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State representative introduces paid sick leave bill

Michigan House Democrats

A bill introduced in the Michigan legislature would expand paid sick leave for employees in the state.

State Representative Padma Kuppa (D-Troy/Clawson) introduced the bill.

The bill reflects the core tenets of a 2018 citizen-led initiative. It would require employers to provide one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. That would be capped at 72 sick time hours per year.

Kuppa said her bill was not timed to coincide with the coronavirus outbreak—but paid sick time is especially critical during a public health crisis.

“It’s just that little bit extra that can help people,” she said. “It gives you a sort of security that if you are sick, your employer is going to care about you.”

The citizen-led initiative was gutted by state Republicans using an “adopt and amend strategy” during the 2018 lame duck session. Current law only provides one hour of sick time for every 35 hours worked, with a 40-hour cap.

Kuppa said studies now show that expanding paid sick leave doesn’t hurt the economy. “It would not have the kind of negative economic impact that naysayers in 2018 said it would,” she said.

Kuppa said the timing of her bill just happened to coincide with the growing coronavirus outbreak. But she said paid sick time is especially critical during a public health crisis.

However, she admitted it has little chance of passing.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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