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More than 2,900 state employees face temporary layoffs due to COVID-19

Unemployment office sign
Unemployment office sign

More than 2,900 of the more than 48,295 employees across the state government have been notified that they will be temporarily laid off due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says employees who have been laid off will retain their health insurance and other benefits, and they will be automatically enrolled into the unemployment process.

“The employees that are part of these temporary layoffs will miss ten consecutive days of work, and we will then reassess whether further days are necessary,” Whitmer said.

The state is laying off all staff who are not able work full-time under Governor Whitmer’s stay-at-home order. She says she didn’t want to resort to layoffs.

“But this is the right thing to do to ensure that we can continue providing critical services to the people of Michigan,” she said.

Tiffany Brown, Whitmer’s Press Secretary, said in an email that the state will save about $5 million by laying off employees.

Some departments have been hit particularly hard. The Department of State alone laid off 60% of its staff, or about 900 people.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says this entire situation is challenging for the state and its government officials.

“This decision was not easy, but is necessary to responsibly steward taxpayer funds at this time,” Benson said in a press statement.  

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Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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