Home Economy Michigan Builders Call Gov. Whitmer’s Workplace Requirements Unconstitutional

Michigan Builders Call Gov. Whitmer’s Workplace Requirements Unconstitutional

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In this Thursday, May 21, 2020 photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speeks during a news conference in Lansing, Mich. Whitmer is relaxing coronavirus restrictions to lift a ban on nonessential medical and dental procedures, reopen retail shops and let residents gather in groups of 10 or less. The small social gatherings can start immediately. Retails stores and auto dealerships can reopen by appointment only starting Tuesday. Medical, dental and veterinary offices can resume nonessential procedures beginning May 29. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool)

A group of Michigan builders and contractors have filed a lawsuit against Governor Gretchen Wilson’s executive order requiring construction sites to protect workers from contracting coronavirus, saying the directive exceeds her authority.

Whitmer, a Democrat, on May 1 signed an order allowing residential and commercial construction to restart on May 7.

The lawsuit, filed by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan on behalf of 900 builders and a private landscaper, contends that enormous fines companies face for not protecting workers by taking temperatures, requiring gloves and restricting the sharing of tools are unconstitutional.

Breaking the directive carries a $500 fine and 90-day jail sentence. But the governor also said not following the order also breaks the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health regulations, which is punishable by up to $70,000 a day in fines.

“Gov. Whitmer’s approach threatens the safe jobs of Michigan workers who from the start have led the way, creating the gold standard of safe worksites during the COVID-19 public health crisis,” said Jeff Wiggins, state director for ABC Michigan, in a press release.

Wiggins added: “Michigan’s more than 100,000 craft trades professionals deserve safety and certainty from state government as they return to their jobsites. They also deserve to have a voice in the rules process. Instead, they are threatened by the arbitrary, unclear and unconstitutional enforcement methods set to be dispatched throughout the state to intimidate good, honest workers.”

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