Following the May 25th Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) COVID-19 and vaccination guidance revisions, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its technical guidance for employers regarding incentivization of vaccination programs.
On Monday, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Agency (MIOSHA) changed its COVID-19 emergency rule on workplace safety protocols following the Governor’s previous announcement of the same more than a week ago. Employers have waited for MIOSHA to catch-up to the Governor’s announcement last week, being caught between the Governor’s office change and MIOSHA’s existing rules published last October.
Michigan reached the first stage of the Governor’s Vacc to Normal plan with over 55% of Michigan’s population now having at least one COVID-19 vaccination. As of May 24th the work from home order will be rescinded. In addition, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) revised its masking rules, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated its Gathering and Face Mask Order to coincide with those new rules.
Last week the U.S. Department of Labor officially repealed the Trump rules on independent contractor status. Going back to the Obama Administration, the Trump rules loosened up a very strict or narrow definition of independent contractor that virtually had eliminated most forms of independent contractor status.
Back in September of 2018, then Governor Rick Snyder enacted a ban-the-box law that removed questions about criminal history from Michigan’s employment application, and he encouraged private employers to do the same. This came after he signed a bill in March of the same year limiting the ability of city and county governments to enact ban-the-box laws when it comes to private employers. Indiana enacted a similar law the year before.
Congress has made another avenue of health coverage more accessible by fully subsidizing the cost of COBRA coverage (or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985) from April 1 - September 30, 2021 for individuals who lost their health coverage due to an involuntary termination or a reduction in hours under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP).
Unemployment requirements are now reverted back to the way it was before the pandemic hit Michigan. Temporary expansions in unemployment eligibility and cost-sharing applicable to state unemployment claims established by Gov. Whitmer’s Executive Order 20-76, and temporarily codified in statute, expired on March 31, 2021. The last week that the flexibilities apply was the week ending March 27, 2021.
ASE is receiving calls asking whether worker pandemic safety rules are still in effect. Yes, they are. MIOSHA Emergency Rules put in place last October remain in effect until at least April 16th and are, at this point with Michigan cases on the rise, expected to be extended possibly for another six months.
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