This post will guide you through employee leave laws for businesses and workers located in the state of Michigan.
Follow this guide to understand employers’ obligations for vacation time, paid time off (PTO), sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and more, along with state holidays observed in Michigan.
This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.
No federal or state laws in Michigan require employers to provide paid or unpaid vacation time. If there is a company policy or employment contract that stipulates that an employee will receive vacation time, the company must abide by this contract. Otherwise, it’s up to the employer’s discretion whether to provide this benefit.
Use It or Lose It is not specifically addressed in Michigan leave laws. This means employers in Michigan are free to put such a policy in place for vacation time if they choose to do so.
With sick leave, however, employees are entitled to carry over a certain amount of unused sick leave from one year to the next, so Use It or Lose It for sick leave in Michigan is not allowed.
Use It or Lose It leave policies mean that any leave not used at the end of the year is forfeited, and not carried over to the following year. Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.
Fringe benefits, as vacation time, sick leave and other forms of PTO are classified under Michigan law, are subject to each employer’s written contracts and company policies. Paying out unused PTO upon separation (e.g. when an employee quits, is fired, retires or is laid off) is not required by law, and up to the employer’s discretion.
Employees in companies with 50 or more workers are entitled to sick leave under Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act.
Sick leave is earned at a rate of 1 hour for every 35 hours worked – however, this may be capped at 1 hour earned per week and a total of 40 hours per year.
Companies can require employees to work 90 days before being allowed to use sick leave, and employees must be allowed to carry over up to 40 hours of unused sick leave from one year to the next.
Besides any state laws or provisions written into employment contracts, employers in Michigan must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles eligible employees the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, or to care for spouses, children or parents with a serious health condition.
The following official state holidays are observed in Michigan:
|January 1||New Year’s Day|
|3rd Monday in January||Martin Luther King, Jr Day|
|3rd Monday in February||Presidents’ Day|
|Last Monday in May||Memorial Day|
|July 4||Independence Day|
|1st Monday in September||Labor Day|
|Tuesday, after the first Monday in November, every two years||General Election Day|
|November 11||Veterans Day|
|4th Thursday in November||Thanksgiving|
|Day after Thanksgiving||Friday after Thanksgiving (aka Black Friday)|
|December 24||Christmas Eve|
|December 25||Christmas Day|
|December 31||New Year’s Eve|
There is no requirement to allow employees a paid or unpaid day off for state holidays, and employees required to work on state holidays are not legally entitled to extra compensation (such as higher pay or a compensatory day off), unless promised in their employment contract.
Maternity leave (paid or unpaid) is not provided by Michigan state law.
The FMLA does apply, however, entitling new mothers to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth of a new child, as well as the placement of a new adoption or foster.
Paternity leave is not covered by law in Michigan either, but fathers have the same right to unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks for the birth of their child, or a new adoption or fostered child.
There is no legal requirement to provide bereavement leave in Michigan. It’s up to the employer’s discretion whether to allow bereavement leave, and whether this leave is paid or unpaid.
Employers are effectively required to allow unpaid leave for employees to participate in jury duty.
There is no paid leave requirement, however employers are not allowed to penalize, discharge, threaten or coerce employees for participating in jury duty, and cannot require an employee to work on the same day they participate in jury duty if the shift plus the time spent at jury duty goes past their regular working hours.
Michigan does not require employers to provide leave (paid or unpaid) to allow employees to vote.
Michigan allows employees to take temporary, unpaid leave for military service, installation into the military, or determining fitness for military service. Employees also get reemployment rights upon returning from military leave.
Federal Law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)) applies in Michigan, which states that military service members receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service, and upon returning, must be reinstated to the same position (or an equivalent position) as they had before their leave.
Anything not covered in Michigan state leave laws is up to the discretion of the employer, such as whether or not to provide paid sick leave or PTO, or whether PTO rolls over from year to year.
However, if any benefits are laid out in an employee’s contract or company policy, employers must comply with what has been agreed in that document.
For example, if an employee’s contract states that they are to receive 12 days of PTO each year, the employer is legally required to provide this, even though paid time off is not required by state law.