The Michigan Legislature has approved Rep. Andrew Fink’s plan to add a sunset to COVID-19 employer liability and employee exposure protections.
In late 2020, the Legislature passed several bills to provide businesses with liability protection and protect employees from employer retaliation due to COVID-19 protocols at the time. This included new acts to protect employers and employees as well as amendments to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act.
While a sunset was originally included in the bills, it was removed during the legislative process and the Legislature must now either rescind or alter the provisions.
Fink said he believes the rigid practices are no longer helpful, especially because the state does not have any statutes for other more common viruses that have been around longer.
“Knowledge about the virus and how it should be dealt with has changed significantly since the enactment of these statutes – as has the prevalence and availability of treatment,” said Fink, R-Adams Township. “Requiring both employers and employees to abide by these practices is costly and causes confusion as guidance has repeatedly changed.”
Some of the provisions that would sunset under Fink’s plan include requiring employees who test positive for COVID-19 to stay home from work until certain conditions are met and requiring employees who have had contact with them to complete a period of quarantine.
Fink said private employers would still have the option to enforce their own COVID-19 protocols if they choose, but mandates would no longer exist in state law.
House Bills 5244, 6128 and 6215 were approved with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate and now move to be considered by the governor.
State Rep. Andrew Fink (R-Adams Township) demanded stronger accountability measures for the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC). The representative criticized the Commission because of its recent controversy surrounding ethics violations, as well as the fundamental lack of accountability measures built into the Commission itself. The MICRC is composed of 13 commissioners appointed by the […]
“This budget plan will lead to lasting consequences in future years when we won’t have surplus dollars in the billions,” Fink said. “What’s worse is that this irresponsible plan doesn’t even include appropriations to fulfill the basic needs of communities like ours. Given the governor’s supposed commitment to roads, I was hopeful her friends in the legislature would prioritize local road and bridge improvements, but that’s not the case.”
“Sen. Lindsey is a Yale graduate and decorated soldier who chose to return to Michigan rather than pursuing a career anywhere else in the world, as he certainly could have,” Fink said. “Further, as a representative for the people of several of Michigan’s border communities, he knows better than anyone the toll that bad policies take on our population as our young people leave for neighboring states.”
“This setup would guarantee that our presidential elections will be decided by the most populated areas in the nation – like New York City and L.A.,” Fink said. “The Electoral College has ensured that every state has a stake in deciding our elections for 230 years. Presidential candidates should care about the interests of every one of America’s diverse populations, from rural farm communities to metropolitan areas of all sizes.”