Michigan’s small businesses with fewer than 100 employees impacted by the COVID-19 virus can now apply for State-level grants and loans through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program. Please note these programs are distinct from those administered by the Small Business Administration (such as the new Paycheck Protection Program). Information on how to apply, as well as eligibility criteria, for the Michigan Small Business Relief Program is available at https://www.michiganbusiness.org/about-medc/covid19/small-business-relief-program/
SBAM highlights of CARES upcoming webinars:
Webinar: CARES Act Package
Understanding payroll/taxes and other accounting issues related to the CARES Act. Presented by Maner Costerisan.
Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 10:00am – 11:00am Register Here
Webinar: Navigating Small Business Financial Options During the COVID Crisis
This webinar will help small businesses to understand and select the best financing options available to them during the COVID Crisis. They walk participants through options and answer questions about applications processes. Presented by the Michigan Small Business Development Center.
Friday, April 3, 2020, 10:00am – 11:00am Register Here
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) takes effect 4/1 now
DOL provides FFCRA Guidance – provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document – addresses critical questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage; how small businesses can obtain an exemption; how to count hours for part-time employees; and how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law.
More guidance and recorded webinars in the Law Firm Resource pages linked below.
Sample Forms for FFCRA:
MI Unemployment New Filing Schedule
The new system uses alphabetical order to manage web visits and calls. It is being implemented as UIA has moved nearly all of its staff members to customer service positions in order to faster assist Michiganders in filing for benefits. At the same time, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget is working to expand capacity and infrastructure of the State’s online systems. Potential benefit recipients can help alleviate the system overload by following a few simple steps:
- If you have a computer and the internet, please use the website, not the phone system, to apply for benefits: Michigan.gov/UIA.
- Log onto the website during off-hours for better access – late at night or very early in the morning.
- Please be patient. If the page is loading slowly, DO NOT refresh. Give it a few minutes to load.
- View the online tool kit and frequently asked questions before you apply to ensure that you have the appropriate information and documents you will need on hand.
- If you must use the Call Center, please observe the alphabetical system outlined below beginning this Sunday to help ease the burden.
Online Filing Schedule – Michigan.gov/UIA
- Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to file claims on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
- Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to file claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
- Saturdays will be available for anyone who could not file during their allotted window.
Call Center Filing Schedule – 866-500-0017:
- Last names beginning with the letters A-L are asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Last names beginning with the letters M-Z are asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Fridays (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) will be available for anyone who could not file during their allotted window.
When you file will NOT affect whether you are approved for benefits or the amount of payment. You will be compensated from the date you were laid-off or released from your employment. You have 28 days from your last day of work to apply for benefits. UIA understands the urgency that benefit recipients are experiencing, but the fastest way to secure benefits is to follow the UIA guidelines.
The current situation is unprecedented, and UIA is doing everything in its power to ensure that those who are eligible for benefits receive them. Our team is working as quickly as possible to process applications and approve benefits. Your assistance is essential to maximizing our efficiency as we work to help all Michiganders get the financial support they have earned.
Scroll to bottom of page to see what other employers are doing.
MI is a under order to Stay-at-Home effective 12 am 3/24 for 3 weeks
Governor Whitmer, in an effort to protect all Michiganders, today signed Executive Order 2020-21 that directs residents to remain at home or in their place of residence to the maximum extent feasible. A summary of her, “Stay Home, Stay Safe,” Executive Order is available online. If you are either an essential services employer or critical lifeline company, you are exempt from the shelter in place protocol.
Clarification from Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA)
First, we have pressed aggressively for greater clarity that would permit critical manufacturing to continue in a safe manner as much as possible in Michigan. While we expect to see some improvement through the FAQs, the Administration does not presently intend to amend the EO. And, today, our staff and members have been repeatedly directed to Item 1 of the EO on page 2, which reads: “This order must be construed to prohibit in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life.” That is the very foundation upon which the Administration rests as it attempts to help our industry make decisions. The Administration has explained that the EO is more strict than some other states because the spread of Covid-19 in Michigan is worse.
Second, the Administration continues to advise that any written designation permitted by the EO does not need to be complicated or provided to the State. For instance, a manufacturer’s declaration that it is part of the critical infrastructure industry defined in the EO and therefore eligible to continue its operations and to identify in writing its supply chain, may do so by mail, e-mail or other written means. An oral designation is sufficient through March 31st. In addition, your critical employees can be identified on your website, through an e-mail or letter. While the Administration does not require employees to carry such written designation on their person while they travel to and from the worksite, we recommend that you encourage them to do so as there is some inconsistent messaging on the subject at the local level and perhaps from the Michigan Attorney General’s office.
Partner Law Firm’s Resource Pages include Q&A per scenarios and recorded webinars
Business Guidance and Resources (most recent at top)
- EEOC webinar on the pandemic and ADA and publication on ADA & Pandemic and EEOC Pandemic Preparedness
- Pure Michigan Business Connect offering virtual, statewide matchmaking platform for suppliers, buyers providing critical response to COVID-19
- COVID-19 Volunteering in Michigan
- The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)
- Sharing H-1B Health Care Providers in Time of Crisis
- Click here to receive updates from Michigan Governor
- Lighthouse Group Resource Page
- MERCY HEALTH resource for employees
- A CEO Coronavirus Action Plan from Bain
- Ultimate Guide to Remote Work from Zapier
- SBA Economic Injury Loan information and SBA offices
- COVID Decision Matrix for exposure and symptoms
- MI Governor expands Unemployment through April 14
- Productive Virtual Meeting Recommendations
- Employer Q&A regarding sick employees and furloughs Barnes & Thornburg
- Sample Employee Q & A for COVID-19
- Michigan Interim Recommendations 3-12-20 and State Updates https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus
- OSHA Guidance for Workplaces. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/
- Organizations Considering Policy Changes
- DOL- FLSA Guidance
- Unemployment Agency Guidance
- Guidance on COVID-19 Effect on STD
- Large gatherings and events guidance
- Sample Pandemic Policy https://www.thinkhr.com/hrhotline/alerts/Sample%20Model%20Pandemic%20Flu%20Policy.pdf
- FEMA Planning tool for operations continuity https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1396880633531-35405f61d483668155492a7cccd1600b/Pandemic_Influenza_Template.pdf
- Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs has published guidance for federal employees, outlining Federal Employees’ Compensation Act coverage as it relates to the novel Coronavirus.
Employers Response to current COVID-19 Status and Orders
Beware of suspicious emails as many are working remotely. If you think the email is suspicious DO NOT REPLY, send a separate email to the sender with response or questioning the validity.
To-date 37/48 companies are open and exempt from order, 6 closed, 5 staff are working remotely only
We had heard from a handful that they believed they had untested cases, another reported a fever today.
Please note: If you have salaried workers working reduced schedules. If you wish to keep them salaried you must pay them at least $684/week. Or you could temporarily designate them as hourly .
For those ordered to close (1 response):
- Salary employees will be working remotely on reduced hours, work 3 days and off 2 days per week with corresponding reduction in pay. Hourly employees are laid off.
- Some salaried working from home the remainder of office and manufacturing on layoff
For those exempt from closure (1 responses):
- Staggered shifts more to allow 1.5 hours for cleaning
- Some departments are rotating who can work remotely
- Reducing hours and allowing any staff that wants to stay home to do so. If this continues for any length of time, we will need to shut down due to lack of suppliers available to continue production.
- We have laid off 1/5 of the staff and looking at another 2/5 to layoff for the time being.
- Latest orders were reduced that may cause layoff
- We have furloughed a few employees but will be paying them 70% of their wages and they can use PTO to round up to 100% through 4/1 then will be using the Emergency Piad Sick Leave Act hours to round up to 100%
- Until the end of the week, we are paying our workers 100% for their scheduled shifts. Offices will all close and phones will be forwarded to cell phones.
- Will be reducing hours and allowing any staff that wants to stay home to do so. If this continues for any length of time, we will need to shut down due to lack of suppliers available to continue production
- All employees that can work from home will be starting on March 24th. Our warehouse will still be coming into work. We have split the warehouse employees into 2 shifts – shift A will work 6AM-12PM and shift B will work 12PM -6PM. They will only receive 30 hours of pay and can use PTO for the additional 10 hours if they chose.
- We are rotating employees. One week on – One week off. This may change if anyone gets the virus. Then all working during their shift will be on a two week quarantine.
- We are closed with the exception of essential employees and two lines that support other businesses who are essential services. 151 Laid off.Essential employees are managers, payroll, HR, assembly operators to maintain two production lines, material handler, maintenance, engineering support and material control support
- We will not be laying off any employees, we have staggered start times as well as lunch hours. We have implement additional deep cleaning on all shifts.