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The Paid Sick Leave Law Is in Full Swing: Are You Compliant?

(3-5 minute read)


Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA) took effect on March 29, 2019. The PMLA amends and replaces the Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA), a ballot initiative that never got off the ground.

Under the PMLA, employers in Michigan with at least 50 employees must provide at least 40 hours of paid medical/sick leave per year to eligible nonexempt employees. If your company is subject to the Act, you should already be complying. If you’re not, follow the steps below to get on track.

Determine exemptions and eligibility requirements.

Go here to see which employees are exempt from the PMLA, and here for eligibility requirements—including the circumstances under which paid sick leave can be taken.

Choose the accrual method or the frontload method.

You can either allow employees to accrue paid sick leave or you can “frontload” the leave.

With the accrual method, eligible nonexempt employees must accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours they work—up to at least 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. You can allow employees to accrue more than one hour per week or more than 40 hours per year, but not less. In addition, employees must be permitted to carry over up to 40 hours of unused accrued paid sick leave from one benefit year to the next.

With the frontload method, you must provide eligible nonexempt employees with at least 40 hours of paid sick leave at the start of the benefit year. For employees hired during the benefit year, you can prorate the awarded hours. When you frontload the hours, you do not have to allow employees to carry over unused accrued leave.

Regardless of which method you choose, you’re not required to pay out unused paid sick leave at the end of the benefit year or upon termination of employment.

Consider merging your paid time off policies into one PTO bank system.

If you allocate separate hours for vacation, sick, and/or personal time, you may want to combine them into one PTO bank system.
For example, you can give eligible employees 40 hours per year, to use for any time-off reason. This would enable you to meet your PMLA obligations plus simplify leave administration—since you wouldn’t need to manage vacation, sick, and/or personal time separately. Also, your employees would likely appreciate the flexibility of a PTO bank system.

Adhere to documentation, recordkeeping, and posting rules.

Under the PMLA, employers must:

  • Give employees at least three days to respond to any requests for documentation concerning their need to take PMLA leave.
  • Retain records showing hours worked and sick time taken by employees, for at least three years.
  • Display a poster in a conspicuous area of the worksite, notifying employees of their PMLA rights.

Take advantage of Human Capital Management (HCM) technology.

An inclusive HCM platform improves PMLA administration by:

  • Tracking employees’ time and paid sick leave accruals
  • Calculating PMLA hours at the pay rate required by the Act
  • Monitoring part-time employees’ hours to determine PMLA eligibility
  • Providing tools to respond efficiently to employees’ questions about the PMLA

Look out for future changes.

On July 27, 2019, the Michigan Supreme Court will hear oral arguments to determine the constitutionality of the PMLA. Therefore, changes could be on the horizon. But in the meantime, employers must follow the Act.

Our experts at Axios HR can evaluate your current leave policies to ensure PMLA compliance. If you don’t have a leave policy, we’d be glad to help you build one from scratch.

Contact Us Now



June 5, 2019




Article Business Owners Under 50 Employees Compliance

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