This article appeared in the July 2019 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.
Q: Congratulations on your appointment to Director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). What’s your approach to licensing and regulation?
Hawks: I’ve dedicated my career to public service and, throughout my 20 years in state government, I’ve served under Republicans and Democrats in three different administrations. I understand the importance of finding common ground to find solutions and I bring that same approach as LARA director where I’m focused on partnering with a variety of stakeholders to ensure that our oversight is fair, efficient, consistent and transparent.
I want to work with job providers, consumers and groups on all sides, including the MMA on what I see as my main responsibility — to continue to improve our vast and diverse regulatory systems that serve all 10 million of our residents.
Q: Can you tell us how LARA’s new online system for corporate filings will help manufacturers?
Hawks: LARA’s Corporations Online Filing System (COFS) makes doing business with the State of Michigan easier and more convenient for the more than 800,000 business customers. The new online system facilitates business growth by utilizing more online capabilities; consequently, offering many real-time and same-day services. With COFS, businesses can submit documents and annual filings, pay filing fees, and order certificates and certified copies online; set up a secure electronic debit account; and sign up for subscription-based electronic notification of reporting requirements.
Certificates of Good Standing are processed by COFS and emailed to business owners. COFS features an expanded search functionality (name, trademark, service mark and insignia records); capability to search rejected submissions and search the Corporations Division’s Card Files.
Existing businesses were assigned new entity identification numbers by the Corporations Division for use when submitting documents. The new entity ID will not affect a business customer’s taxes. The identification number(s) used by the Michigan Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) remain unchanged. Manufacturers can find more information on COFS on the Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau’s website at www.michigan.gov/cscl.
Q: What is LARA doing to help job providers comply with the Paid Medical Leave Act?
Hawks: On 3/29/19, the Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA) took effect. In order to ensure manufacturers and other job providers comply with the act, LARA’s Wage and Hour Division holds outreach events with employer groups across the state and has developed FAQs, complaint resources, a dedicated e-mail for PMLA questions and the PMLA poster that employers are required to display.
Q: How would you recommend manufacturers engage with MIOSHA to support safety initiatives?
Hawks: We encourage manufacturers to utilize the wide variety of services provided by MIOSHA’s Consultation Education & Training (CET) Division. The division provides occupational safety and health consultation, education, and training to prevent injuries and illnesses by assisting with the development and implementation of safety and health management systems.
Services are provided throughout the state by an in-house, non-enforcement staff of professional occupational safety consultants and industrial hygienists who cover health hazards. The MIOSHA CET services are provided to Michigan employers or employees at no additional cost. Information can be found at www.michigan.gov/cet.