State Senate moves on changes to citizen-initiated earned sick time law

Nov 29, 2018

The state Legislature is moving forward with changes to a citizen initiative on paid sick leave. The measure to require employers to offer earned, paid sick time got enough signatures to make the November ballot. But the Senate pre-empted that – in an effort to scale it back before it becomes law.

“It’s a complete disappointment that the Senate has changed what would have been a very inclusive earned sick time policy to one that has very little benefit for the majority of people that need it,” said Danielle Atkinson, chair of MI Time to Care. That’s the group that drafted the initiative and collected the signatures for the ballot.

The bill would reduce the total number of hours of paid sick time an employer would have to offer. It would also require workers to put in more hours to earn time off. And it would exempt employers with fewer than 50 employees.

Charles Owens is with the National Federation of Independent Business. He said unless the bill is passed, employers could have to slash worker benefits, pay, hours and jobs if changes are not made to the initiative.

“Mandating costs to employers does not magically create the revenue to support the cost of those mandates,” he said.

Senate Bill 1175 now goes onto the state House for consideration.