What should be open during the stay-at-home order?

Posted at 7:12 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 23:39:44-04

(WXYZ) — Despite the governor’s stay at home order, we continue to hear from workers who say they’re being forced to work even if their jobs aren’t considered “life sustaining” under the state’s new rules. So 7 Action News asked Governor Gretchen Whitmer what else the state can do to enforce the order.

“We need everyone to take the stay at home order very seriously,” said Gov. Whitmer.

While many businesses in Michigan are complying with Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order, many employees tell us their companies are still open, which means they’re forced to choose their paychecks over their safety.

“I get daily emails from people saying I know I’m not essential, my boss is still making us work in very close quarters, I’m basically risking my life, and risking spreading the virus, what more can the state do for people like that,” asked 7 Investigator Heather Catallo.

“I think that the employees should raise it, take it to the attention of their bosses, if they’re comfortable doing that of course,” said Gov. Whitmer. “We encourage employees to reach out to their local law enforcement and that is the mechanism for which it gets brought to our attention.”

Governor Whitmer says she’ll look into creating some kind of anonymous reporting system for people who don’t feel comfortable going to the police or speaking up at work.

She also issued another Executive Order on Friday that protects workers from retaliation if you get covid19 or if you have to care for someone with the disease.

“We’re asking that everyone do their part, we’re telling employers that you’re not going to be able to punish someone for doing the right thing for their own care and the care of others in the community,” said Whitmer.

As coronavirus cases increase in Michigan, many of us are wondering if we should do more to protect ourselves.

“Should we all be wearing masks,” asked Catallo.

“I think that our only hesitance in telling everyone to wear a mask, is that we want to make sure the N95 and surgical masks get to our nurses and doctors on the front line,” said Whitmer. “There is no harm in wearing a mask, in fact there could be some benefit. So you can fashion one at home.”

Those new $1000 fines for violating the social distancing orders apply to businesses too, and those in violation could have action taken on their business license.

For complaints about safety at work, you can call MIOSHA at 517-284-7750.

You can also contact the state’s Covid19 Hotline at 888-535-6136.

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