This bulletin is intended to provide additional guidance for contractors who continue to work on critical infrastructure projects as allowed under Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-21.
The guidance herein is specifically related to the actions a contractor is required to take as it relates to designating and notifying its employees, suppliers, service providers, and subcontractors that they are “critical infrastructure workers” essential and necessary to conduct the basic operations that support a critical infrastructure project.
To comply with Executive Order 2020-21, employers must determine which of their employees are “critical infrastructure workers” and notify them of that designation.
When designating employees as “critical infrastructure workers”, we recommend employers consider and notify their employees in all crafts and locations (office, field, shop, ancillary facilities, etc.) that they may be deemed essential to their basic operations. The Executive Order requires that the employee designation notifications be made in writing (an electronic message is acceptable).
Click here to view an example of a “designated critical infrastructure worker” employee notification letter you can use for your purposes.
Additionally, MITA is recommending that all employers provide an official letter for employees to carry with them at all times, outlining their designation as “critical infrastructure workers” in the event they are pulled over by authorities enforcing the Stay Home Stay Safe Executive Order. As explained above, “critical infrastructure workers” are exempt for the purpose of traveling to and from the job site to work.
Click here to view an example of a “designated critical infrastructure worker” employee designation letter you can use for your purposes.
Subcontractors, Suppliers, Service Providers
In compliance with Executive Order 2020-21, contractors may designate their subcontractors, suppliers and services providers as “critical infrastructure workers” whose continued operation is necessary and essential to support and/or facilitate the work of its critical infrastructure project.
Such subcontractors, suppliers and service providers may in turn designate additional subcontractors, suppliers and service providers whose continued operation is necessary and essential to enable, support and/or facilitate the work of their critical infrastructure workers.
We recommend that for each and every project, prime contractors designate and notify all of their subcontractors, suppliers and service providers that they are deemed to be “critical infrastructure workers” whose continued operation is necessary and essential to support the work of its critical infrastructure project. The prime contractors notification to a designated subcontractor, supplier or service provider should include the requirement that each subcontractor, supplier and service provider designate and notify their downstream subs, suppliers and service providers that they too are designated critical infrastructure workers.
Click here to view an example of a “designated critical infrastructure worker” subcontractor, supplier, or service provider notification letter you can use for your purposes.
Clarifying Construction Exemption
After Governor Whitmer announced the Executive Order requiring non-essential workers to stay at home, there was some confusion on what essential infrastructure workers meant and whether or not construction that MITA members are involved in is exempt from the order. MITA staff has been working closely with the administration and MDOT to get some more clarification. The Governor’s office recently issued a FAQ page regarding the executive order that can be found by clicking here.
The last section of the FAQs specifically discusses construction, stating that “Some limited forms of construction are permissible, including construction to maintain and improve essential public works like roads, bridges, the telecommunications infrastructure, and public health infrastructure. Construction workers may also undertake such projects as necessary to maintain and improve the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences. In addition, businesses may designate construction firms to provide necessary support to the work of the businesses’ critical infrastructure workers. All construction work that is carried out while the order is in effect must be done in accordance with the mitigation measures required under section 5(c) of the order.”
Please be aware that the individual agencies will have the ability to determine what projects are critical and which projects are not. Therefore, MDOT, other local agencies, and other infrastructure owners may shut down a project during the stay at home time period.
If you have any questions, please contact Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice President, at email@example.com or Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for the Governor’s Executive Order.