Michigan passed new COVID-19-related laws last October regarding employee protections, workplace safety and the employer’s legal immunity. These reward employers who are compliant with the law and punish those who are not. Businesses cannot retaliate against, discipline, or dismiss employees who report violations and stay home because they show symptoms or exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Liability immunity for businesses
Michigan’s House Bill 6030 also rewards those businesses who comply with all COVID-related statutes, orders and rules by granting them immunity to lawsuits that would otherwise move forward under Michigan’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
The new bill has been hailed as a bipartisan success between the Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the state’s Republican legislative leaders. A spokesman for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce applauded the compromise in the Detroit Free Press by saying:
“Across our state, businesses, nonprofits, child care, academic facilities and the medical community have invested resources, time and energy in complying with public health requirements and operating in a safe manner. This legislation is good news for entities that have made these investments, and that continue to follow COVID-19 laws and regulations, allowing them to proceed with confidence and certainty.”
Not sure about liability?
While these new laws are good news, it may be hard to figure out how the new rules apply to employers or the steps they need to take to ensure the new lawsuit immunity. An attorney who handles business and employment law issues can provide peace of mind by helping clients review these laws and protect the business from an employee’s lawsuit when necessary.