Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Requirements

Legislation was passed in late 2018 that requires certain employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.  The law was not given immediate effect, which means it will go into effect 90 days after the last day of the 2018 legislative session, which is March 29, 2019.  Although this will mean new requirements for many MITA members, the original adopted policy was far worse.

By passing new requirements for paid sick leave, the legislature circumvented a ballot initiative that was almost certain to pass.  The original ballot proposal would have required employers to give all employees 72 hours of no notice paid sick leave per year and would have placed severe compliance burdens on employers.

There are some exemptions to the law.  The new law only applies to employers who employ 50 or more employees.  It also exempts private sector employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, temporary workers, employees who work in other states, independent contractors, variable hour employees, and certain part-time and seasonal employees.  (Part-time is defined as an individual who has worked, on average, fewer than 25 hours per week during the preceding calendar year.  Seasonal employee is defined as an individual employed by an employer for 25 weeks or less in a calendar year for a job scheduled for 25 weeks or fewer.)

The new law does require that employees accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year.  Employers are able to limit the accrual time to 1 hour per week and are not required to allow an eligible employee to use more than 40 hours of paid sick leave in a single benefit year or carry over more than 30 hours of time from one benefit year to another.  And, unlike the ballot language, employers can require proper notification, including procedural and documentation requirements for an employee’s sick leave. (Such as a doctors report)

MITA has received a couple of inquires from members regarding Davis Bacon Act (DBA) requirements and whether or not the new required sick leave could be considered a credit in fringe benefits.  From our understanding of the DBA and through discussions with MDOT, we don’t anticipate that paid sick leave will be considered a bona fide fringe benefit as the DBA specifically “excludes fringe benefits which a contractor or subcontractor is obligated to provide under other Federal, State or local law.”

Questions have been raised as to whether or not the legislature legally had the ability to repeal the law that they passed before the elections and then enact the changes to the paid sick leave within the same legislative cycle.  New Attorney General Dana Nessel has stated that she intends on formulating an opinion on this, which would potentially bring the issue to the courts.  MITA will keep the industry updated on any changes.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice President, at or Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Government Affairs, at  They both can be reached at 517-347-8336.