Judge strikes down workplace penalties for order violations
A judge has struck down part of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s order that sanctions employers who don’t follow directions on protecting their workers from the risk of COVID-19 infection.
Employers would still face the possibility of misdemeanor charges. But not more-serious felony charges for violations of the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act. MIOSHA violations carry much bigger fines and a possible three-year prison sentence.
A Michigan Court of Claims judge ruled felony penalties are not mentioned in the state’s emergency management laws – and said that punishment is not enforceable. Other aspects of her orders are still being litigated . There’s no word from Whitmer’s office on whether she intends to appeal the decision. The order was handed down as Whitmer is starting to relax emergency rules intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.