Proposal would force Michigan state workers to return to office full-time

Requirement is written in department budget proposals.
Proposal would force Michigan state workers to return to office full-time
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 6:45 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - State workers who are still working from home are expected to return to downtown Lansing on May 2, many on a part-time basis.

April 20, 2022: Michigan reports 10,474 new coronavirus cases, 78 deaths over past 7 days

But there’s a proposal in the legislature that would require them to be in-person full-time. It’s a proposal backed by House Republicans. The requirement would be tied to each department’s budget.

It would ban departments of state government from allowing people to work from home unless they already were before the pandemic started, and require them to return to work by October 1, the beginning of the fiscal year.

Republicans argue this would help improve customer service across state government. Democrats said it isn’t the Legislature’s place to mandate where people work.

“To me, it seems like there’s no accountability for the workers working from home,” said Rep. Sarah Lightner, (R) Springport.

“The employer is not the legislature. The employer is the office of the state employer and the civil service commission. So the idea we can do this in a statute is ridiculous,” said Sen. Curtis Hertel, (D) East Lansing.

The proposal comes as the state is cutting available office space in downtown Lansing. The state ended leases for seven buildings in Lansing during the pandemic as part of a long-term plan to work out of state-owned buildings.

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