Michigan Paid Medical Leave Law

Michigan’s new Paid Medical Leave Law (PMLA) is scheduled to go into effect March 29th. While we are not able to provide you with legal advice regarding the law, we do want to help you think through a few questions so that we can help you implement the policy in your system.

1. Is your company obligated to adhere to the new requirements?

Companies with 50 or more employees will be required provide paid medical leave to qualified employees.

2. Do you have employees who are eligible for leave?

In general, PMLA applies to traditional W-2 employees who worked an average of 25 or more hours per week in the immediately preceding calendar year AND whose primary work location is in Michigan. However, there are 12 specific exemptions from the requirement.  We strongly recommend that you engage in a thorough review of the exemption qualifications with a qualified human resources professional or labor law attorney.

3. What method of calculation will we use?

The PMLA permits two options for calculation of leave.

  1. Employees will accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked. The accrual can be capped at 1 hour per week and 40 hours per year. The calculation begins on the effective date of the law or on the employee date of hire. While new employees will begin to accrue time off on their date of hire, employers may require them to wait 90 days before using the time. Additionally, this option requires the ability to carry over unused hours, but that carry over can be limited to 40 hours.
  2. Employer may “frontload” all 40 hours into the employee bank at the beginning of the benefit year. One of the chief advantages of this option is that it eliminates the carry over requirement. For new hires, employers may prorate the amount and require them to wait 90 days before using the time.

4. In what increments can employees use the time?

Under the PMLA, time off may be used in 1-hour increments UNLESS the employer has a different increment policy for time off usage documented in an employee handbook or benefit guide.

5. At what rate much this time be paid?

The employer is required to pay this time at the normal hourly wage, the base wage or the applicable minimum wage rate.

6. Will my current policy meet the new requirements?

The PMLA includes a “presumption of compliance” for employers who provide employees with at least 40 hours of paid leave each benefit year. Under the act “paid leave” includes, but is not limited to, paid vacation days, paid personal days, and paid time off. As a result, current policies may satisfy the act. If the policies also meet the usage requirements laid out in the PMLA.

How Can We Help?

We can help relieve the administrative burden of this new act by automating the earning and tracking the usage of time off.  Employee Self Service and Leave Management features can also help automate the request and approval process, helping you meet the record keeping requirements of the act. If you already have our Leave Management package, a nominal programming fee will get things set up and ready to use. Please contact us to discuss your specific needs.

This page reflects the current understanding of the PMLA and is not intended to give legal advice. The contents are intended for general information purposes only and you are urged to consult a lawyer concerning your own situation.