Michigan Chamber of Commerce recently issued the following announcement.
Michigan Chamber Applauds Senate Changes to Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Law
November 28, 2018
The Michigan Senate recently acted to correct serious flaws in Michigan’s new mandatory paid sick leave law. The law, which is slated to go into effect in March of 2019, was amended by the Senate to make it workable for employers and employees alike. The Michigan Chamber has been a fierce advocate for these improvements. Our goal is to find a balance between requiring that employees have access to paid sick leave and making the law reasonable, workable and in-line with what the 10 other states with mandatory paid sick leave laws require.
Below is a summary of the Act as adopted in September of 2018 and the changes adopted by the Senate on November 28, 2018.
Public Act 338 of 2018
(Ballot Proposal Turned Law)Senate Adopted Changes
(SB 1175, adopted 11/28/18)
NO EXEMPTIONS. There are no exemptions for employers with existing paid leave policies or small employers. All employers will need to adjust their policies. Leave is available to exempt employees, temps, and independent contractors.
Only applies to employers who employ 50 or more employees.
Employees are eligible to use time after being employed at least 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours of service during the previous 12-month period.
Exempts employees exempt from FLSA overtime requirements, private sector employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, temporary workers, employees who work in other states, independent contractors, flight deck, cabin crew and railroad workers.
ACCRUAL AND CARRY-OVER.Employees accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. All employees would be entitled to use 72 hours in a year. Employees working for employers with 10 or less employees would be entitled to use 40 hours of paid leave, 32 hours of unpaid leave. Although the employer could limit use to 72 hours per year, all time must be carried over from year to year (no cap).
The bill specifies employees would accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. An employer is not required to allow an eligible employee to use more than 36 hours of paid sick leave in a single benefit year or to carry over more than 36 hours of time from one benefit year to another.
Employers may provide all 36 hours at the start of a benefit year to avoid carry-over).
The bill creates a rebuttable presumption that an employer is in compliance with the law if the employer provides the requisite hours annually. This time can include, paid vacation days, personal days and paid time off.
USE AND PAYMENT OF TIME. Leave time can be used in the smallest increment that the employer’s payroll system uses to account for absences (e.g., 6-minute increments). The Act is unclear as to how time must be paid to commissioned, piece-meal and other employees with varying wages.
The bill specifies time may be used in 1-hour increments unless the employer has a different increment policy and that policy is in writing in an employee handbook.
The bill requires the employer to pay at a pay rate equal to the greater of either the normal hourly wage, the base wage or the applicable minimum wage rate. An employer is not required to include overtime pay, holiday pay, bonuses, commissions, supplemental pay, piece-rate pay or gratuities in the calculation.
NOTIFICATION / DOCUMENTATION.The Act requires seven days’ notice for use or, if not possible, “as soon as practicable.” This will provide employees 72 hours of no-notice leave time. An employer can only require documentation after three consecutive leave days. Documentation that sick time is necessary will be limited to a generic statement by a heath care professional – nothing more. Employers are responsible for any payment of the employee’s out-of-pocket costs associated with providing documentation.
The bill strikes the language in the original Act and replaces it with a provision allowing the employer to require the employee to comply with the employer’s usual and customary notification, procedural and documentation requirements.
LITIGATION, FINES AND FEES. The Act assumes the employee’s side for unfavorable personnel actions, putting employers in a position of having to defend their decisions in court. The Act creates a private right of action for workers and two rebuttable presumptions against employers. Remedies available to employees include reinstatement, attorney fees and all back pay and benefits (doubled as liquidated damages).
The bill strikes the language in the original Act and creates an administrative process for employees to lodge complaints. The Department must issue a determination upon conclusion of an investigation and inform the employer of its appeals rights. The Department may assess payment of medical leave and back-pay.
The bill ensures employees are aware of their rights and able to seek relief if they’ve been affected by a violation.
Original source: https://www.michamber.com/paid-sick-leave-changes