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Issue 1561 November 25, 2012
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SICK LEAVE CHANGES: Chamber President Reviews Work of Legislature

December 12, 2018       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Ryan Tarrant
Chamber of Commerce President

 

In a special message to local employers, Bay Area Chamber of Commerce President Ryan Tarrant has provided an update of changes made by the Michigan Legislature in the past year.

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Law (Public Act 338) Update

No Exemptions

PA 338: There are no exemptions for employers with existing paid leave policies or small employers. All employers will need to adjust their policies. Leave is available to exempt employees, temps, and independent contractors.

Adopted Changes (SB 1175): Only applies to employers who employ 50 or more employees. Employees are eligible to use time after being employed at least 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours of service.

Accrual and Carry-Over

PA 338: Employees accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. All employees would be entitled to use 72 hours in a year. Employees working for employers with 10 or fewer employees would be entitled to use 40 hours of paid leave, 32 hours of unpaid leave. Although the employer could limit use to 72 hours per year, all time must be carried over from year to year (no cap).

Adopted Changes (SB 1175): Employees would accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. An employer is not required to allow an eligible employee to use more than 36 hours of paid sick leave in a single benefit year or to carry over more than 36 hours of time from one benefit year to another.

Use and Payment of Time

PA 338: Leave time can be used in the smallest increment that the employer's payroll system uses to account for absences (e.g., 6-minute increments). The Act is unclear as to how time must be paid to commissioned, piece-meal and other employees with varying wages. Adopted Changes (SB 1175): May be used in 1-hour increments unless the employer has a different increment policy and that policy is in writing in an employee handbook.

Notification/Documentation

PA 338: Requires seven days notice for use or, if not possible, "as soon as practicable." This will provide employees with 72 hours of no-notice leave time. An employer can only require documentation after three consecutive leave days. Documentation that sick time is necessary will be limited to a generic statement by a health care professional. Employers are responsible for any payment of the employee's out-of-pocket costs.

Adopted Changes (SB 1175): Replaces language with a provision allowing the employer to require the employee to comply with the employer's usual and customary notification, procedural and documentation requirements.

Litigation, Fines and Fees

PA 338: Assumes the employee's side for unfavorable personnel actions, putting employers in a position of having to defend their decisions in court. The Act creates a private right of action for workers and two rebuttable presumptions against employers. Remedies available to employees include reinstatement, attorney fees and all back pay and benefits (doubled as liquidated damages).

Adopted Changes (SB 1175): Creates an administrative process for employees to lodge complaints.

The Department must issue a determination upon conclusion of an investigation and inform the employer of its appeals rights. The Department may assess payment of medical leave and back-pay.

Minimum Wage Act Update

Original Proposal: Increase wages from $9.25 to $12 per hour. Increases wage for tipped employees from $3.52 to 100 percent of the minimum wage by 2024. In addition, the current tip credit entitles all tipped employees to make at least the minimum wage. If their tips plus the tipped employee minimum wage does not equal or exceed the regular minimum wage, the employer must pay any shortfall to the employee. This proposal will gradually phase out the tip credit by 2024.

Adopted Changes (SB 1171): Raise the wage to $12.05 per hour by 2030, restore the tipped credit to 38% of the minimum wage and removes the inflationary index under current law.

The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce is a vigorous advocate for the economic success of its nearly 800 member businesses. The Chamber, founded in 1882, provides programs to assist local businesses to grow and prosper. Chamber policy and program development are guided by a 25-member volunteer Board of Directors and implemented by a professional staff. The Chamber is dedicated to creating economic opportunity and enhancing the quality of life in Bay County.

### For more information, please visit our website at www.BayCityArea.com

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at carraroe@aol.com)

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