Michigan employers have been working with the state’s Paid Medical Leave Act since 2019. For a refresher, you can access the state-required poster here. It provides a good summary of the law and the rights it confers on employees.

But Michigan employees thought they were getting even more sick leave rights (and higher minimum wage) beginning on February 20, 2023. On January 26, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled otherwise.

Because a few things have happened since 2019, you may have forgotten how the Paid Medical Leave Act came about in the first place. Michigan had a ballot initiative for the Earned Sick Time Act, but the Legislature passed the Act on its own, thereby taking it off the ballot. Then, shortly before the Act was scheduled to take effect, the Legislature amended it to weaken many of the employee rights. Following court challenges, this was held unconstitutional, with a February 19, 2023 expiration date on the current law and the re-activation of the Earned Sick Time Act the next day. But on appeal, the Court ruled the Legislature acted properly. So, we are back to where we started with 2019 law—for now.

This is a hot issue in Michigan, and I expect further appeals to the Michigan Supreme Court. I also expect political pressure on the other branches of government. Changes to paid sick leave may still be on the horizon.

And minimum wage changes are even more likely.

The same court case and the same adopt-and-amend issues are at play with Michigan’s minimum wage laws. So, the new general minimum wage of $13.03 (with some exceptions) will NOT take effect in Michigan on February 20, 2023. But again, I expect court challenges to continue, and I expect Michigan lawmakers to take up the minimum wage through other channels as well.

THK’s employment lawyers will continue to monitor these ongoing developments and are available to assist Michigan employers with a wide variety of workplace legal issues.

Michael J. Hays, Business Counsel & Partner, THK Law, LLP

Author: Michael J. Hays is a civil litigation attorney and Partner at THK Law, LLP. His practice areas include employment law, business transactions, and real estate law. Michael is licensed to practice in Indiana and Michigan.

You can contact Michael by calling 574.232.3538 or email mhays@thklaw.com

Disclaimer: The THK Legal Blog is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. In no case does the published material constitute an exhaustive legal study, and applicability to a particular situation depends upon an investigation of specific facts. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. All THK blogs are considered advertising material by the Indiana Bar Association.