Group seeks to put mandatory paid sick leave on the 2016 ballot

voteAn effort is underway put mandatory paid sick leave for all Michigan workers on the November 2016 ballot.

The proposal would require businesses to offer paid leave if a worker or someone in their immediate family is sick. The initiative from the Time to Care Coalition would allow workers to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked.

Staci Lowry of Detroit says she’s joining the campaign because the issue cost her a job.

“My daughter suffered a stroke,” said Lowry. “And there were no other options for me to maintain my job with providing care for my daughter.”

Organizers with the coalition say it would promote public health and attract more talent to Michigan.

“We have children who are going to school sick because their parents don’t have access to earned sick time,” said Time to Care’s Danielle Atkinson.

But opponents of paid sick leave mandates say the plan would make the state less attractive for businesses.

“When companies can afford to provide paid leave time, they typically will and the typically do,” said Wendy Block with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

“But for those who cannot afford to do so, a paid sick leave mandate would have a financially chilling effect on their businesses and, ultimately, on their employees.”

The coalition expects to begin collecting signatures once a state elections board signs off on its petition language.