No Mask, No Service: Michigan Expands Face Covering Requirements

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On July 10, 2020, in response to a recent increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the state, Michigan Governor Whitmer issued an Executive Order requiring individuals to wear face masks covering their nose and mouth, and businesses to refuse to provide service to customers without face coverings. The Order requires individuals to wear face coverings: (1) in any public indoor space; (2) in public outdoor spaces where individuals are unable to maintain a six-foot or more distance consistently; and (3) when waiting for or riding public transportation, as well as while using a taxi, ride-sharing vehicle, or private car service. The Order does carve out limited exceptions to the face covering requirement including, but not limited to, when removal of the face covering is necessary to perform a service, when an individual cannot medically tolerate a facemask, when eating or drinking in a food services establishment, and/or for identification purposes when entering a business or receiving a service.

The Order places the following requirements on businesses open to the public:

  • No businesses shall provide services or allow a customer on their premises unless the customer is wearing a face covering as required by the Order.
  • Businesses are required to post signage at their entrances instructing individuals of the legal obligation to wear a face covering while inside. Businesses may be required to post signs developed and made available by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

A business/licensee found to be in violation of the Order may have its business license to operate temporarily suspended under section 92 of the Administrative Procedures Act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, as amended, MCL 24.292(2). Any willful violation of this Order is a misdemeanor offense subject to a $500 fine pursuant to the Emergency Powers of Governor, MCL 10.33 and Emergency Management Act, MCL 30.405. Finally, any protections against discrimination offered in the state of Michigan, including but not limited to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, 1976 PA 453, as amended, MC 37.2101, shall continue to apply to individuals who wear a face covering under this Order.

The Order takes effect on July 13, 2020, with no designated expiration date.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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