Michigan Leave Laws


Vacation Leave

In Michigan, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. MI Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity – Wage & Hour FAQ If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. MI Statute 408.473

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment, so long as the employees have signed contracts or written statements agreeing to the policy. See MI Dept. of Labor and Econ. Opportunity – Wage & Hour: Payment of Fringe Benefits at Termination.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year, so long as employees have signed contracts or written statements agreeing to the policy. See MI Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity – Wage & Hour: Payment of Fringe Benefits at Termination.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. See Mich. Comp. Laws 408.473.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter. See MI Dept. of Labor and Econ. Opportunity – Wage & Hour: Payment of Fringe Benefits at Termination.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time, so long as employees have signed contracts or written statements agreeing to the policy. See MI Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity – Wage & Hour: Payment of Fringe Benefits at Termination.

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as the employee has agreed to the policy in writing. See MI Statute 408.473.


Sick Leave

Michigan law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. An employer would not be required to pay an employee for accrued sick leave upon separation from employment unless its policy or employment contract required it to do so. MI Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity: Wage & Hour FAQ

An employer in Michigan may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.


Holiday Leave

Michigan law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. In Michigan, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws.

If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. MI Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity: Wage & Hour FAQ

State holidays

Visit our Michigan State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Michigan as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.


Jury Duty Leave

An employer is not required to pay an employee for responding to a jury summons or serving on a jury.

An employer may not discharge, discipline, or threaten an employee for being summoned for jury duty, serving on a jury, or having served on a jury.

An employer may not require an employee who serves jury duty, without the employee’s voluntary consent or pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, to work:

  • any number of hours during a day which, if added to the number of hours which the employee spends on jury duty, exceeds the number of hours normally worked by the employee during a day, or
  • the number of hours normally worked by the employee if it would result in the employee be required to work past the employee’s normal quitting time.

MI Statute 600.1348


Voting Leave

Michigan does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.


Bereavement Leave

Michigan law does not require employers to provide employees bereavement leave or leave to attend funerals. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employers may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice they maintain.


Family and Medical Leave

All employees in Michigan and the rest of the country are subject to what is known as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This allows all employees in the US to take unpaid leave for various reasons, with the right to reinstatement to their former position.

Michigan does not have its own state-sanctioned law regarding family and medical leave. However, this federal FMLA applies.

Who is Covered By the FMLA?

An employer with at least 50 employees for at least 20 weeks in the previous or current year must adhere to all provisions of the FMLA.

An employee is eligible for unpaid time-off benefits if they have worked for a company for at least one year, worked for at least 1,250 hours during the previous year, and worked at a business with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

Eligibility Requirements

Any employee is eligible for FMLA unpaid leave benefits:

  • To bond with a newborn or adopted child
  • To care for a family member with a severe illness or injury
  • To recover from a serious health condition
  • To handle any qualifying circumstances that arise out of a family member’s military service
  • To care for a member of the family who has suffered any sort of serious injury during active military duty.

Leave Duration

Any employee in Michigan, under the FMLA, may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during one year. Qualifying reasons are listed above.

However, if a family member must take care of another family member who was injured on active military duty, they may have up to 26 weeks of leave in one year.

However, this leave is based on a per-service member or injury basis. Therefore, unless that same family member is injured a second time or another family member suffers an injury while on duty, an employee may not take additional leave under this provision.

Reinstatement and Rights

While taking FMLA leave, a worker has the right to continue receiving and paying into their health care insurance plan at the same cost paid while working.

FMLA leave is unpaid, but employees may be allowed or even required to use accrued paid leave during an MLA leave.

At the end of the FMLA leave, a worker has the right to be reinstated to the same or equivalent, barring a few exceptions.


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