Michigan Paid Medical Leave and Minimum Wage: Update
Reminder: Michigan Appeals Court halted changes to Michigan’s paid sick leave and state minimum wage laws which were set to go into effect on February 19, 2023. Employers are not presently required to comply with any changes to state-mandated paid sick leave, or increased state minimum wage.
On January 26, 2023, the Michigan Court of Appeals unanimously reversed the decision of the Michigan Court of Claims which held that the process of “adopt and amend” by the Michigan legislature in enacting amended versions of voter initiatives regarding paid sick time and increased state minimum wage was unconstitutional. In doing so, the Michigan Court of Appeals reinstated the provisions of the Paid Medical Leave Act (formerly the Earned Sick Time Act) and the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act as adopted and amended by the Michigan legislature.
Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act
Under the Paid Medical Leave Act, employers with fifty (50) or more employees are required to provide up to forty (40) hours of paid medical leave annually for eligible employees to exercise based on the following circumstances:
- Physical or mental illness, injury, or health condition of the employee or his or her family member.
- Medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of the employee or employee’s family member
- Preventative care of the employee or his or her family member.
- Closure of the employee’s primary workplace by order of a public official due to a public health emergency.
- The care of his or her child whose school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency.
- The employee’s or his or her family member’s exposure to a communicable disease that would jeopardize the health of others as determined by health authorities or a health care provider.
- For domestic violence and sexual assault situations, employees may use paid medical leave for any of the following:
- Medical care or psychological or other counseling.
- Receiving services from a victim services organization.
- Relocation and obtaining legal services.
- Participation in civil or criminal proceedings related to or resulting from the domestic violence or sexual assault.
Paid medical leave accrues at a rate of one (1) hour for every thirty-five (35) hours worked, though employers may make the full forty (40) hours available at once at the onset of the benefit year or on the date that the individual becomes eligible during the benefit year on a prorated basis.
Eligible employees under the Act may carry-over up to forty (40) hours of accrued, unused paid medical leave from one benefit year to the next. However, an employer who provides the full allotment of paid medical leave at the beginning of the benefit year is not required to permit employees to carry over unused leave to the next benefit year.
What is an Eligible Employee under the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act?
An eligible employee under the Paid Medical Leave Act is defined as an “individual engaged in service to an employer in the business of the employer and from whom an employer is required to withhold for federal income tax purposes.”
There are a number of classes of employees or types of employment that are excluded under the Act, however, including the following: “executive, administrative, and professional overtime exempt employees (emphasis added), employees covered by a private collective bargaining agreement that is in effect, employees of the United States government, another state, or a political subdivision of another state, individuals whose primary work location is not in this state, individuals 16-19 years of age being paid the youth training wage in accordance with the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act, temporary employees as described in the Michigan Employment Security Act, variable hour employees as defined by 26 CFR 54.4980H-1, employees covered by the Railway Labor Act and Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, individuals employed by an employer for 25 weeks or fewer in a calendar year for a job scheduled for 25 weeks or fewer, individuals who worked, on average, fewer than 25 hours per week during the immediately preceding calendar year.”
Michigan Minimum Wage
The Michigan minimum wage is $10.10 per hour (effective January 1, 2023) and will steadily increase to $12.05 per hour effective for calendar year 2030.
The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Development maintains a Litigation on Minimum Wage and Paid Medical Leave Page for employers to utilize in keeping abreast of any developments.
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. Employers should closely monitor the rules and regulations specific to their jurisdiction(s) and should seek advice from counsel relative to their rights and responsibilities.
By Megan Butz
General Counsel, HR Compliance, Checkwriters
Megan joined Checkwriters in 2020 and is responsible for reviewing, revising, and implementing internal policies of the company, advising on human resource, employment, and labor matters, and monitoring and publishing state and federal legal updates to the Checkwriters News and Compliance Center for distribution to thousands of clients around the country. Before joining Checkwriters, Megan served as a judicial law clerk for the justices of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court performing legal research and writing, followed by private practice in Cape Cod.