Supporters rally for paid sick time in Michigan - WNEM TV 5

Supporters rally for paid sick time in Michigan

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Supporters of paid sick time for workers held rallies across the state Tuesday.

"I feel passionate about this because I have some children that have found it very difficult to find jobs with paid sick time,” Phyllis Jacob said.

Jacob is rallying for her kids and others across Michigan. She teamed up with the coalition group MI Time to Care, which is fighting to ensure all workers in the state can get paid when they are too sick to do their job.

“We are out talking to everybody. In Flint, Saginaw, Detroit, Lansing and Traverse City,” Jacob said.

The group is hoping to get enough support to get a bill on the ballot in 2018, which would require companies to give workers an hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked.

The campaign needs over 250,000 signatures before the measure could get consideration for the ballot.

The campaign launch included testimonials from workers.  They discussed how they have been burned or even lost jobs because of illness.

"You have to have something like this in place so you won't have that happen to other people,” one speaker said.

"I have to tell you that was an extremely traumatizing event to happen in the work place,” another speaker said.

However, not everyone is on board. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce website states it opposes a one-size fits all mandate and says in part:

“This proposal would have a significant impact on Michigan employers' payroll costs and hiring decisions and would be felt most by workers, who will have to cover the work load for absent employees. It could also have an adverse impact on employers' ability to offer the voluntary benefits that workers need and want, such as retirement, health insurance.”

Yet, Jacob said the proposal is good for business, citing it would promote happier and more productive workers.

“We need to make sure that everyone in the state of Michigan gets what they need so they can take care of their families,” Jacob said. 

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