FMLA Rules for Michigan

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Many states have laws requiring businesses to provide time off for medical and family reasons. However, the state of Michigan is not one of them. In the Great Lakes state, workers have only the protections guaranteed by the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows them to take 12 weeks of leave each 12-month period if they meet its conditions.

Federal Family Medical Leave Act

The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows Michigan employees to balance work and family responsibilities by letting them take unpaid leave for family and medical reasons. The Act also accommodates employers' legitimate interests.

The FMLA is a federal law that covers all public and private elementary and secondary schools, public agencies, and businesses with at least 50 employees. Some states have state-specific laws that allow companies to give employees time off for family and medical reasons. Michigan does not have a state law for paid medical leave – it has only the rights outlined in the FMLA.

Entitlement to Family Leave in Michigan

Michigan employees who work at least 20 weeks in the current year or in the calendar year prior are covered under the FLMA. Workers can take leave if they worked:

  • For an employer for at least a year.
  • A minimum of 1,250 hours during the past year.
  • At a company with a minimum of 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

The coverage allows employees to take time off if they need:

  • Time to recover from a serious health issue.
  • To care for a family member's serious health condition.
  • Time to bond with a newborn.
  • To handle circumstances due to a family member's military service.
  • To care for a family service member in the event they suffer serious injury during active duty in the military.

Leave Time Under the FMLA

Workers may take a maximum of 12 weeks leave in a 12-month period, which recommences every 12 months if the employee continues to meet the FMLA's eligibility requirements. Employees may take a maximum of 26 weeks in 12 months when caring for a family member injured during active military duty.

During leave, workers may continue their health insurance at the same cost they pay while working. As FMLA's leave is unpaid, the Act allows employees to use their accrued paid leave at that time or the employer can require they do. When their FMLA leave ends, the worker will see reinstatement to their old position or an equivalent one, as required under the Act.

Michigan Employee Notice

Workers must comply with their company's requirements for requesting leave and give their employer enough information to determine if FMLA leave applies to their circumstances. If employees foresee the need to take leave under the FMLA, they must request it at least 30 days in advance.

If leave is unforeseeable, they must provide notice as soon as possible. The worker must provide sufficient information for their employer to determine if the Act will apply to their leave request.

When an employee seeks time off for a qualifying reason under the Act for the first time, they do not have to assert their FMLA rights or even mention the Act. However, if a worker requests leave for a qualifying reason for which their company previously provided them with FMLA-protected leave, the worker must reference their reason to take time off or the need for FMLA leave.