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Important Update (January 26, 2023):
The Earned Sick Time Act Is Out – For Now
The wait is over – Michigan employers (and employment lawyers) now know that the Earned Sick Time Act and Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act as originally proposed will NOT go into effect on February 20, 2023.
In an opinion issued January 26, 2023, the Michigan Court of Appeals overturned the Court of Claims’ judgment that reinstated the Michigan Earned Sick Time Act and Michigan Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act as originally proposed as a ballot initiative.
Employers can pause on their plans to become compliant with ESTA and the increased minimum wage under IWOWA.
It remains possible that a further appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court could change this result, but the immediate pressure of the February 20, 2023 date is relieved.
Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act (MCL 408.961 et. seq) continues to require employers having 50 or more employees to provide at least 40 hours of paid sick leave to specified non-exempt employees.
Please contact a Dickinson Wright employment attorney if you have questions about how these Michigan laws might apply to you and your business.
Tick Tock – Michigan Employers Are on the Earned Sick Time Clock
Michigan employers (and employment lawyers) are biting our nails while we await court action relative to the original Michigan Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (IWOWA) and Michigan Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA). These laws, which provide generous benefits to employees, are set to go into effect on February 20, 2023, unless Michigan courts delay them or hold them unenforceable.
If your business employs people in Michigan, you should have a plan to become compliant with these laws in advance of the February 20, 2023 effective date.
If not further delayed or voided, the Michigan Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act will set Michigan’s minimum wage at $13.03 per hour and set a minimum wage for tipped employees at $11.73 per hour, among other changes.
If not further delayed or voided, the Michigan Earned Sick Time Act will require all employers in Michigan to provide at least 72 hours of sick leave to every employee in Michigan (including exempt, non-exempt, full-time, part-time, occasional, temporary, etc.) For “small employers” (with fewer than ten employees), at least 40 of those 72 hours must be paid, and 32 hours may be unpaid. All employers with ten or more employees, all 72 hours must be paid.
ESTA Highlights include:
- Paid sick leave, if accrued, must be accrued at 1 hour for every 30 hours worked
- Paid sick leave may be used in the smaller of an hourly increment or the increment an employer uses to count time (often by the minute)
- PTO may satisfy the paid sick leave obligation if certain conditions are met
- Employers can require at least seven days advance notice for foreseeable paid sick leave
- Employers can require documentation for use of paid sick leave only if the leave is for three consecutive days or longer
- Employers do not have to pay unused paid sick leave to employees on termination of employment
- Employees can sue their employers directly for violations of ESTA – and they could recover liquidated damages, costs, and their attorneys’ fees
Please note that this Client Alert is not a comprehensive analysis of these laws and does not replace legal counsel. We encourage you to contact a Dickinson Wright employment attorney to learn how these Michigan laws apply to you and your business.
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