Here's what to know about the end to remote-work rule

MIOSHA drops its attempt to make rules permanent

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at Steelcase in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Monday, May 24, 2021. It was the first day Steelcase is having many of their employees back in the office since the coronavirus pandemic started, thanks to the new MIOSHA rules that changed today, allowing non-essential workers to come back to offices. (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at Steelcase in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Monday, May 24, 2021. It was the first day Steelcase is having many of their employees back in the office since the coronavirus pandemic started, thanks to the new MIOSHA rules that changed today, allowing non-essential workers to come back to offices. (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

GRAND RAPIDS — Tired of working from home? You're in luck.

Effective immediately, Michiganders who have been working remotely from home may return to the office, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced during a news conference Monday from Steelcase in Grand Rapids.

Two weeks after Michigan reached 55% vaccine coverage, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration dropped its emergency rule requiring employees who are able to work remotely to do so.

In addition, MIOSHA pared back other COVID-19 emergency rules to match the MI Vacc to Normal plan, recent health guidelines from the Center of Disease Control and updated orders from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“As we work with the administration to get back to normal, protecting Michigan workers on the job remains the top priority for MIOSHA,” Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Acting Director Susan Corbin said. "These updated emergency rules will give workers and businesses the clarity and confidence they need to bring our economy back to full-strength."

Here's a breakdown of MIOSHA's updated emergency rules:

• Employers are no longer required to prohibit in-person work for employees who can work remotely. However, Whitmer pointed out, some companies have return-to-work plans that may differ.

• Employers may allow fully vaccinated employees to not wear face coverings and social distance, provided they have a policy deemed effective to ensure non-vaccinated individuals continue to follow these requirements.

• Cleaning requirements have been loosened to match the CDC's latest guidelines and industry-specific requirements have been eliminated.

"That means, for example, that restaurants and bars can choose to reopen common areas like pool tables and dance floors," Whitmer said.

• Employers still will need to have a written COVID-19 preparedness and response plan in accordance with the updated rules.

In addition, Whitmer announce that MIOSHA has abandoned its quest to make its emergency rules permanent, canceling a public hearing set for Wednesday.

"They started the process because they did not know, none of us knew even a few months ago, how effective these vaccines would be, both bringing down cases, and hospitalizations and keeping our cases low," Whitmer explained. "So now here we are, five months later, we know a lot more. We know that vaccines are very effective."

As of Monday, 58% of Michiganders ages 16 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Michigan's COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard.

A revised MDHHS order issued May 20 will eliminate restaurant curfews and capacity limits on outdoor gatherings, while increasing indoor capacities to 50% on June 1. Indoor capacity limits will be rescinded July 1.

“The reason we can take these steps is thanks to every Michigander who has stepped up and taken action to keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe," Whitmer said. "Together, we are eliminating this once-in-a-century virus, and now we are poised to jumpstart our economy and power it to new highs.”