Standard full-time Michigan worker would get 8.7 sick days per year under Democratic legislation

House and Senate Democrats on Thursday announced legislation to mandate paid sick leave, a change they say would affect 1 million Michigan workers.

"No one should have to make the difficult decision of choosing between their personal or family health or a paycheck," said Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint.

The legislation would require employers to offer 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours a person works. For somebody working 40 hours a week, that would equate to 69.3 hours or 8.7 standard eight-hour work days of sick leave per year. It would apply to both part-time and full-time employees.

But there could be a roadblock: the legislation runs counter to the majority House Republican Action Plan also unveiled on Thursday. In that, House Republicans cited local sick day ordinances as a hindrance to job creation.

"Legislative efforts will be taken to ensure local ordinances are not more restrictive than state standards," notes the House Republican Action Plan.

Rep. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, who plans to introduce legislation in the House, said Democrats would work hard to make sure that kind of legislation doesn't pass.

"We are really optimistic and encouraged. From some of the conversations that I've had with our Republican colleagues many are actually very open to talking about this issue so we're hopeful that we'll be able to get a hearing and be able to move this legislation forward," Chang said.

During the 2014 Lame Duck session advocates brought up the issue, but it didn't go anywhere last year.

The legislation would also allow people to take sick days to care for sick family members.

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