Important New Changes to Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act
Effective March 29, 2019 the Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA) will allow eligible part time employees to receive one hour of paid medical leave for every 35 hours worked. To be eligible for the leave the employee must have worked a minimum of 25 hours per week during the preceding calendar year.
The leave time must be used for personal or family health needs or purposes related to sexual assault or domestic violence. An employee may carry over up to 40 hours of unused time to the following year.
A few key aspects of the Act are:
- The employer is in compliance with this Act if at least 40 hours of paid leave per benefit year is provided to its employees, regardless of its classification.
- The Act doesn’t apply to persons who are covered by a collective bargaining contract.
- The Act doesn’t apply to an individual whose job is scheduled to last for 25 weeks or fewer in a given year.
- The Act doesn’t apply to a business that employs less than 50 individuals.
- The Act utilizes the definition of ‘family member’ contained in the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and includes as a family member one who is legally married to an eligible employee under the laws of any state.
- The employer may provide at least 40 hours of paid medical leave at the beginning of a benefit year to be used throughout that year as needed, if the time is provided at the beginning of the year the employer is not required to allow the employee to carry any time over to the following year.
- Although the employee begins accruing the time on the date of employment, an employer may require the individual be employed for 90 calendar days before using the accrued time.
- An employee has six months to file a complaint of violation of the Act.
- Purposes related to domestic violence or sexual assault include such things as medical or psychiatric care or counseling, obtaining services from victims’ rights organizations or participating in related civil or criminal proceedings.
- An employer may require documentation from the employee using the time for domestic violence or sexual assault purposes, such as a police report or court document.
- An employer may require the employee to comply with its customary notice, procedural and documentation requirements for requesting leave.
- The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is the department charged with investigating and resolving complaints of violation of this act.
- If a violation is found, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs may require payment to the employee of the time improperly withheld as well as a fine of not more than $1,000. If the violation is found to be willful an additional fine of $100 per violation can be imposed.
- The Act requires that an employer display a poster outlining the terms of the Act. The Department of licensing and Regulatory Affairs will be creating the poster.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the PMLA please feel free to contact CMDA to discuss.
Suzanne P. Bartos is a partner in our Livonia office where she focuses her practice on employment and labor law, insurance defense, municipal law, education law, and litigation.
She successfully defends civil rights, wrongful discharge, and discrimination claims in state and federal courts. She has defended municipal entities at both the grievance and arbitration level and has worked with a variety of administrative agencies and tribunals including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Michigan Employment Security Commission, Michigan Wage and Hour Division, National Labor Relations Board and the Internal Revenue Service. She has also achieved outstanding results for clients in premise liability, breach of contract, collections, warranty disputes, and consumer protection. Further, she is a trusted legal advisor to school districts and community colleges on a variety of educational and governance issues.