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Whitmer Asks Businesses To Step Up During Corona Crisis; Says State Will Do The Same

Mar 12, 2020

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Credit State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says gatherings of 100 or more people should be cancelled or postponed.  She says businesses should relax their sick leave policies.  As we hear from Rick Pluta, these recommendations are part of her response to the first reported cases of COVID-19 in the state.


Governor Gretchen Whitmer says gatherings of 100 or more people should be cancelled or postponed.  She says businesses should relax their sick leave policies.

These recommendations are part of her response to the first reported cases of COVID-19 in the state.

“We’re going to have to make some tough choices in the coming days and weeks,” she said in address from the state’s Emergency Response Center on the outskirts of Lansing.

Whitmer says schools should consider delaying concerts and assemblies.  She’s also calling on businesses to encourage employees to telecommute.  And she hopes they’ll be generous with sick leave – maybe allowing employees to use sick days before they’re accrued.

“Ultimately, these recommendations are about slowing the spread of the disease,” she said, “to ensure that medical facilities have adequate staffing, and resources for vulnerable populations and those who are sick.”

The governor her administration is offering similar help where possible.  That includes allowing some employees to tele-commute.  Whitmer says some of the conditions would have to be bargained with state employee unions.

Whitmer says she’s doing the same with state employees wherever possible.  In some cases, she says, that may require re-bargaining work conditions with unions.

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org