“Today, thanks to the hard work and skillful advocacy of the MI Time to Care coalition and hundreds of thousands of Michiganders who stood up and demanded action, the state legislature passed a paid sick days bill, taking an important step to strengthen Michigan’s families and communities. The legislation will expand access to this vital protection for nearly two million working people in the state who currently face impossible choices when personal or family health issues arise. Michigan is poised to join 10 other states, the District of Columbia and 33 other jurisdictions in guaranteeing workers the right to earn paid sick days, pending Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature.
Passage of this bill is a promise to Michigan workers and families that legislators must keep and not erode, even after the election season passes. This is a promise that they will no longer have to choose between their health or the health of a child every time illness strikes. It’s a promise to improve public health in the state and a commitment to no longer leave the lowest wage workers without this essential support. Given the enormity of working families’ needs and the overwhelming public support for this measure, it is troubling that some lawmakers have discussed post-election plans to gut the paid sick days law they just passed. Any such effort would be an appalling giveaway to lobbyists and special interests and a slap to constituents, who overwhelmingly support the policy as written.
The work in Michigan is clearly not over. We urge lawmakers to implement the law as written without delay. We will be watching and we will not rest until all working Michiganders have the opportunity to earn paid sick time.
As we applaud state and local progress, we also recognize that this piecemeal approach to paid sick days leaves behind millions of America’s workers. More than 34 million private sector workers in the United States have no access to paid sick days. Shocking disparities in access persist by job type, industry and wage level. America’s workers need national action that members of Congress have proposed in the Healthy Families Act, a national paid sick days standard that would ensure no one would have to risk their job in order to take time to recover from the flu or care for a sick child. Paid sick days support the economic security of families, improve the health of communities and are good for businesses’ bottom lines. Lawmakers at the federal, state and local levels should champion — not undermine — this basic workplace protection.”
About the National Partnership
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.