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Appellate Court Stops Earned Sick Time Act From Becoming Effective, Sparing Michigan Employers From Additional Burdens


By Jordan M. Small

In a significant development for Michigan employers, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a decision on Thursday, January 26, 2023 that prevented changes to Michigan’s paid sick leave and minimum wage laws from taking effect. The ruling spares employers from the impact of the Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA) which, had it become effective as scheduled on February 20, 2023, would have required all employers in Michigan to provide at least 72 hours of sick leave to every employee. 

In its 3-0 decision in Mothering Justice v. Nessel, the appellate court overturned a Court of Claims decision and held that the “adopt-and-amend” strategy used to pass the Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA). was not unconstitutional. 

Accordingly, employers must still abide by the paid leave requirements of the PMLA, and Michigan’s minimum wage will remain at $10.10 per hour. However, the case will likely make its way to the Michigan Supreme Court, which means that the ultimate fate of the two laws remains unsettled. 

For more information, please join Maddin Hauser on February 6th for a webinar covering developments in this case, current requirements for employers under the Paid Medical Leave Act, and how those requirements may change in the future. Register for the webinar here.