The Michigan legislature has passed the Paid Medical Leave Act. The Legislature adopted 2018 PA 369 on December 4, 2018, and Governor Snyder signed the legislation into law on December 13, 2018. The bill will take effect in March 2019. Under the new law, employers with 50 or more employees are now required to provide at least 40 hours of paid medical leave. For every 35 hours an employee works, they are entitled to 1 hour of paid medical leave. An employer may limit an employee to earning only 1 hour of paid medical leave in a week, and an employee only has to be allowed to earn a maximum of 40 hours in a year. In addition, an employee may carry over up to 40 hours of accrued but unused paid medical leave time, but an employer does not have to allow an employee to use more than 40 hours of paid medical leave time in any calendar year. And, although an employee begins accruing paid medical leave time on the date they begin their employment, an employer does not have to allow an employee to use any paid medical leave time until the employee has worked for the company for 90 days.
In the alternative, an employer may provide at least 40 hours of paid medical leave time at the beginning of the year. Under this scenario, an employer gives its employees a flat amount of paid medical leave time as opposed to employees accruing time. This alternative does not require an employer to allow an employee the ability to carry over unused paid medical leave time.
Under the new law, an employee is still required to provide notice of his or her use of paid medical leave time according to the usual procedure for requesting time off. In addition, an employee is allowed up to 3 days to provide documentation of their sickness, and time will be taken in 1-hour increments unless the employer has a different time increment policy. Further, there is a rebuttable presumption that an employer is in compliance with the law if the employer provides at least 40 hours of paid medical leave to its eligible employees each year.
An employee may use paid medical leave time for any of the following:
• For any mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition, including for the purpose of receiving a medical diagnosis, medical care, or treatment; or for the purpose of receiving preventative medical care
• For a family member’s mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition, including for the purpose of receiving a medical diagnosis, medical care, or treatment; or for the purpose of receiving preventative medical care for a family member
• If either the employee or a member of the employee’s family is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, the law allows paid sick time to be used for medical care or psychological counseling. In addition, time may be used to obtain services from a victim services organization, to relocate due to the domestic violence or sexual assault, to obtain legal services, or to participate in a civil or criminal proceeding relating to the domestic violence or sexual assault
For purposes of the law, a family member is any of the following:
• A biological, adopted, or foster child, step-child, or legal ward, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis
• A biological parent, foster parent, step-parent, or adoptive parent or a legal guardian of an employee or an employee’s spouse, or an individual who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child
• An individual to whom the employee is legally married under the laws of any state
• A grandparent
• A grandchild
• A biological, foster, or adopted sibling
Finally, there are a few more requirements employers must meet. The employer must display a poster at the place of business, in a conspicuous (obvious) place that is accessible by employees. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) will provide posters that comply with the law’s requirements at no charge to employers. In addition, an employer must retain records that show the hours worked and paid medical leave taken by employees for at least 1 year. This new law also does not prohibit an employer from offering more paid medical leave time than is required under this law.
Please note, employees who are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act, independent contractors, temporary employees, and employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement are exempt from this new law.
If you or your business needs assistance with complying with this paid medical leave law, call Shinners & Cook, P.C. today.