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Employer Implications of the Earned Sick Time Act

November 2, 2018

In early September 2018, Michigan's Legislature adopted the Earned Sick Time Act ("the Act"). This title is somewhat a misnomer, as the Act is much broader than just "sick time." The Act takes effect April 1, 2019, and, though complex, it essentially:

As written, the Act could prove challenging for many employers to implement, especially those who have established time-off policies. 

The Act was originally advanced as a citizen initiated/petitioned ballot measure to be placed before the voting public. Recognizing the law could prove problematic for employers as written, the legislature opted to avoid the ballot initiative by adopting the law as written. Consequently, many reports suggest the Michigan legislature's plan is to revisit and revise the Act during the "lame duck" session after the November elections. This might result in revisions to the Act. Not surprisingly, proponents of the Act have threatened litigation if the legislature revises the Act.

What does this mean for employers? It is unclear what the Act will look like come April 1, 2019. Miller Canfield will continue to monitor and report on further developments regarding the Act prior to then. In the meantime, employers should take stock of existing time-off policies, especially if they have separate sick time, vacation time, and personal time policies. As always, feel free to contact your Miller Canfield attorney if you have questions.