Senate Bill Looks to Regulate Sick Days Across Michigan

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

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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  • by Mignon Waller Location: Michigan on May 3, 2013 at 11:59 AM
    My concern is for those employees who have legimate illness and are penalized because the recovery time needed for self-care and management bypasses the number of days allowed by the employer to be absent from the job. These people are given warnings that intimidate them into coming to work sick. I have personally experienced this. It puts the employee and their co-workers at risk. Some policies are abused by employers who fail to seek information, as well as employees who choose to abuse sick time, and ofcourse we all suffer for it. Is it not a catch 22?
  • by Tbone Location: Grand Ledge on Mar 29, 2013 at 07:50 AM
    How would you like someone serving you in a resturant that is so sick and they cannot afford to call in sick? Do you want them to handle your food? I think if those businesses think it is not a good idea to give these people the day off paid then we have the right to sue the resturant for negligence and greed. Sure there may be some abuse but a limited number of days seems more reasonable. After all the employee is human and they do get sick form time to time. Enough slave labor!
  • by Name Location: Location on Mar 29, 2013 at 05:12 AM
    We are one of the few industrialized nations that does not have federal sick leave laws. This leads to restaurant employees coming into work sick, so that they don't miss a shift and lose out on money. Yes sick days might be abused, but remember a few years ago when one sick employee at Carrabbas got over 200 people sick over a few days? You'd think people would want to avoid repeats of that.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 29, 2013 at 01:48 AM
    This is a bad idea. For resturants, you earn $2.50 an hour plus tips, so you will still have people showing up sick. It puts some small businesses and employers at a disadvantage when it comes to hiring employees and it is another minimum wage hike. How did a conservative come up with a liberal idea?
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