LANSING - Changes are afoot for Michigan workers. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently announced Michigan workers who have been working remotely for more than a year will be able to return to the office. In addition, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) updated its emergency rules. Changes include no longer requiring fully-vaccinated employees to wear face masks or social distance, except in certain health care settings; eliminating regulations for specific industries, such as bars and restaurants; and loosening cleaning requirements. But what these changes look like will depends on how each employer implements them. "Employers are going to have a lot of leeway on how they manage relaxing standards," Michigan COVID-19 workplace safety director Sean Egan said during a recent webinar. He said MIOSHA's updated emergency rules set "broad parameters of how we contain COVID in our workplaces" and gives "employers a lot of flexibility to be creative on how they implement these things." These broad parameters focuses on mitigation strategies, such as having preparedness and response plan; health screenings; social distancing and face coverings, where required; and training and keeping records. To clear up any confusing, Egan fielded questions during the webinar. Below are some of the summitted questions and his answers. Responses have been edited for space and clarity. Can employers collect and file a copy of an employee's vaccine care? (Employers) have to find a way that, in good faith, will ensure that those that aren't vaccinated are wearing face coverings and socially distancing. To the best of our knowledge, that's perfectly fine for an employer to ask and get that information and file it away. Many employers, I've talked with are adding it to their daily health screening protocol, whether that's on paper or in a app. Some are doing "yes, nos," all that kind of stuff, at the door so they can manage it. How long do employers need to retain the employee screening sheet? Updated in the emergency rules was a requirement to maintain records for six months. Those record-keeping requirements includes the training pieces that you had in there, as well as that daily health screenings for a six-month period. Can this list be shared with frontline supervisors who will be managing enforcement? So our understanding in MIOSHA and their FAQ is that that's not protected health information. I think there are some guidance pieces from the EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) on the extent that you may be able to share that. But simply vaccination status does not get into medical issues. It's just a yes or a no. So I think, employers would be able to manage that in a way - but definitely want to check in with their own legal counsel the extent of the information that they may be providing - but I think the log sheet of "yeses" and "nos" would not contain any health records. Should employers have employees, take temps and answer COVID questions every day before work? Yes. You're still trying to catch those symptoms and keep it out of the workplace. ... Screening is intended to identify quickly and isolate people that may be exhibiting symptoms. Is there an end date in site for temperature checks for employees and customers? On the update to the rules ... all of the industry specific pieces that were listed separately prior are no longer in the rules. And the temperature screening pieces that were included were also eliminated from the rules. So employers can choose if that's an effective method for them to try to identify and eliminate that hazard. If it is and they want to keep it, they are more than welcome to do that; MIOSAH is a minimum standard. If they are in a position where they don't want to continue temperature, screenings, they don't need to do that either. What do you do if staff or residents refused to wear a mask indoors? This is one of, certainly one of the challenges with COVID, is that it's a public health crisis that impacts workplace safety. So you're going to look at some of the DHHS information with the extent to which sort of customers and visitors and others might be wearing face coverings. I think that it's important for employers to use their management discretion to ensure that employees are following the rules and using these safety mitigation strategies the way that they're supposed to. Can employers segregate employees by vaccination status? That's a great question, and I think one that I wouldn't want to try to answer off the top of my head. I would definitely want to look at the EEOC guidance. They have a great FAQ. Frankly, If you just Google EEOC COVID, there's a long Q&A that they've been doing all throughout the crisis and questions related to the Americans with Disabilities Act and how that may apply in certain situations, and more than likely, that's a question that they have answered in that space. How do I verify a customer has been vaccinated? Is it just using the honor system? That would fall under the DHHS epidemic order. And I would tell you that while we don't generally interpret those, the general gist is that you can post a poster instructing unvaccinated people to wear face coverings, or in the alternative, fully vaccinated people don't need to wear face coverings. Can physical barriers be removed? What kind of distancing is required for guests at bars and tables at restaurants? Employers are going to have flexibility within their own plans now, their preparedness response plans, ... to determine if barriers continue to be necessary in certain environments or certain spaces. ... We took out industry-specific requirements for the emergency rule update, so we no longer have those requirements that include table separation, how you manage customers, and some of those types of things. If Michigan is fully open with no COVID restrictions starting July 1, will MIOSHA also remove all emergency orders on July 1? I think we're going to be watching the science and updating accordingly. There are some differences between the workplace and sort of just going shopping, where you're going to be in the workplace for longer periods of time, you're going to have less control of it as an employee over how you manage your safety within the work environment. The employers are going to have more control over how that safety is managed in the work environment. We will have to see when we get closer.