashleigh E. Draft Associate Grand Rapids Labor & Employment
Associate

Ashleigh is an associate attorney currently working with the labor and employment group. She also works with higher education clients and provides support on a variety of litigation matters.

Ashleigh’s experience includes serving as a legal extern for the Michigan Court of Appeals Research Division. She also clerked for Michigan Appeals Court Judge Jane Beckering. Prior to law school, Ashleigh served organizations in the higher education and nonprofit sectors in various development and communications roles. 

616-336-6627
William J. Whalen Labor and Employment Attorney Varnum
Associate

Bill is an associate at Varnum. He is a skilled researcher with experience in the labor and employment area as well as litigation matters. While in law school, Bill worked as an intern at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where he responded to requests to the legal unit, analyzed investigatory files and provided research on employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation matters. He served as a law student intern for U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan.

616-336-6396
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