It’s a Monday morning after a big weekend and your alarm goes off.  You’re probably thinking “Do I really have to go to work today?”  Well, maybe not.  Earlier this year, the Michigan Time to Care group launched a ballot initiative to provide sick leave to employees.  After obtaining enough signatures, the initiative was headed to the ballot in November.  Before that could happen, the Michigan Legislature passed a bill that adopted the language in the proposal.  In a nutshell, the language, which has passed and is scheduled to take effect on April 1st of 2019 includes the following:

  • Employees will earn at least one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
  • Employees at organizations with more than 10 employees must be provided the opportunity to accrue at least 72 hours of paid time off per full year of employment.
  • Employees at organizations with less than 10 employees must be provided the opportunity to accrue at least 40 hours of paid time and 32 hours of unpaid time per full year of employment.
  • Sick time has to be provided in increments as small as the payroll system uses to account for other absences.
  • Employers can require up to seven days of notice for foreseeable leave, but employees can call at the last minute for unforeseeable events.

Typically we’d advise our customers to start reviewing their policies and to begin preparations for implementing new policies that are in alignment with the new law.  However, there are a lot of questions remaining about what will happen next.  In this instance, the Legislature has adopted the ballot proposals for paid sick time and an increased minimum wage even though House Speaker Tom Leonard was quoted as saying: “I believe both are very poorly written.  I believe that they can be made better.”

So what’s our advice?  We are encouraging our customers to continue to go to work on Mondays and to review their policies in light of the new law, but not to enact any policy changes.  We do expect to see changes to this policy during the lame duck session and we expect to see a legal challenge to those changes from the ballot initiative groups.

For those where it will have a budgetary impact, we encourage you to factor in paid time off into your 2019 financial planning in accordance with the new law, just to be safe.

For now, stay tuned, while you may be able to hit that snooze button, a lot can change between now and April 1st of 2019, so you’re still going to have to get out of bed and go to work.

We’ll keep you posted.

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