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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Court rules in favor of Whitmer, upholds testing plan for Michigan agricultural, food processing workers

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Posted at 6:50 AM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 06:50:14-04

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of Governor Gretchen Whitmer in a case challenging a testing plan for agricultural and food processing workers.

On Aug. 3, an emergency order mandated employers of migrant and seasonal workers to test all workers for COVID-19.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit argued that the state is racially discriminating Latino farmworkers by mandating testing requirements.

According to the lawsuit, the MDHHS emergency order is targeting two classes of workers for mandatory testing and subsequent enforcement — migrant and seasonal workers, and workers in the meat, poultry, egg processing, and greenhouse industries.

Requirements for the emergency order include testing workers within 48 hours of their arrival to camp and separate housing for new residents for 14 days.

The governor's office released the following statement on the court's ruling:

“In a 3-0 decision, today a federal court of appeals upheld the state’s power to require certain agricultural employers and housing providers to implement testing protocols among Michigan workers who are especially at risk to COVID-19. The governor welcomes this decision upholding her strategy to save lives and protect the food supply.”