Paid Sick Leave Improvements on the Move - Contact Your Lawmaker Today!

December 3, 2018

The Michigan Senate passed legislation pushed by the Michigan Chamber last week to improve Michigan’s new paid sick leave law. The bill is now in the Michigan House. We need your help to push this issue over the finish line before the end of 2018! Please send an Action Alert to your State Representative today! 

The Michigan Chamber has been voicing member concerns about the new mandatory paid sick leave law since it was adopted by the State Legislature in September. The Senate-passed legislation would improve the paid sick leave law to make it work for employers and employees alike. We’re hopeful the Michigan House will soon follow suit and send the bill to the Governor’s desk for his signature. 

The legislation passed by the Michigan Senate is sensible and pragmatic. It takes into account that over 70 percent of businesses voluntarily offer paid medical sick leave to their employees today. It adjusts the law so not to crush small businesses or take this mandate new and egregious extreme. The changes would:    

  • Exempt employers with 50 or fewer employees from the law
  • Establish accrual of paid sick leave as 1 hour for every 40 hours worked, up to 36 hours per year
  • Allow employees to carry over no more than 36 hours from year-to-year and limit use at 36 hours per year
  • Allow employees to use time in 1-hour increments, unless the employer has a different policy in place
  • Allow employers to front-load benefits to avoid having to carry time over from year-to-year
  • Make employees eligible after they have worked at least one year and 1250 hours for the same employer over the past 12 months
  • Exempt temps, independent contractors, employees who work in other states, highly-paid salaried employees and certain airline and railroad employees
  • Exempt employees who are subject to a private sector collective bargaining agreement
  • Allow employers who provide the requisite hours to keep the policies they have
  • Allow employers to require employees to comply with the employer’s notification, procedural and documentation requirements
  • Eliminate litigious provisions that tilt the balance in favor of employees
  • Ensure employees are aware of their rights and able to seek relief if they’ve been affected by a violation. 

If the Legislature fails to adopt this legislation, or the Governor refuses to sign it, the so-called “Earned Sick Time Act” will go into effect in March of 2019. The Michigan Chamber has numerous concerns with the Act as written and adopted by the Legislature in September, but the combined effect is that all employees will have 72 hours per year of paid time off that they can use intermittently and without any practical restrictions. We applaud the Senate’s action and intent to find a balance between requiring that all employees have access to paid sick leave and making the law more reasonable and in-line with what the other 10 states with mandatory paid sick leave laws require. Click here for a summary of the Act as adopted in September of 2018 and the changes adopted by the Senate on November 28, 2018.