The Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act, MCL 408.961 et seq., added by 2018 PA 338, amended by 2018 PA 369, is set to go into effect this Friday, March 29, 2019. As of that date, the act requires that employers with 50 or more employees implement a compliant policy providing eligible employees with 40 hours of paid medical leave each benefit year.
Even with the effective date fast approaching, there is still some question about the future of the act. The PMLA originated as a citizen-led ballot initiative, but it never got on the ballot. Instead, the Michigan Legislature adopted it and then made substantial pro-employer amendments. In February, State Senator Stephanie Chang asked Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel for a formal opinion on the constitutionality of the process by which the act was adopted and amended. Other legislators then requested an advisory opinion from the Michigan Supreme Court. Neither the AG nor the Supreme Court have issued any opinions at this time.
We are monitoring the developments and will update our resources with the most accurate and timely information once it is available. In the meantime, check out this excellent new set of Top Tips in Ten Minutes by Kaitlin A. Brown of Maddin Hauser. In it, Katie outlines how you can help your employer clients update their leave policies to ensure compliance with the new law.
If you have particular questions about the act, please leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or my colleague Max Matthies at email@example.com. Your input will help us plan and create the most helpful resources.
On April 3, 2019, the Supreme Court scheduled oral argument on the request by the House of Representatives and the Senate for an advisory opinion on the constitutionality of the Act. The court will hear arguments this summer on July 17, 2019. The court asked for briefs on the following questions:
(1) whether the Court should exercise its discretion to grant the requests to issue an advisory opinion;
(2) whether Const 1963, art 2, § 9 permits the Legislature to enact an initiative petition into law and then amend that law during the same legislative session; and
(3) whether 2018 PA 368 and 2018 PA 369 were enacted in accordance with Const 1963, art 2, § 9.
Until the court issues its opinion, employers must continue to comply with this new law.