Although efforts by labor unions and anti-employer progressive groups to place a mandatory paid leave proposal on Michigan's statewide ballot in 2016 failed, the same groups have already announced their plans to try again for the November 2018 ballot.
If approved, employees working for businesses with 10 or more employees would accrue a minimum of one hour of “earned sick time” (paid sick leave) for every 30 hours worked. Employees would be entitled to use 72 hours in a year unless the employer selects a higher limit.
The rules for small businesses, defined as less than 10 employees working during a given week (including part-time, full-time and temporary workers), would be slightly different. These employees would accrue a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employees would be entitled to use 40 hours in a year unless the employer selects a higher limit. If the employee uses more than 40 hours, the employee would be entitled to use an additional 32 hours of unpaid earned sick time. Employees would be entitled to use paid leave prior to using unpaid leave.
Where We Stand:
The Michigan Chamber is opposed to this one-size-fits-all mandate, which will hit the tourism, hospitality and retail industries and seasonal businesses the hardest. Companies that can afford to provide paid leave typically do. For those that don’t, cost is the driving factor. A paid leave mandate, if approved by voters, will have a chilling impact on these businesses and, ultimately, their employees who may see increased responsibilities, fewer raises, fewer bonuses, reduced hours and even layoffs.
If proponents gather more than 252,523 valid signatures, the measure will go before the Legislature, which would have 40 days to act. If they take no action or reject the proposal, then it would go before voters in November 2018. The Legislature also could put a competing proposal on the ballot.
If approved, Michigan would be one of only a small handful of states with a statewide paid sick leave mandate, joining Connecticut, California, Massachusetts and Oregon. This could have a chilling impact on our state's economy.