Current Michigan Paid Sick Leave Law (Not Original 2018 Act) To Remain in Effect

Jai HookerPaid Sick Leave Updates

Current Michigan Paid Sick Leave Law (Not Original 2018 Act) To Remain in Effect

Michelle Shamouilian, Marlin Duro-Martinez, Joshua D. Seidman & Tracy M. Billows

Seyfarth Shaw

Synopsis: The Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a July 2022 lower court decision that would have reinstated the 2018 Michigan Earned Sick Time Act on Feb. 20, 2023. As a result, barring an appeal of the decision or further action by the state legislature, the current Michigan paid sick leave and minimum wage laws will remain in effect.

What You Need To Know

  • Michigan employers are not required to update their paid sick leave policies and practices to comply with the 2018 Michigan Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA) at this time.
  • Paid sick leave obligations for employers with Michigan operations remain governed by the current law, the Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA), beyond Feb. 20, 2023.

On Jan. 26, 2023, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a long-anticipated decision on the constitutional validity of the Michigan PMLA, a law that amended and constituted a major overhaul of the 2018 Michigan ESTA. In a 3-0 decision of Mothering Justice v. Nessel, No. 21-000095-MM (Mich. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2023), the Court of Appeals overturned a decision made July 19, 2022 by the Michigan Court of Claims that the adopt-and-amend process the Michigan legislature used to implement the PMLA violated the Michigan Constitution. The decision would have resulted in substantial changes to the statewide paid sick leave and minimum wage requirements for employers beginning Feb. 20, 2023.

The Court of Appeals, however, reversed the lower court ruling and held that there is no state constitutional provision precluding the Michigan legislature from adopting and then amending an initiative proposal during the same legislative session, which the legislature did in December 2018 when it amended the ESTA by adopting the PMLA. As a result, the Michigan paid sick leave and minimum wage standards currently in effect will remain in effect beyond Feb. 20, 2023. It is unclear at this time whether the Court of Appeals’ decision will be appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court or whether the 2023 State legislature will introduce a bill that amends the PMLA during the current legislative session.

Additional background on the history of paid sick leave mandates in Michigan is published here and here. Additional information on the PMLA is available here.

We will continue to monitor and provide updates on Michigan paid sick leave developments and on any subsequent changes as they occur.

***This article originally appeared on the Seyfarth Shaw “If Pain, Yes Gain” legal update series and was reposted on the DMEC website with their permission.***