First, you must analyze whether your company employs the requisite number of individuals to be covered by the Act. Although the Act does not spell this out, the Michigan Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has said that even individuals employed outside Michigan count toward the 50-individual threshold. Individuals also count toward that threshold regardless of full- or part-time status or the number of hours they work. The Act does not apply to the United States government, other states or political subdivisions of other states.
Next, you should determine whether your current paid leave offering surpasses that required by the new law; if an employer provides employees with at least 40 hours of paid leave per benefit year, there is a rebuttable presumption that the employer is in compliance with the Act. (A “benefit year” is any 12-month period the employer chooses). The Act requires accrual of 1 hour of paid leave for every 35 hours worked, or 40 hours of paid leave per benefit year for full-time employees. Employees may carry over up to 40 hours of accrued, unused leave to the next benefit year. Alternatively, an employer can provide employees with all 40 hours of leave at the beginning of the benefit year (or a pro-rated amount for employees beginning work mid-year) and then does not have to allow carryover of accrued, unused leave.
An employer may require use of leave under the Act in minimum one-hour increments, or in such increment as is spelled out in a written policy. The amount of pay given for leave is, generally, the employee’s normal hourly wage or base wage. Overtime, holiday pay, bonuses, commissions, supplemental pay, piece-rate pay and gratuities are not considered in calculating pay for leave pursuant to the Act. Regardless of whether paid leave is accrued or front-loaded, an employer need not pay an employee for accrued, unused leave upon termination, regardless of the reason for the termination.
Under the Act, leave must be given for:
The Act defines “family member” fairly broadly. In general, it includes any person for whom the employee stands in loco parentis, anyone who stood in loco parentis for the employee when the employee was a child, and the employee’s spouse, grandparents, grandchildren and siblings.
You will then determine which employees are entitled to paid leave. In general, all employees whose primary work location is Michigan are entitled to leave under the Act, unless they fall within an exception. The following types of employees are not entitled to leave under the Act:
Employees must begin accruing leave on the later of March 29, 2019, or their first day of employment. An employer can require new employees to wait 90 days before using accrued leave, but they begin accruing it immediately.
Ensure that all employees entitled to leave receive it. Also, comply with the notice requirement of the Act by displaying the required poster in your workplace. That poster is found at: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/Paid_Medical_Leave_Act_Poster_644565_7.pdf.
Finally, there are a few other matters to consider. These include:
Please let us know if you have any questions about how to comply with the Act.
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