Michigan Temporary Unemployment Expansion

On March 16th, Michigan Governor Whitmer announced temporary expansions to Michigan’s unemployment laws. These expansions are effective immediately and continue through April 14, 2020 and allow workers to claim unemployment benefits if they are impacted by closures or quarantines as a result of COVID-19: 

  • An employer will not be charged for unemployment benefits if their employees become unemployed because of an executive order requiring them to close or limit operations. 
  • An employee is considered to leave work involuntarily for medical reasons if they leave work because of self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to elevated risk from COVID-19 due to being immunocompromised, displaying the symptoms of COVID-19, having contact in the last 14 days with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, the need to care for someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or a family care responsibility as a result of a government directive. 
  • An individual must be deemed laid off if they became unemployed because of self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to elevated risk from COVID-19 due to being immunocompromised, displaying the symptoms of COVID-19, having contact in the last 14 days with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, the need to care for someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or a family care responsibility as a result of a government directive. The employer of an individual covered by this subsection must seek a registration and work search waiver from the Unemployment Insurance Agency. 
  • An individual on a leave of absence due to displaying the symptoms of COVID-19, having contact in the last 14 days with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, the need to care for someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 must be considered to be unemployed, or a family care responsibility as a result of a government directive, unless the individual is already on sick leave or receives a disability benefit. 
  • An individual who becomes unemployed because self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to elevated risk from COVID-19 due to being immunocompromised, displaying the symptoms of COVID-19, having contact in the last 14 days with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, the need to care for someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or a family care responsibility as a result of a government directive, and files a claim for unemployment benefits within 28 days of the last day worked must be considered to have filed on time. 
  • For each eligible individual filing an initial claim until April 14, 2020 at 11:59pm, not more than 26 weeks of benefits are payable to an individual in a benefit year. 
  • The unemployment insurance agency may approve a shared-work plan, regardless of whether the employer’s reserve in the employer’s experience account as of the most recent computation date preceding the date of the employer’s application is a positive number.
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