Governor Whitmer Signs New Emergency Rules on March 30, 2020

On March 30, 2020, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed new emergency rules promulgated by the director of the workers’ disability compensation agency. These rules supersede the entirety of the emergency rules filed on March 18, 2020.

The key changes eliminate the finding that an employee quarantined at the direction of the employer due to a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 exposure suffers a personal injury that arises out of and in the course of employment. Rather, the rules establish, unless proven otherwise, a first response employee suffers a personal injury arising out of and in the course of employment if the employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, whether by a physician or as a result of the test.

The rules also more narrowly define “first response employees.” They now include

  1. A person working in ambulance operations and advanced mobile emergency care services, county medical care facilities, emergency services, emergency medical services, homes for the aged, hospices, hospital, or nursing homes.
  2. A person working in home health agencies or visiting nurse association.
  3. Any person working as a physician, physician assistant, nurse, emergency medical technician, paramedic, or respiratory therapist.
  4. Any police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, on-call members of a fire department, volunteer civil defense workers, on-call members of a life-support agency or members of an emergency rescue team as defined in the workers disability compensation act.
  5. A member of the state police or an officer of the motor carrier enforcement division of the department of the state police.
  6. A state correctional officer or local correctional officer.

Other employees of the above-defined entities are not included in the definition of “first response employee.”

The rules took effect on March 30, 2020 and shall remain in effect for six months. The emergency rules are available here:

We will continue to monitor and update our clients as the state and federal governments and their agencies promulgate rules and regulations related to the COVID-19 virus.

Categories: Uncategorized