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Executive Order No. 2020-21: General Public.

Zamzow Fabian PLLC is a law firm, this is meant as general information, contact us directly before relying on the broad statements made herein. That is, the information contained herein must not be construed as legal advice. Every business and situation is different. To receive legal advice that may be relied upon, you must consult directly with your legal counsel.

Section 14. Penalty: “Consistent with MCL 10.33 and MCL 30.405(3), a willful violation of this order is a misdemeanor.”

Section 1. Interpretation. This order must be construed broadly to prohibit in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life.

Section 2. Order. [A]ll individuals currently living within the State of Michigan are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence. [A]ll public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household are prohibited.

However, abridged from section 2 includes exemptions.

Individuals may leave their homes if necessary to: (section 7(a))
(1) undertake outdoor recreational activities;
(2) critical infrastructure activities (healthcare, public health, necessary government functions, work on behalf of needy persons, work on behalf of disabled persons, and work on behalf of persons who are suffering from COVID-19, and persons who are designated as critical infrastructure by their employers (may be oral until March 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm);
(3) maintain minimum basic operations (as designated by employer) i.e. maintain the value of inventory and equipment, care for animals, ensure security, process transactions like payroll and benefits, and facilitate other works to work remotely;
(4) those government operations (as also listed in #2 above, section 6 of EO);
(5) to perform necessary health and safety functions;
(6) obtain supplies (use delivery to the maximum extent possible);
(7) care for a family member or a family member’s pet (even in another household);
(8) care for minors, dependents, elderly persons, and persons with disabilities;
(9) to visit persons in health care facilities;
(10) to attend court proceedings of essential or emergency purposes (court ordered);
(11) to work or volunteer as described in #2 above.
(12) travel between your own homes and residences, and as required by court order or law enforcement.

Full Text of EO 2020-21:,9309,7-387-90499_90705-522626–,00.html

Criminal Liability for Disobeying Shelter-in-Place (or equivalent) Executive Order No. 2020-21.

Michigan’s Govenor Gretchen Whitmer ordered the closure of all physical business locations, unless exempt. However, many of the exemptions do not apply if they otherwise would (i.e. the order does apply) if the work can be reasonably done remotely. Speak with an attorney before keeping your business open to avoid (a) a criminal penalty, (b) causing unnecessary exposure through close person-to-person contact, and (c) public backlash for noncompliance.

What happens if I violate the order? A 90-day misdemeanor, see MCR 10.33 and MCR 30.405. While there is some ambiguity in the order, it is in the interest of you and your neighbors to obey the spirit of the order.

What does the order say? In essence, Executive Order 2020-21, says do what we can to suppress the spread of COVID-19. It orders individuals to shelter in their place of residence beginning March 24, 2020 at 12:01 am, continuing through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm unless exempt.

Relevant to a law firm, court proceedings are permissible, however other lawyer activities are not.

Permissible activities. You may leave your residence for medical care or another other essential service, or care for family members. You can obtain necessary supplies, food, medicine, cleaning products, fuel, etc. You can undertake outdoor activities, and you can work as a critical infrastructure worker. People must abide by physical distancing (more often called “social distancing”) of six feet or more. When maximally possible: “[i]ndividuals must secure such services or supplies via delivery…”

Critical infrastructure workers “are those workers described by the Director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in his guidance of March 19, 2020 on the COVID-19 response (available here).” This includes some workers in each of the following sectors: Health care and public health; Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders; Food and agriculture; Energy; Water and wastewater; Transportation and logistics; Public works; Communications and information technology, including news media; Other community-based government operations and essential functions; Critical manufacturing; Hazardous materials; Financial services; Chemical supply chains and safety; and Defense industrial base.

But it is the spirit of the order that is most important to protect others and yourself.

What about my employees? If you have specific questions about your particular employment situation, you may contact Zamzow Fabian PLLC for more information. Including naming certain individuals to act in certain essential functions.

Employment: Disability, and Service Animals

The Americans with Disability Act is an important piece of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination based on a disability. There have been serval amendments of the ADA, and Michigan has its own civil rights legislation that also provides protections for disability and other classes.

Title I — Employment
In an employment setting, disabled persons may face discrimination over the type of disability they have as well as with their ability to have a service animal. The ADA, Elliot-Larson Civil Rights Act of Michigan, and the Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act, and others offer protection over disabled employees (with certain exceptions).

Here are few short questions that may settle some questions for employers as well as employees. Our answers are generalities as there are numerous exceptions and procedures; for example the CFR is constantly evolving and implements the statutes in a more digestible fashion.

May an employer ask whether or not I am disabled before a job offer has been made?
No, but an employer can ask whether or not you can perform the duties of your job with or without a reasonable accommodation (see 42 USC 12112(d)(2))

May an employer ask whether or not I am disabled AFTER a conditional job offer has been made?
Yes, provided all entering employees are subject to such an examination (see 42 USC 12112(d)(3)).

May an employer ask job related inquiries as to the nature of a disability?
Yes, provided such inquiries are shown to be job related and consistent with business necessity (see 42 USC 12112(d)(4)).

What is a reasonable accommodation?
The term reasonable accommodation generally includes making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; and job restructuring, acquisition or modification of equipment, and other accommodations for individuals with disabilities (see full definition at 42 USC 12111(9)); the general caveat to reasonable accommodation comes down to whether or not there is an undue hardship on the employer (see 42 USC 12111(10) and 12112(b)). And where such action would otherwise be discrimination by an employer for failure to provide a reasonable accommodation (see 42 USC 12112(b)(5)).

When do I need to tell an employer I am disabled?
If you believe you need a reasonable accommodation (during the application process or for your employment), it is generally on the employee to tell the employer of your physical or mental limitations (see 42 USC 12112(b)(4) and (5)), it may be sufficient to say categorical disabilities such as “anxiety disorder” or “mobility disability”  if you do not want to tell your employer about your specific disability.

However, when the disability or accommodation is not an obvious one, the employer may ask the disabled person for reasonable documentation about their disability and functional limitations (see  29 C.F.R. pt. 1630 app. 1630.9 (1997); see also EEOC Enforcement Guidance).

After requesting a reasonable accommodation what may an employer ask about my disability?
The employer is entitled to know that you have a covered disability for which you need a reasonable accommodation. Your employer may ask for your specific and reasonable accommodation in writing and to generally describe your condition and how it affects your work, but may not refuse your initial request. Without making such a request the employer wouldn’t know what accommodation you need to be able to perform your job and whether or not they can assess if such accommodation is an undue burden. It may be an option to have the health care provider write a letter containing what accommodation is being requested, particularly if the disability is one you do not want disclosed.

Reasonable documentation means that the employer may require only the documentation that is needed to establish that you have an ADA disability, and that the disability necessitates a reasonable accommodation. You may be asked to sign a limited release allowing the employer to submit a list of specific questions to the health care or vocational professional. See Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Alternatively, an employer may simply discuss with you the nature of your disability to verify the existence of an ADA disability and the need for a reasonable accommodation.

Is a reasonable accommodation ever an animal?
It is important to identify Title I from Title III. While Title III defines service animals (and creates a right), Title I does not. Therefore, an employer must assess whether or not the animal is a reasonable accommodation, and subsequently whether or not it is an undue burden.

Drunk Driving, DUI, OWI

What is the penalty for first offense drunk driving? Amongst other penalties and consequences (employment, public scrutiny, etc.) for an OWI, you may see jail time (0 to 30 days minimum) imposed in consecutively more harsh minimums for each subsequent offense.

Michigan’s limit for citation of an operating while intoxicated (OWI) driving under the influence  (DUI) is (a) a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or greater or (b) any amount of a controlled substance in your body. Furthermore, if you are operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs you may be charged with an OWI or other related crime. This extends to operating while visibly impaired if, from an observer, you are driving with less ability than a ordinary, careful and prudent driver would be driving.

Are there consequences for refusing to take a breathalyzer in Michigan? Yes, you could be penalized with a year or more of suspended license.

A DUI in Michigan is a serious matter that will potentially follow you for the rest of your life, it is important that every defendant hires an attorney; the difference can impact your life long earning potential, employment, friends and family. Criminal Defense Attorneys who can help.

Real Property: Boundary Line Disputes

In Michigan, property lines may be adjusted through various means, one of the most common is adverse possession. Which in essence involves one party actively working to take land from another, usually as neighbors. Often times this is done through real hostility and aggressive behavior. And that ends up deterring a more reasonable and less confrontational neighbor from telling their neighbor they believe their neighbor is trespassing and to stop, solidifying the adverse possession attempt after the statute of limitations have run.

Adverse possession is real, happens every day, and is the legally binding end result of a boundary dispute ignored by one party. Adverse possession can have serious consequences with the mortgage, taxes, and other ordinances, if you suspect your neighbor is attempting an adverse possession or you have a boundary line dispute contact an attorney immediately.