The Michigan Labor Caucus announced last week that they will be pushing an 11-bill “Workers First Reopening Plan.” The bills, which include several mandates on businesses, would increase long-term costs on employers when they are already feeling the pinch and could negatively impact the people its supporters are trying to help.
The bill would expand Michigan’s paid sick leave law, create a workers’ compensation presumption for employees who contract COVID, mandate scheduling standards and notice requirements, allow workers who leave work if they feel unsafe to collect unemployment benefits, implement workers safety practices to minimize exposure to the virus and extend hazard pay to medical workers.
The bill package was announced via a Zoom press conference hosted by Rep. Brian Elder (D-Bay City), chair of the Labor Caucus. Although most of the bill in the package have yet to be introduced, we expect the bill to be introduced in the coming weeks by Rep. Tenisha Yancey (D-Detroit), Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette), Rep. Jim Haadsma (D-Battle Creek), Rep. John Chirkun (D-Roseville), Rep. Ronnie Peterson (D-Ypsilanti), Rep. Terry Sabo (D-Muskegon), Rep. Kara Hope (D-Holt), Rep. Alex Garza (D-Taylor) and Rep. Elder.
The Michigan Chamber will be actively monitoring the introduction of this bill package and soliciting feedback from members on the various pieces. However, we will stand firm in our stance that the COVID-19 crisis should not be used an opportunity to pass broadly drafted legislation that is poorly tailed to the situation or increases long-term costs onto employers.
Please contact Wendy Block with any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.