Mandatory Paid Sick Leave: What's Required of Employers

Paid Sick Leave

Michigan’s new Paid Medical Leave Act (“Act”) went into effect on March 29, 2019. The Act was adopted by the Michigan Legislature after a ballot proposal on the issue was certified for the November 2018 general election ballot. In adopting the proposal, lawmakers removed the proposals from the ballot (where it was all but certain to pass) and retained their ability to amend the proposals with a simple majority vote prior to the acts going into effect in March 2019. Had the issue gone to the ballot and been approved by voters, any changes would have required a three-fourths vote of the Legislature, a near impossible threshold. 

The original (ballot) proposal would have required employers to give all employees 72 hours of no-notice paid sick leave per year and placed severe compliance burdens on employers, including those with paid leave policies currently in place.

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The changes made by the Legislature make the law workable for employers and employees alike. The Michigan Chamber was a fierce advocate for these changes, fighting for you in the negotiating room. Our goal was to find a balance between requiring that employees have access to paid sick leave and making the law reasonable, workable and in-line with what the 10 other states with mandatory paid sick leave laws require. 

View Frequently Asked Questions About Michigan's New Paid Medical Leave Act

Below is a summary of the Act as signed by the Governor (Public Act 369 of 2018).

Public Act 369 of 2018
(Legislative Changes Signed into Law 12/14/18)

EXEMPTIONS

  • Only applies to employers who employ 50 or more employees.
  • Exempts employees exempt from FLSA overtime requirements, private sector employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, temporary workers, employees who work in other states, independent contractors, variable hour employees, certain part-time and seasonal employees and flight deck, cabin crew and railroad workers. (Note: Part-time is defined as an individual who has worked, on average, fewer than 25 hours/week during the preceding calendar year. Seasonal employee is defined as an individual employed by an employer for 25 weeks or less in a calendar year for a job scheduled for 25 weeks or fewer.)

ACCRUAL AND CARRY-OVER

  • The law specifies employees would accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year. Allows employer to limit accrual to 1 hour per week. An employer is not required to allow an eligible employee to use more than 40 hours of paid sick leave in a single benefit year or to carry over more than 40 hours of time from one benefit year to another.
  • Time begins to accrue on the effective date or date of hire, but the employer may allow new employees to wait 90 days before using their time.
  • Employers may provide all 40 hours at the start of a benefit year to avoid carry-over. Can pro-rate time for new employees.
  • The law creates a rebuttable presumption that an employer is in compliance with the law if the employer provides the requisite hours annually. This time can include, paid vacation days, personal days and paid time off.    

USE AND PAYMENT OF TIME

  • The law specifies time may be used in 1-hour increments unless the employer has a different increment policy and that policy is in writing in an employee handbook.
  • The law requires the employer to pay at a pay rate equal to the greater of either the normal hourly wage, the base wage or the applicable minimum wage rate. An employer is not required to include overtime pay, holiday pay, bonuses, commissions, supplemental pay, piece-rate pay or gratuities in the calculation.

NOTIFICATION/DOCUMENTATION

  • The law allows the employer to require the employee to comply with the employer’s usual and customary notification, procedural and documentation requirements. An employer must give the employee three days to produce any required documentation.

FINES AND FEES

  • The law creates an administrative process for employees to lodge complaints. The Department must issue a determination upon conclusion of an investigation and inform the employer of its appeals rights. The Department may assess payment of medical leave and back-pay and will serve as the trustee.
  • The law ensures employees are aware of their rights and able to seek relief if they’ve been affected by a violation.

 

For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Wendy Block at wblock@michamber.com.