Legislation to Require Paid Adoption Leave Introduced on Heels of Paid Sick Leave Mandate

February 22, 2015

A bill has been introduced in the State House to require employers to provide two weeks of paid leave to employees adopting a child. House Bill 4223 (Rep. Kosowski) was introduced just a week after another bill (House Bill 4167) was introduced to require employers to offer one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked (See Feb. 16, 2015 Capitol Report for details.) The adoption proposal would apply to businesses with 50 or more employees.  Currently, the Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for parents of a newborn child and for parents of a newly adopted child. 

The Michigan Chamber is opposed to HB 4223 for many of the same reasons we oppose a blanket paid leave mandate, including HB 4167. Specifically, while many employers already offer these types of benefits, many simply cannot afford to do so. Thus, these proposals 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 workers need and want, such as retirement, health insurance and other fringe benefits.

House Bill 4223 is especially concerning given the popularity of paid sick leave with the general public. We do not believe there is a viable compromise on these job-killing mandates and we will aggressively oppose them.

For more information, contact Wendy Block at (517) 371-7678 or wblock@michamber.com.