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MICPA Member Alert – Governor Issues Executive Order

Michigan Governor Whitmer Issues Executive Order No. 2020-21

 

COVID

Referred to as the “Stay Home, Stay Safe Order,” Executive Order No. 2020-21 temporarily requires the suspension of all activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. Specifically, the Executive Order states that “No person or entity shall operate a business or conduct operations that require workers to leave their homes or places of residence except to the extent that those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations.” Violation of the Executive Order is a misdemeanor.

MICPA Response: Executive Order No. 2020-21

Section 8 of the Executive Order defines critical infrastructure workers as those described by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's March 19, 2020 guidance on the COVID-19 response.

Section 8 (l) lists financial services as a sector in which some workers could be considered essential to the extent such employees meet the following criteria:

  • needed to process and maintain systems for processing financial transactions and services(e.g., payment, clearing, and settlement; wholesale funding; insurance services; and capital markets activities);
  • needed to provide consumer access to banking and lending services, including ATMs, and to move currency and payments (e.g., armored cash carriers); and
  • who support financial operations, such as those staffing data and security operations centers.

In other words, whether CPA firm employees are critical infrastructure workers depends significantly upon what type of work that employee performs. Additionally, although it is possible that some CPA firm employees are critical infrastructure workers, the Executive Order further provides that “businesses and operations that employ critical infrastructure workers may continue in-person operations, subject to the following conditions…in-person activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life must be suspended until normal operations resume.” Therefore, critical infrastructure workers should not work in-person unless necessary to sustain or protect life.

For those members who designate essential workers that do continue in-person operations, section 5 details further direction: businesses and operations must determine which of their workers are critical infrastructure workers and inform such workers of that designation. Businesses and operations must make such designations in writing, whether by electronic message, public website, or other appropriate means.

Like many other industries and trade associations, the MICPA continues to seek further guidance and clarification from the State of Michigan with regard to whether the Executive Order applies to the MICPA’s members. The MICPA has been informed that the Governor’s Office will soon be providing additional information to guide Michigan businesses’ conduct.

In the meantime, it is important to remember that the Executive Order’s underlying purpose is to protect Michigan residents and keep us safe. If you are uncertain if the services you preform qualify as essential, please avoid in-person activities until your status is confirmed.

Please continue to look to the MICPA for the latest updates and resources as they become available.

Join the COVID-19 discussion with your colleagues at MICPA Connect.

This information does not replace legal counsel.

Source: MICPA

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