Taking time off from work is important for employee welfare and fostering a productive work environment.
Each state in the US has its own set of guidelines to determine whether certain leaves are legally required.
The objective of this article is to explore the legal obligations surrounding leave in Michigan and the various options available to employees.
It is worth noting that there may be separate regulations applicable to employers in the public and private sectors.
In Michigan, leave days are categorized into mandatory and non-mandatory, each with its own specific guidelines and requirements.
This Article Covers
- Sick Leave (Paid Medical Leave Act)
- Family Medical Leave
- Jury Duty Leave
- Emergency Response Leave
- Military Leave
- Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Employees in Michigan are entitled to various forms of required leave that employers must provide them with. These include
1. Sick Leave (Paid Medical Leave Act) –
- Eligibility: The Paid Medical Leave Act of 2019 stipulates that employees who work in organizations with 50 or more workers may be entitled to paid sick leave.
- Duration: At a rate of 1 hour for every 35 hours worked, but employers are not obligated to permit the accumulation of more than 1 hour per calendar week or more than 40 hours in a year.
It’s worth mentioning that employers can limit the use of accrued sick leave to a maximum of 40 hours in a single benefit year.
- Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: For a variety of situations such as when the employee or their family member is experiencing a medical condition.
2. Family Medical Leave –
- Eligibility: Employees who have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months prior to the leave and have worked at least 1,250 hours in a 12 months.
- Duration: 12 weeks of unpaid leave.
- Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: After experiencing major life events.
These events can include caring for a newborn child, adopting or fostering a child, experiencing a health condition that prevents you from working, or caring for a family member with a serious health condition.
3. Jury Duty Leave –
- Eligibility: Michigan employees have the legal right to serve on a jury, and employers cannot prevent them from doing so.
- Duration: The scheduled and expected duration of the jury service.
- Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To serve on a jury or when subpoenaed as a witness.
Employers cannot retaliate against employees for taking such leave or require them to work additional hours, which includes the time spent attending court, without a written agreement. Violating these rules may result in charges of misdemeanor or even contempt of court.
4. Emergency Response Leave –
- Eligibility: Michigan state employees who are classified as state civil service members or certified American Red Cross volunteers.
Unpaid leave of absence may be granted during times of public emergency to aid in disaster relief.
If specific conditions are met, these employees may receive paid emergency response leave, which must be approved by their department head, the governor, or the civil service commission.
The leave cannot result in adverse action against the employee, but funds may be withheld if the leave is used for unapproved purposes.
- Duration: The scheduled and expected duration of the service.
- Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: The specific conditions for paid emergency response leave include a declaration of disaster by either the governor or the US president, a request for the employee’s services by the American Red Cross, and approval by the appropriate authority.
5. Military Leave –
- Eligibility: State employees who are also members of the uniformed services can take unpaid military leave are given full seniority credit if:
1. Their military service is less than 5 years
2. They haven’t been disqualified
3. They come back in a timely manner.
- Duration: The scheduled duration of duty.
- Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: For deployment or military training.
6. Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault –
- Eligibility: Employees who have suffered from domestic violence
- Duration: The scheduled and expected duration of the medical and legal proceedings.
- Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: For various purposes such as getting medical or counseling services, seeking assistance from victim services organizations, obtaining legal services related to the abuse, and attending court hearings or other proceedings
Michigan doesn’t mandate certain types of leave. Providing such leave will then remain at the discretion of the employer. These include:
1. Bereavement Leave –
Michigan private employers aren’t obligated to give their workers bereavement leave, while state workers can take up to 8 hours of leave for the funeral service of their parent, child, or spouse.
2. Vacation and Holiday Leave –
Michigan employees who are employed privately are not automatically given vacation or holidays, unless their contract specifies otherwise. However, those who work full-time for the State of Michigan are entitled to between 15 and 35 vacation days annually, as well as 12 scheduled holidays each year.
Here is a table of official US holidays:
|New Year’s Day
|Martin Luther King Jr. Day
|Third Monday in January
|Third Monday in February
|Last Monday in May
|First Monday in September
|Second Monday in October
|Fourth Thursday in November
|Day after Thanksgiving
|Fourth Friday in November
3. Voting Time Leave –
Private employers are not obligated to provide leave for employees to vote. However, state employees are granted time off on Election Day biennially.
If you want to know more about the entitlements of employees in Michigan, you can read our guides on your rights as a salaried employee in Michigan, and your rights as an hourly employee in Michigan. You can also learn more about Michigan Labor Laws through our detailed guide.
Important Cautionary Note
When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.