On May 24, 2021, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“MIOSHA”) issued its updated COVID-19 emergency rules, two weeks after the State of Michigan reached its 55% vaccination threshold. In accordance with the MI Vacc to Normal plan, which was subsequently discarded following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) guidance on masks, MIOSHA removed the requirement that employers must create a “policy prohibiting in-person work for employees to the extent that their work activities can feasibly be completed remotely.” These updated Emergency Rules take effect immediately and are to remain in effect for six (6) months.
The updated MIOSHA Emergency Rules provide that employers are to require employees, except for those fully vaccinated persons, to remain socially distant – at least six feet from one another – and wear face coverings when six feet of separation cannot be maintained. Employers can comply with the exception in the MIOSHA Emergency Rule that fully vaccinated persons do not have to social distance or wear face coverings by:
As we previously advised, to comply with the updated MIOSHA Emergency Rules, employers may request that employees provide proof of vaccination (e.g., written confirmation from the employee’s healthcare provider or a copy of the employee’s vaccination card). However, inquiries into an employee’s vaccination status may not go beyond requesting proof that the employee is vaccinated; for example, questions as to why an employee chose to get vaccinated or not, or questions regarding an employee’s reaction to a vaccination, are not permitted as such questions may elicit protected medical or disability-related information. If written proof of the vaccine is requested from employees, it should be treated similarly to other medical information and kept in a separate, confidential medical file and not part of the employee’s personnel file.
Other revisions to the MIOSHA Emergency Rules include the following:
Infection Prevention Measures
Keller Thoma will continue to monitor the federal and state legislation and regulations with respect to COVID-19 as they become available. In the meantime, should you wish to discuss any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact your Keller Thoma attorney.
 Rule 2(f) of the MIOSHA Rules defines “fully vaccinated persons” as “persons for whom at least 2 weeks have passed after receiving the final dose of an FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccine.”