Labor unions and anti-employer progressive groups are seeking to place a mandatory paid leave proposal on Michigan's statewide ballot in 2018.
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.
Only a small handful of states currently have a statewide paid sick leave mandate on the books. As written, the ballot proposal would place severe compliance burdens on employers, including those with paid leave policies currently in place. The ballot proposal is a legal landmine, creating an unprecedented rebuttable presumption for adverse personnel actions and numerous avenues for lawsuits, fines and damages.
Where We Stand:
The Michigan Chamber is opposed to this one-size-fits-all paid leave mandate. 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 many businesses and, ultimately, their employees who may see increased responsibilities, fewer raises, fewer bonuses, reduced hours and even layoffs. Additionally, the ballot proposal is a legal landmine, creating an unprecedented rebuttable presumption for adverse personnel actions and numerous avenues for lawsuits, fines and damages. A paid leave mandate, and the lawsuits that may ensue, will make Michigan less competitive for new jobs and investment when compared to other states.
The Michigan Time to Care campaign gathered more than 350,000 signatures for the proposal. The next step for the ballot proposal is a review by the Secretary of State and the Board of State Canvassers (“Board”). If the Board determines either group has sufficient signatures (at least 252,523) and certifies the proposal, the Legislature will have 40 days to adopt the proposal as written (no changes), reject the proposal and send the question to the voters, or do nothing and send the proposal to the voters. The Legislature can also put a competing question on the ballot.
- Ballot efforts to raise minimum wage, add paid sick leave beat state deadline, Bridge Magazine, May 31, 2018
- Mandatory paid sick leave takes next step toward Michigan ballot, Detroit Free Press, May 30, 2018
- Paid sick time proposal could be on November ballot, Michigan Radio, May 29, 2018
- Paid sick time law proposed for November 2018 ballot in Michigan, Detroit Free Press, August 1, 2016