16 March 2020

Governor Whitmer Issues Executive Order Temporarily Expanding Unemployment Eligibility and Benefits Relating to 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.***

On March 16, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-10 temporarily extending jobless benefits to a variety of circumstances in which employees are unable to come to work for reasons related to the coronavirus. These reasons include workers who are unable to work because:

  • They have family care responsibility due to school closures;
  • They have family members who become ill with coronavirus;
  • They have symptoms of coronavirus or are under self-quarantine or self-isolation and do not have paid sick leave; and
  • They are first responders with exposure to coronavirus who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to coronavirus.

As part of the changes, benefit weeks are increased from 20 to 26, the application period is extended from 14 days to 28 days, and the requirements for in-person registration and work searches are suspended.

These changes are effective immediately and continue through April 14.

Some of these provisions are not necessarily consistent with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), pending federal legislation providing an emergency relief package to cushion the economic consequences of coronavirus. It is important to remember that Congress has not yet passed the FFCRA, and it is not yet law. In other words, provisions in the FFCRA that you may have heard on the radio, internet or in the news are not currently applicable to your business. If the FFCRA is enacted, we will provide information about its requirements and interplay with Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order.