Michigan Employment Law Update – September 2018

Michigan

State Agencies Ban the Box on Applications

On September 7, 2018, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed Executive Directive 2018-4 instructing all state departments and agencies to remove the felony question box that precedes job applications on the website that residents may use to apply for state employment. The felony conviction box will be replaced with an affirmation of good character statement, similar to what will be used on licensing applications.

The directive further prohibits a state department or agency from including a question about an applicant’s criminal history or convictions in a job application or job posting. However, these inquiries and a background check may be conducted later in the hiring process. The prohibition does not apply to an application or posting for a specific position if state or federal law prohibits hiring candidates with criminal histories for the specific position in question.

The directive is effective October 1, 2018.

See the press release and read E.D. 2018-4

Earned Sick Time Act

On September 5, 2018, the Michigan legislature passed the Earned Sick Time Act. The act began as a ballot initiative but was passed by legislature and thereby will no longer appear on the November 6, 2018 ballot. Of note, there is conjecture as to whether the act will be amended due to the shift from ballot initiative to legislative act. However, for the time being, the act grants workers the right to earn sick time for personal or family health needs, school meetings needed as the result of a child’s disability, health issues, or issues due to domestic violence and sexual assault

All Michigan employers are covered by the act and are required to provide earned sick time to each employee in Michigan as follows:

  • Employees of small businesses (those with one to nine employees) accrue a minimum of one hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours worked and may use up to 40 hours of paid earned sick time per year, unless the employer sets a higher limit. If an employee of a small business accrues more than 40 hours of earned sick time in a calendar year, the employee is entitled to use an additional 32 hours of unpaid earned sick time in that year, unless the employer sets a higher limit. Employees of a small business must be entitled to use paid earned sick time before using unpaid earned sick time.
  • Employees of all other employers accrue a minimum of one hour of paid earned sick time for every 30 hours worked and may use up to 72 hours of paid earned sick time per year, unless the employer sets a higher limit.
  • Earned sick time carries over from year to year. However, regardless of the carryover, the use limits still apply per single year.

The act includes year calculations, notice requirements, documentation requirements, retaliation protections, and more.

The act is effective April 1, 2019.

See the act

Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act

On September 5, 2018, the state legislature passed the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (2018 Senate Journal No. 64) to incrementally increase the state’s minimum wage and tipped-worker hourly minimum wage.

The state’s hourly minimum wage increases as follows:

  • Beginning January 1, 2019, $10.
  • Beginning January 1, 2020, $10.65.
  • Beginning January 1, 2021, $11.35.
  • Beginning January 1, 2022, $12.

And the state’s tipped-worker hourly minimum wage increases as follows:

  • By 48 percent of the minimum wage on January 1, 2019.
  • By 60 percent of the minimum wage on January 1, 2020.
  • By 70 percent of the minimum wage on January 1, 2021.
  • By 80 percent of the minimum wage on January 1, 2022.
  • By 90 percent of the minimum wage on January 1, 2023.
  • To equal to the minimum wage on January 1, 2024.

The initiative was adopted September 5, 2018.

See 2018 Senate Journal No. 64