Chamber Continues to Oppose Progressive Groups' Push for Paid Sick Leave Ballot Proposal

August 10, 2015

The Board of State Canvassers has approved the formatting of the paid sick leave ballot petition, clearing the way for progressive groups to circulate petitions for signatures to place the issue on the November 2016 ballot. 

The ballot language, if approved, would require job providers to offer employees one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employees would be eligible to use 72 hours of paid sick time per work year. Employees of small businesses, defined as fewer than 10 employees (including part-time and temporary employees), would be eligible to use 40 hours of paid sick time and use an additional 32 hours of unpaid sick time. View details of the proposal here.

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 adopt the proposal “as is,” it would become law without a vote of the people. If they take no action or reject the proposal, then it would go before voters in November 2016. The Legislature also could put a competing proposal on the ballot.  

If this proposal is approved, Michigan would be one of only five 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.    

For more information, please contact Wendy Block, Director of Health Policy & Human Resources, at (517) 371-7678 or wblock@michamber.com.