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 toinfo@mieconomicjustice.org!

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This is the fourth and final installment 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 2 is HERE, and Part 3 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 Julia Coneo and I thank her for her essay.

Enjoy.

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Four years ago, I made a decision to move back to Detroit to become a Caregiver for my father. This decision was one of the best and most important of my life. So many human beings make this same decision every day.

After working fulltime and caring for my Dad for the first two years or so the duties required that I cut back to part time. Since I worked part time I no longer had sick days. When I had to go to the hospital with my Dad, I took the day off, I didn’t get paid. When I got sick and took the day off, I didn’t get paid. Therefore, when I took off without pay, my bills often did not get paid.

We may all be caregivers one day. Whether we work full time or part time, we need to be able to earn paid sick time. If I was able to accrue 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours I worked, I would have been able to be paid and to pay my bills. Being a caregiver, mother or father often feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulder, let’s work together, to prevent any more pressure. Support Earned Paid Sick time for all workers.