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Whitmer signs executive orders on unemployment benefits

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-24 Wednesday, clarifying how the expansion of eligibility for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 will work.

According to a press release from Whitmer’s office, the order:

≤ Suspends the requirement for an individual seeking unemployment to request a registration and work search waiver from their employer;

≤ Allows anyone with an active unemployment claim to receive up to a six-week benefit extension.

≤ Expands cost-sharing with employers. Any benefit paid to a claimant that is laid off or placed on a leave of absence will not be charged to the employer’s accounts, but instead will be pooled and assumed by the Nonchargeable Benefits Component of employer accounts. Employers who unlawfully misclassify their workers and have underpaid their unemployment tax do not get the benefit of this enhanced cost-sharing.

Whitmer also signed Executive Order 2020-23 Wednesday, which temporarily allows the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, Unemployment Insurance Agency, and other administrative hearings to be held by video conference or phone in place of in-person hearings, a press release states. The order also temporarily allows e-signatures in place of written signatures on related documents.

Administrative hearing notifications, normally made in person, temporarily can be made by mail or email under the order.

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of: fever, cough, shortness of breath

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is:

≤ If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.

≤ Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.

≤ Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

≤ Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

≤ Avoid contact with people who are sick.

≤ If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.

≤ Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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