13 March 2020

Businesses Will Be Impacted By Executive Order Signed By Gov. Whitmer To Mitigate Coronavirus

***Information and guidance in client updates was up to date at time of publication. During the pandemic, information and guidance has been changing rapidly. If you have any questions about the information contained in a client update, please contact the author(s) or your Miller Johnson attorney.***

Miller Johnson’s Coronavirus / COVID-19 Response Team continues to monitor recent developments so that we can provide clients with information and resources as soon as they become available.

Just a few hours ago, Governor Gretchen Whitmer took the most substantial action yet in the State of Michigan by signing Executive Order 2020-5.  This Executive Order does the following: (1) effective 5:00 p.m. today (March 13), all assemblages of more than 250 people in a single shared space (e.g., room, hall, cafeteria, theater or gallery) and all events of more than 250 people are prohibited; and (2) effective Monday, March 16, all elementary and secondary schools in Michigan – both public and private –  are closed.  Both of these prohibitions are currently in place through April 5, 2020.  Violation of either of these prohibitions is considered a misdemeanor crime.

The only exceptions to the assemblages of more than 250 people are those gatherings for the following purposes:  (1) industrial or manufacturing work (2) mass transit; and (3) the purchase of groceries or consumer goods.  There are no exceptions to the temporary school closure, although it does not apply to childcare facilities.

The limitations on assemblages of more than 250 people will directly impact many businesses, as well as non-exempt employers with more than 250 employees in a single room.  At this point, it appears that employers with more than 250 employees who are located in multiple rooms, such as office buildings, would not violate the Executive Order.

If you have any questions about this Executive Order or COVID-19 and the workplace, please contact any Miller Johnson attorney or Lance Hartman (, who can direct you to a Miller Johnson attorney.