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Economy

Michigan manufacturers say paid sick leave mandate could hurt job growth

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Robert Couse-Baker
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creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Manufacturers Association is warning that a proposal for mandatory paid sick leave could lead to stalled job growth in the state. 

On Tuesday, the group Michigan Time to Care turned in more than 380,000 signatures for a petition to create an "Earned Sick Time Act." Under the proposal, workers would be guaranteed one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked.

But MMA spokesperson Mike Johnston says the mandate would make the state less competitive for new jobs. He says it would be the "most restrictive, most expensive and most complicated" paid-leave requirement in the country.  

"If [the mandate] increases the cost of employing people and increases the cost of the administrative burdens, it makes it much more difficult and more expensive to operate a Michigan location compared to companies in other states and, frankly, other nations," Johnston said.

Johnson says the mandate could also negatively affect health care, vacation time, overtime, bonuses and other benefits many employees currently receive. He says that's because employers may be forced to make cuts in order to accomodoate additional administrative and operational costs of the new requirements.

"If people naively think this will result in more and better benefits, they are rolling the dice with their jobs," he said. 

If the proposal is approved, it could appear on the ballot this November.

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