Legislative Analysis
Phone: (517) 373-8080
House Bill 4011 (H-1) as adopted Analysis available at
Sponsor: Rep. Jerry Neyer http://www.legislature.mi.gov
Committee: Agriculture [Discharged]
Complete to 11-9-23
BRIEF SUMMARY: House Bill 4011 would amend the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health
Act to change requirements and penalties for an employer report of a death or injury on a family
FISCAL IMPACT: House Bill 4011 would have an indeterminate fiscal impact on the state and no
fiscal impact on local units of government. It is not possible to determine the number of deaths
or injuries that would occur on a family farm to the owner or a family member or to know the
number of civil penalties or fines that would subsequently be reduced under the bill. Any
decrease in the amount of civil fine revenue collected would impact the state general
fund. Under section 36 of the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act, civil penalty
revenue that is collected is required to be credited to the state general fund.
The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) currently requires
an employer to report the death of an employee from a work-related incident within eight hours
after the incident, no matter the relationship the employer and employee share. Failure to do so
results in fines. For some farm operations in Michigan, this requirement could prove difficult,
especially when the employer and employee have a familial relationship. Families endure
immense grief when losing a loved one, especially due to a sudden work-related incident, and
requiring the reporting of the incident within eight hours can be unrealistic. Additionally,
because family-run farms are often small operations, the fines associated with the failure to
report can have crippling ramifications.
One family to endure the tragic loss of a family member and subsequent MIOSHA fines were
the Eisenmann family, who operate Eisenmann’s Golden Acres (EGA), Inc. According to news
reports, there are three employees at EGA. 1 Legislation was proposed to ensure that family
farming operations that experience tragic loss due to work-related incidents do not face large
fines if they fail to report the incident to MIOSHA within the eight-hour time frame.
Under MIOSHA Safety and Health Standard Part 11, R 408.221201 et seq., an employer must
report to MIOSHA any in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye within 24 hours
of a work-related incident. R 408.22139(1) requires an employer, within eight hours after the
death of any employee from a work-related incident, to report the fatality to MIOSHA by
telephone. 2
See also https://adms.apps.lara.state.mi.us/File/ViewDmsDocument/12956
House Fiscal Agency Page 1 of 3
The bill would provide that, if a death or injury occurs on a family farm to the owner of the
family farm or a family member of the owner, and if the employer fails to report the death or
injury within the current required time periods, a civil penalty or fine assessed against the
employer would have to be reduced by the maximum amount allowed under either the act or a
rule issued under the act.
Family farm would mean a farming operation (including a sole proprietorship,
partnership, or corporation) that meets all of the following conditions:
• It is wholly owned by the operator or by the operator’s family members.
• During the immediately preceding 12-month period, all of the following
conditions were met:
o More than 50% of the employees of the farming operation were family
members of its owner or operator.
o The farming operation did not employ at any one time more than nine
employees who were not family members of its owner or operator.
o The farming operation did not operate a temporary labor camp.
The term family farm would not include either of the following:
• A farming operation that is organized as a nonfamily corporation or
• A farming operation with a hired manager who is not a family member of the
owner or operator of the farming operation.
Family member would mean a spouse, child, stepchild, foster child, parent, stepparent,
or foster parent.
MCL 408.1035
House Bill 4011 is similar to House Bill 4031 of the 2021-22 legislative session, which was
passed by both houses and enrolled, but vetoed by the governor on February 4, 2022.
Governor Whitmer noted in her veto message that current MIOSHA policies allow the agency
to reduce fines on family farms by up to 90% when employers cooperate with MIOSHA
investigations, while the bill would require a reduction for certain family farms in all cases,
“even when the employer makes no effort to timely cooperate with an investigation.” The
governor vetoed the bill based in part on her belief that the law “should not require the agency
to waive fines for employers that do not cooperate in good faith.” In addition, the governor
argued that the bill’s definition of the term “family farm” was inconsistent with federal OSHA
policies in a way that could lead to confusion and possible state noncompliance with federal
House Bill 4011 (H-1) includes a revised definition of the term “family member” for purposes
of defining “family farm.” The definition in the substitute differs from the definition used in
the bill vetoed last session by including foster parents and stepparents and foster children and
stepchildren, and by excluding an individual’s ancestors, grandchildren and great-
grandchildren, as well as the spouses of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
House Fiscal Agency HB 4011 (H-1) Page 2 of 3
Supporters of the bill argued that requiring a family member to report the death of a loved one
to MIOSHA within eight hours of the incident is unreasonable and cruel. A grieving family
member cannot be expected to remember to call MIOSHA while also experiencing shock and
grief. Small family farms are often operated by a few close family members and remembering
to report their loss to MIOSHA is often the last thing on their minds during a tragedy.
Additionally, the fines levied against these small operations can be crippling to a small family-
run farm that often sees small profits. The fines levied can often equal a year’s worth of profits
for these family farms.
Critics of the bill argued that the MIOSHA time frames are important for MIOSHA to properly
investigate a work-related death. While eight hours may seem like a short time, it is imperative
that MIOSHA be able to inspect the work site and interview others from the premises while
the scene and information are minimally disturbed. Moreover, current MIOSHA time frames
mirror federal standards under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and related
regulations, which provide the minimum that state policies must adhere to.
The Michigan Farm Bureau testified in support of the bill. (10-11-23)
Legislative Analyst: Josh Roesner
Fiscal Analyst: Robin Risko
■ This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency staff for use by House members in their
deliberations and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.
House Fiscal Agency HB 4011 (H-1) Page 3 of 3

Statutes affected:
Substitute (H-1): 408.1035
House Introduced Bill: 408.1035
As Passed by the House: 408.1035