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This week, Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan was among the plaintiffs that won a case in the Michigan Court of Claims, which challenged parts of Gov. Whitmer’s 96th and 97th executive orders. Filed on behalf of ABC Michigan and a private landscape company by Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, the lawsuit said the executive orders, which outlined safety standards for local businesses to reopen during the COVID-19 outbreak, striped local authorities of their enforcement power, set impossible legal compliance standards and threatened workers and employers with draconian penalties from state agencies.

Specifically, the challenge targeted parts of the executive orders that hijacked the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s enforcement mechanisms and threatened job sites with unfair punishments and potential charges, despite good faith efforts to follow COVID-19 safety requirements.

“The court defended Michigan workers today, striking down Gov. Whitmer’s attempt to weaponize MIOHSA and other state departments against safe jobsites that are taking good faith precautions to combat COVID-19,” said Jeff Wiggins, the ABC Michigan state director. “This Court of Claims decision allows more than 100,000 craft trades professionals to continue operating safely without the threat of multiple, arbitrary and significant fines or other MIOHSA penalties.” 

In the early days of the COVID-19 public health crisis, Michigan’s builders and contractors pioneered and implemented proven work-safe plans to protect the state’s more than 100,000 craft trade professionals and to prevent the spread of coronavirus.