Four Michigan Economic Justice Fellowship Alumni are part of a series of stories about the need for Earned Paid Sick time. Read their experiences and share yours with us by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org!
This is the second of a four part series about workers who are directly impacted by the crucial fight to make earned paid sick time required by law. (Part 1 is HERE, Part 3 is HERE, and Part 4 is HERE.) Last year, the group MI Time to Care launched a petition drive to put earned sick time on the ballot. They were ultimately not successful. However, they have not given up the fight and are working to make sure it’s on the 2018 ballot. You can read more about their effort and get updates HERE.
Here’s what I wrote last year about the Earned Sick Time Act:
The Earned Sick Time Act is a bill to provide workers with the right to earn sick time for personal or family health needs, as well as purposes related to domestic violence and sexual assault and school meetings needed as the result of a child’s disability, health, or issues due to domestic violence and sexual assault; to specify the conditions for accruing and using earned sick time; to prohibit retaliation against an employee for requesting, exercising, or enforcing rights granted in this act; to prescribe powers and duties of certain state departments, agencies, and officers; to provide for promulgation of rules; and to provide remedies and sanctions.
The proposal would allow people to earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. Workers could earn up to nine days of paid sick time, depending on the size of the business.
Today’s guest post is by Greg Posey and I thank him for his essay.
I am an absent father – meaning that I live out of the home – but I am active and involved with my children. Earned Paid Sick Time has played a significant part in my ability as an absent father to establish and maintain a relationship with my children.
I define a relationship as an emotional connection, association or involvement. As a worker for the Department of Human Services, I earned four hours of paid sick leave for every two weeks of work, to use to care for myself or a family member. When my children were infants, I used to take time off to take them to the doctor or leave work when there was an emergency illness. Their mother was working, but she did not have the ability to leave work and get paid, so even though I wasn’t living in the home, I was the parent with the ability to get the kids to doctor when needed.
Because of earned paid sick time, I had a tool that allowed me, as an absent father, to form a bond with my children. Because of my ability to take time off to care for my family, I was able to be a father. I’m proud that I was able to take care of my children just like a father who lives in the home is able to do. I’m fighting for earned paid sick time for everyone so that all fathers have the same ability to care for their family without fear of losing pay or losing their jobs. That’s why we need earned paid sick time policies in Michigan and across the country.