Senate Bill Looks to Regulate Sick Days Across Michigan

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At Dublin Square in East Lansing, the sick day policy is simple.

"There is no paid sick leave, in general, for regular employees," said General Manager, Eric Allchin. "If they call in sick, they lose out on the possible wages for the day."

But what if the restaurant was forced to give its employees a certain number of sick days?

"It would cause us to maybe have a few more people stand out, call in sick, expect to get paid," said Allchin.

That's what Senate Bill 173, which got passed through a Senate committee, Thursday, is looking to stop.

The bill, known as the 'Employment Leave Uniformity Act', prevents a local government from adopting an ordinance or policy requiring an employer to provide paid or unpaid leave that is not required under federal or state law.

"In order to make our business climate more consistent and predictable for our businesses and our employees, this should move forward," said Rep. Earl Poleski, (R) Jackson, who is sponsoring a similar bill that is moving through the House.

Poleski says the idea is to stop any competitive disadvantages that come from different leave requirements by making them the same across the state.

Samantha Harkens of the Michigan Municipal League says there are no local governments in Michigan considering this type of legislation. Her office is worried this might be a sign of the state meddling in local government.

"We're puzzled as to why this is even an issue," she said. "It's that slippery slope of passing something that's a preemption. The, later, it's the precedent for legislation."

Both bills still have to make their way through the Senate and House floors, before one is chosen for the governor's signature.

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