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Eligibility Requirements For PMLA Q&A

(5-7 minute read)

 

When it comes to Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA), the water may feel a little murky for business owners and leaders when it comes to defining which circumstances fall on the eligible side of the fence, and which circumstances do not. To help provide some clarity and reduce confusion surrounding PMLA eligibility requirements, we have compiled a list of answers from a recent PMLA Q&A.

 

What are the eligibility requirements for PMLA?

  • All PEO clients apply to PMLA because they are under the large group. PMLA will also apply to ASO’s who employ 50 or more employees.
  • If your employees happen to fall under the following categories, they will not be PMLA eligible: seasonal, temporary, and variable-hour workers; part-time employees who worked on average less than 25 hours per week in the preceding calendar year; federal workers; workers whose primary work location is out-of-state; and bona fide executive, administrative professional, and outside sales employees who are exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

 

How is a seasonal employee defined?

  • In this case, a seasonal employee is defined as an individual employed by an employer for 25 weeks or less in a calendar year for a job scheduled for 25 weeks or fewer. However, the good news is if a seasonal employee works more than 25 weeks in the calendar year and on average work 25 hours/week, they will be eligible for PMLA.

 

How is part-time defined?

  • When it comes to part-time employees, part-time is defined as someone who has worked on average, fewer than 25 hours/week during the preceding calendar year.

 

How do you calculate the average hours worked for a part-time employee?

  • The good news for employers is that there is no need for intense number crunching here. When an employer has “part-time” employees, they should look at the employee’s hours in the previous year and then divide those hours by the number of weeks they were employed – which includes weeks where they performed no work so long as they were continuously on payroll.

 

How is time earned?

  • The law specifies that employees would accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year. Employers, however, are not required to allow an eligible employee to use more than 40 hours of paid sick leave in a single benefit year or to carry over more than 40 hours of time from one benefit year to another.
  • For employers who want to avoid carry-over, they have the option to provide all 40 hours at the start of a benefit year, and also pro-rate time for new employees.

When do I start accruing time?

  • Time begins to accrue on the effective date or date of hire, but the employer may require new employees to wait 90 days before using their time. [The law is in effect starting 3/29/2019 accruals will start on or past this date]

 

When can I start using my time?

  • Again, time begins to accrue on the effective date or date of hire, but the employer may allow new employees to wait 90 days before using their time. [The law is in effect starting 3/29/2019 accruals will start on or past this date]

 

Does a PTO policy quantify for PMLA policy?

  • The law creates a rebuttable presumption that an employer is in compliance with the law if the employer provides the requisite hours annually. This time can include, paid vacation days, personal days and paid time off. It must include the bare minimum required by law. The law specifies employees would accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year.
  • An employer is not required to allow an eligible employee to use more than 40 hours of paid sick leave in a single benefit year or to carry over more than 40 hours of time from one benefit year to another. Employers are able to provide all 40 hours at the start of a benefit year to avoid carry-over, and also pro-rate time for new employees. Time begins to accrue on the effective date or date of hire, but the employer may allow new employees to wait 90 days before using their time.

 

If I was rehired do I keep my seniority date?

  • Great question! If an eligible employee separates from employment and is rehired by the same employer, the employer is not required to allow the eligible employee to keep or retain any unused paid medical leave that they previously accumulated while working for the employer.

 

What can I use PMLA for?

The use cases for PMLA span a variety of situations, and range from personal to immediate family members. For employees who meet the eligibility requirements, PMLA may be used for:

  • Physical or mental illness, injury, or health condition of the employee or his or her family member.
  • Medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of the employee or employee’s family member.
  • Preventative care of the employee or his or her family member.
  • Closure of the employee’s primary workplace by order of a public official due to a public health emergency.
  • The care of his or her child whose school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency.
  • The employee’s or his or her family member’s exposure to a communicable disease that would jeopardize the health of others as determined by health authorities or a health care provider.
  • For domestic violence and sexual assault situations, employees may use paid medical leave for any of the following:
    • Medical care of psychological or other counseling
    • Receiving services from a victim services organization
    • Relocation and obtaining legal services
    • Participation in civil or criminal proceedings related to or resulting from the domestic violence or sexual assault.

 

Can I be reimbursed for any PMLA hours I do not use?

  • At the end of the day, this act does not require an employer to provide financial or other reimbursements to an eligible employee for accrued paid medical leave that was not used before the end of a benefit year or before the eligible employee’s termination, resignation, retirement, or other separation from employment.

 

Contact Us

Date

May 9, 2019

Author

AXIOS HR

Category

Article Business Owners Under 50 Employees Compliance

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