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MNLA E-Training, Project Plant

March 26, 2020: Breaking News from Governor Whitmer's Press Conference Today

MNLA Members,
 
In today’s press conference, Governor Whitmer clearly stated that landscape services are not included as a business necessary to sustain or protect life and ordered us to stop working and stay home. Based on this statement, if you are not directly exempted in Executive Order No. 2020-21 as a “business necessary to sustain or protect life”, we are recommending that you cease working until this Executive Order expires on April 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. We are hearing that enforcement actions are planned and in some areas are already taking place.
 
Please know that we are not giving up and are continuing to fight for all of you. This is far from over and with renewed vigor we are doubling our efforts to communicate the importance of our great, green industry and to fight the inequity of this situation. The entire MNLA Team continues to work for you and is available to help you navigate through this and to stay in compliance. Please direct your questions or concerns to Amy at amy@mnla.org. Additional information you should know:
 
1. You can continue to conduct minimum basic operations of your business! In section 4. (b) of the Executive Order you can continue to conduct minimum basic operation of your business. This includes “…to maintain the value of inventory and equipment…ensure security, process transactions (including payroll and employee benefits), or facilitate the ability of other workers to work remotely.” You must determine what employees are necessary to conduct minimum basic operations and provide a letter to each employee. This should be done immediately. A template for this letter is attached HERE.
 
2. You can continue to work IF you are designated a supplier, distribution center, or service provider by a critical infrastructure business! In Section 9. (b) (1) – (5) of the Executive Order you can continue to work if you are designated a supplier, distribution center, or service provider by a critical infrastructure business. These designations have to be made in writing immediately. This language is found HERE.
 
3. You can continue to work IF you are designated agriculture --nursery, greenhouse, seedling, Christmas tree, seed firms, etc. Please note that per the EO, “Businesses and operations maintaining in-person activities must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers…” Please refer to the Executive Order for more details.If you have employees you will need to provide them with a letter that they will need to carry with them as they travel to-and-from work. Here are the elements that should be included in this letter:
a. The letter should be on your letterhead.
b. The letter should reference Executive Order 2020-21 and that your firm is included in the Food and Agriculture exemption.
c. State that your employee (name can be included but isn’t mandatory) is commuting to and from your workplace and include the address of the physical location they are working at.
 
4. Additional Resources:
a. Our national partner, AmericanHort, is taking the lead on all that is taking place on the federal level. This includes the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act that addresses paid leave for employees and takes effect on April 1, 2020 and additional resources to help your business stay in compliance. The AmericanHort Coronavirus Resource Page can be found at: www.americanhort.org/page/Coronavirus.
b. State resources—Guidance for Business, Executive Orders Directives, & FAQs, Unemployment, and Resources for small businesses can be found by going to: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/