On March 23, 2020 at 11:00 am, Michigan Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order No. 2020-21 (the “EO”) prohibiting in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life. It appears that the EO is more stringent than the “shelter in place” orders that have been issued by other states including California, Illinois, and Ohio. The restrictions imposed by the EO take effect on March 24, 2020 at 12:01am and continue through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm.
Broadly, the EO imposes the following restrictions on municipalities:
- To the extent possible, all municipal employees must work from home.
- In-person work by municipal employees is only permitted when such work is necessary to sustain or protect life, to support those operations necessary to sustain or protect life, to maintain the value of inventory and equipment, care for animals, ensure security, process transactions (including payroll and employee benefits), or facilitate the ability of other workers to work remotely.
- Necessary government activities include those performed by critical infrastructure workers, including workers in law enforcement, public safety, communication, and first responders.
Each municipality should consult with their attorney regarding the immediate development of internal policies and the designation of essential employees.