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Ten Things You Need to Know on Paid Medical Leave

This article appeared in the February 2019 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

Late last year, with the support of MMA and its member companies, the Legislature revised the “Earned Sick Time Act” and retitled it the “Paid Medical Leave Act”. The law, Public Act 369 of 2018, was signed by then-Governor Rick Snyder and will become effective on 3/29/19.

The new law works to establish a balance between providing time off to Michigan workers and ensuring ongoing economic expansion and continued job growth. Are you prepared to be in compliance?

Here are ten things you need to know about Michigan’s new Paid Medical Leave Act:

  1. Basics. The Act provides “eligible employees” with 40 hours of Paid Medical Leave.
  2. Scope. The Act only applies to private or public sector employers who employ 50 or more individuals. In addition, only “eligible employees” are entitled to benefits under the Act.
  3. Options for Accrual. Covered employers have two options for providing paid medical leave.
    1. Eligible employees must accrue one hour of paid medical leave for every 35 hours worked.
    2. The employer can provide at least 40 hours of paid medical leave to an eligible employee at the beginning of the benefit year (the employer can prorate for a partial benefit year).
  4. Rebuttable Presumption of Compliance. The Act creates a rebuttable presumption that the employer is in compliance if the employer provides at least 40 hours of paid leave to an eligible employee each benefit year. “Paid leave” includes, but is not limited to, paid vacation days, paid personal days, and paid time off.
  5. Allowed Purposes. An “eligible employee” can only use accrued paid medical leave for specified purposes, including the employee’s or a covered family members mental or physical illness/injury, medical treatment, preventative care, and for absences caused by domestic violence or sexual assault of the eligible employee and/or a covered family member.
  6. Usual and Customary Practices. An “eligible employee” can be required to comply with the employer’s usual and customary notice, procedural and documentation requirements when requesting paid medical leave. The employer must provide the employee at least three days to provide requested documentation.
  7. Notification to Employees of Their Rights. The employer is required to display a poster, to be provided by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), in a conspicuous and accessible place that contains information about the amount of time that must be provided for eligible employees and the purposes for which it could be used.
  8. Record Retention Requirement. The Act requires an employer to retain for at least one year records documenting the hours worked and paid medical leave taken by eligible employees.
  9. Violations. An aggrieved employee will have six months to file a complaint with LARA. LARA will investigate and attempt to mediate a resolution. An employer who violates the Act may be required to pay all paid medical leave improperly withheld and up to $1,000 in penalties.
  10. There’s a lot more to know! While the above items address many of the more critical parts of the Paid Medical Leave Act, they do not detail the Act in its entirety. Manufacturers and all covered employers should begin the process of reviewing their current policies and procedures and consider how they can best implement all required changes.
  11. See MMA’s Online Learning Center for more information on the Paid Medical Leave Act and more.


    Article based on “Employer Impact of Revisions to Paid Medical Leave Act,” posted by Miller Canfield on 12/17/18.

    Premium Associate MemberMiller Canfield is an MMA Premium Associate member and has been an MMA member company since February 1989. Visit online: www.millercanfield.com.

    About the Author

    Kurt SherwoodKurt Sherwood is a principal with Miller Canfield. He may be reached at sherwood@millercanfield.com.

This article appeared in the February 2019 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

Late last year, with the support of MMA and its member companies, the Legislature revised the “Earned Sick Time Act” and retitled it the “Paid Medical Leave Act”. The law, Public Act 369 of 2018, was signed by then-Governor Rick Snyder and will become effective on 3/29/19.

The new law works to establish a balance between providing time off to Michigan workers and ensuring ongoing economic expansion and continued job growth. Are you prepared to be in compliance?

Here are ten things you need to know about Michigan’s new Paid Medical Leave Act:

  1. Basics. The Act provides “eligible employees” with 40 hours of Paid Medical Leave.
  2. Scope. The Act only applies to private or public sector employers who employ 50 or more individuals. In addition, only “eligible employees” are entitled to benefits under the Act.
  3. Options for Accrual. Covered employers have two options for providing paid medical leave.
    1. Eligible employees must accrue one hour of paid medical leave for every 35 hours worked.
    2. The employer can provide at least 40 hours of paid medical leave to an eligible employee at the beginning of the benefit year (the employer can prorate for a partial benefit year).
  4. Rebuttable Presumption of Compliance. The Act creates a rebuttable presumption that the employer is in compliance if the employer provides at least 40 hours of paid leave to an eligible employee each benefit year. “Paid leave” includes, but is not limited to, paid vacation days, paid personal days, and paid time off.
  5. Allowed Purposes. An “eligible employee” can only use accrued paid medical leave for specified purposes, including the employee’s or a covered family members mental or physical illness/injury, medical treatment, preventative care, and for absences caused by domestic violence or sexual assault of the eligible employee and/or a covered family member.
  6. Usual and Customary Practices. An “eligible employee” can be required to comply with the employer’s usual and customary notice, procedural and documentation requirements when requesting paid medical leave. The employer must provide the employee at least three days to provide requested documentation.
  7. Notification to Employees of Their Rights. The employer is required to display a poster, to be provided by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), in a conspicuous and accessible place that contains information about the amount of time that must be provided for eligible employees and the purposes for which it could be used.
  8. Record Retention Requirement. The Act requires an employer to retain for at least one year records documenting the hours worked and paid medical leave taken by eligible employees.
  9. Violations. An aggrieved employee will have six months to file a complaint with LARA. LARA will investigate and attempt to mediate a resolution. An employer who violates the Act may be required to pay all paid medical leave improperly withheld and up to $1,000 in penalties.
  10. There’s a lot more to know! While the above items address many of the more critical parts of the Paid Medical Leave Act, they do not detail the Act in its entirety. Manufacturers and all covered employers should begin the process of reviewing their current policies and procedures and consider how they can best implement all required changes.
  11. See MMA’s Online Learning Center for more information on the Paid Medical Leave Act and more.


    Article based on “Employer Impact of Revisions to Paid Medical Leave Act,” posted by Miller Canfield on 12/17/18.

    Premium Associate MemberMiller Canfield is an MMA Premium Associate member and has been an MMA member company since February 1989. Visit online: www.millercanfield.com.

    About the Author

    Kurt SherwoodKurt Sherwood is a principal with Miller Canfield. He may be reached at sherwood@millercanfield.com.
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