Michigan’s new Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA), which is set to go into effect on 3/29/19, has received quite a bit of press recently because of legislative and administrative actions taken in Lansing. Below are details relating to the status of the PMLA and information to help you understand the implications these legislative actions may have on the Act’s applicability.
PMLA is Still the Law of the Land
Public Act 369 of 2018 passed into law in December 2018 dramatically improved Michigan’s paid medical leave mandate. It continues to be the law of the land. On 3/29/19, Michigan employers with 50 or more employees must provide at least 40 hours of paid medical leave to eligible employees. At this time, companies should be focused on getting your policies into compliance with the law. Linked below are resources provided by the Michigan Wage & Hour Division and consider attending MMA’s MFG Operations Conference on 3/7/19 in East Lansing for an informative panel discussion which will provide practical insights and actionable applications to get your company into compliance.
Attorney General Opining on Constitutionality
Attorney General Dana Nessel has been asked by Senator Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) to develop an opinion on the constitutionality of the Legislature’s actions in passing PA 369 of 2018. An adverse opinion could result in reverting back to language adopted on 9/5/18, effectively making Michigan’s mandate the most extreme and costly in the nation. Reverting to this version of the mandate would be an enormous cost to Michigan employers.
This week, MMA, together with our partners in the business community, submitted a letter to the Attorney General indicating that the request was premature because the latest attorney general opinion on the matter, by former Attorney General Bill Schuette, has not conflicted with any intervening judicial decisions. Further, it has been the long-standing practice of the Attorney General’s Office to not opine on matters that are pending before a court.
Legislature Asking Supreme Court for Clarity
Knowing that the Attorney General’s actions create uncertainty for employers, legislative leaders today passed House Resolution 25 and Senate Resolution 16 calling on the Michigan Supreme Court to also opine on the constitutionality of the Legislature’s actions in passing PA 369 of 2018. MMA is supporting the Legislature’s request because a supportive opinion from the Michigan Supreme court would be a final decision confirming PA 369 of 2018 and would avoid a lengthy court process that would leave job providers in limbo about the status of their obligations to provide paid medical leave.
We will continue to keep members updated with developments on this very important matter as they occur. In the meantime, do not hesitate to reach out to MMA Senior Director of Government Affairs and Membership Delaney McKinley, at 517-487-8530 or firstname.lastname@example.org, with any detailed questions about the Paid Medical Leave Act.