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sick leave

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The coalition pushing state lawmakers to give all workers paid sick days is growing. Groups backing bills introduced in Lansing last month held press conferences in Detroit, Flint and Kalamazoo Monday.

Danielle Atkinson, who directs Mothering Justice, an advocacy group for working moms, was in Grand Rapids. If passed, she says the bills would help more than workers.

“99% of restaurant employees don’t have access to one paid sick day and what that really translates into is restaurant workers going to work sick and getting everyone else sick and it becomes a public health issue,” Atkinson said.

M. Kuhlman

Taking paid time off work to cope with illness is a luxury nearly half of Michigan workers cannot afford, but it's a policy many favor.

A new poll from Denno Research shows that 86 percent of Michigan voters support paid sick time for employees. For 46 percent of the state's private-sector workers, said Dave Woodward with the Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan, time away from work because of illness means no pay.