Michigan (and multi-state) employers need to evaluate their vacation, sick, and paid time off (PTO) policies to ensure compliance with Michigan's new "Earned Sick Time Act," passed on September 5, 2018.  The Act goes into effect March 2019.  Previous posts about state and local sick leave laws can be found here and here.

Under the Act, employees accrue a minimum of one hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours worked. All employees (full-time or part-time) are entitled to use 72 hours (9 workdays) in a year, but whether that time is paid or unpaid depends on the size of the employer. Employees of "small businesses" (fewer than 10 employees) may accrue up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid sick time and 32 hours of unpaid sick time. Employees of businesses with 10 or more employees may accrue up to 72 hours of paid sick time per year, unless the employer selects a higher limit. Earned sick time carries over from year to year, but the annual caps still apply.

An employer's paid leave policies (i.e., vacation, sick, PTO) that provide at least the same amounts required by the Act are sufficient to maintain compliance.

An employee may use earned sick time for his or her own mental or physical illness or condition, medical diagnosis or treatment, preventative medical care, relocation related to domestic violence or sexual assault, participation in criminal proceedings related to domestic violence or sexual assault, and other categories set forth under the Act. Employees may also use earned sick time to support a family member for similar reasons.

Certain issues to be aware of: 

  • The employer can require a note after 3 or more days off, but the note is limited to a statement that the time is necessary (no facts underling the issue or condition).
  • If an employer requires documentation, it is responsible for paying all out-of-pocket expenses the employee incurs in obtaining the documentation.
  • Employers must provide written notice of Michigan employee's rights under the Act.
  • There is a rebuttable presumption that an employer has violated the Act if it takes any adverse personnel action against an employee within 90 days after the employee uses earned sick leave.

Are you in compliance with state and city-specific Sick Leave Laws?

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