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Ask the HR Expert

Courtesy SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Question: Which workers are exempt from paid sick leave law?

Answer: The law has 12 specific exemptions to eligibility under Paid Medical Leave.  Generally, exempt employees under the FLSA and employees covered by a CBA are not eligible.  Also, remote employees who are working out of state are also ineligible.  In addition, a covered employer is not required to provide earned sick time law (ESTA) benefits to employees who either: (a) work on average less than 25 hours per week; and/or (b) fit within the “variable hour employee” definition. 

The 12 exemptions are below:

  • An individual who is exempt from overtime requirements under section 13(a)(1) of the fair labor standards act, 29 USC 213(a)(1).
  • An individual who is not employed by a public agency, as that term is defined in section 3 of the fair labor standards act, 29 USC 203, and who is covered by a collective bargaining agreement that is in effect.
  • An individual employed by the United States government, another state, or a political subdivision of another state.
  • An individual employed by an air carrier as a flight deck or cabin crew member that is subject to title II of the railway labor act, 45 USC 151 to 188.
  • An employee as described in section 201 of the railway labor act, 45 USC 181.
  • An employee as defined in section 1 of the railroad unemployment insurance act, 45 USC 351.
  • An individual whose primary work location is not in this state.
  • An individual whose minimum hourly wage rate is determined under section 4b of the improved workforce opportunity wage act, 2018 PA 337, MCL 408.934b.
  • An individual described in section 29(1)(l) of the Michigan employment security act, 1936 (Ex Sess) PA 1, MCL 421.29.
  • An individual employed by an employer for 25 weeks or fewer in a calendar year for a job scheduled for 25 weeks or fewer.
  • A variable hour employee as defined in 26 CFR 54.4980H-1.
  • An individual who worked, on average, fewer than 25 hours per week during the immediately preceding calendar year.


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