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Power Play: State Levies Legally Dubious Virus Rule Fines On Business

The state of Michigan fined a glass company in Kalamazoo $2,100 because employees working outside were not wearing face masks or maintaining six feet of social distancing between each other.

According to the citation, the employees were working on a forklift platform situated on rough terrain.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has directed state agencies, including the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), to impose sanctions authorized by unrelated laws for violations of executive order rules authorized by the 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act. The practice lets the state collect more revenue from businesses than allowed by the emergencies law.

MIOSHA is one of the agencies within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and performed the inspection that triggered the fines in Portage on June 16. The state issued the notice of violation on Aug. 25.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.