3 months ago

I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan but work for a small construction company in Wisconsin. I’m a foreman. Wisconsin deems construction essential however Michigan didn’t specify during the shelter-in-place ruling. Can I still go to work?

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Project Role: General Contractor
Project Type: Residential
Senior Legal Associate Levelset
403 reviews

Construction workers living in Michigan can leave home to perform essential work. Generally, whether the work is considered essential in Michigan will come down to the type of work being done. Public works can continue – like roads, bridges, infrastructure, etc. Plus, residential construction can continue if it’s for the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of the residence. Finally, if a business is performing essential work, then construction work done to provide necessary support to the business can continue. So, if the work falls into one of those categories, then there’s little doubt – you’ll be able to leave home and go to work. For more guidance: Michigan Critical Infrastructure Workers.

With that being said, Wisconsin’s stay home order is very construction-friendly. And, it’s not at all surprising that the same work might be considered essential in Wisconsin but not Michigan. However, workers are able to cross state lines to perform essential work. And, it doesn’t look like these states have come up with a solution when work is considered essential in one state but not another.

Ultimately, there aren’t checkpoints for crossing state lines and specific documentation isn’t needed in order to travel. So, crossing the border into Wisconsin to perform work that’s considered essential there would likely be permissible. Even if there was a stop or explanation needed, stating that you’re on your way to an essential job site should be an acceptable reason for leaving home. Further discussion on crossing state lines here: Bridges, borders that connect Michigan to Wisconsin open for essential travel.

Obviously, what is and isn’t allowed can change quickly. So, for help tracking where work can continue: Can I do Construction Work In my State?

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Rather, this content is provided for informational purposes. Do not act on this information as if it is advice. Further, this post does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you do need legal advice, seek the help of a local attorney.
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