Some Democrats think the COVID-19 outbreak illustrates the need for expanded paid sick time for workers.
State Representative Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) introduced a bill to require employers to provide one hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours worked with a cap of 72 hours earned sick time. The current law is one hour for every 35 hours worked with a cap of 40.
Kuppa says it not only helps workers, it helps businesses.
“They benefit more when workers stay home because then they don't infect others. And I think that that's true even now, even more because of COVID,” she said during an online news conference held by Michigan United, a progressive group.
Representative Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) is a co-sponsor of the bill.
“So the fact of the matter is if we don't have healthy workers, we don't have healthy business. And I think that's what we need to keep in mind. This is about a bigger picture,” she said.
The legislation calls for the same earned sick time as a 2018 voter initiative. The Republican-led legislature adopted the initiative and then amended it to reduce earned sick time hours during the lame duck session. Governor Rick Snyder signed it into law.