Earned Paid Sick Time
The Michigan Paid Sick Leave Initiative was an indirect initiated state statute in Michigan that the state legislature voted to approve on September 5, 2018. If the legislature had not approved the indirect initiative, the measure would have appeared on the ballot on November 6, 2018.
The measure was designed to require employers to provide employees with paid sick time. Under the initiative, employees of small businesses, defined as employers with fewer than 10 employees, were allowed to accrue and use 40 hours of paid sick time per year. Employees of businesses with 10 or more employees were allowed to accrue and use 72 hours of paid sick time per year.
On December 4, 2018, the state legislature amended the indirect initiative to require businesses with 50 or more employees to provide paid sick leave. Under the changes, employees with less than 50 employees would not need to provide paid sick leave. The bill also capped the requirement to provide paid sick leave at 40 hours per year instead of 72 hours per year, as the indirect initiative required for businesses with 10 or more employees. On December 13, 2018, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed the bill into law.[
The Michigan State Legislature received the ballot initiative from the secretary of state’s office on August 27, 2018. Both chambers of the state legislature passed the initiative on September 5, 2018. In Michigan, the governor’s signature is not required to adopt a citizen-initiated measure.
Most legislative Republicans supported adopting the initiative. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-30) said Republicans would seek to amend the initiative at a future date. He said, “We’ll consider different options and a whole suite of things we think are more friendly to Michigan, to make sure that workers are indeed cared for, and that still provide for economic development moving forward.” Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-27) said Republicans’ adopt-and-amend approach was better called “approve and remove, or even more cynically on my part, undo and screw.” He added, “There’s no question they plan on making dramatic changes, if not repealing it altogether. We have no idea what that’s going to be.”
In the state House, just under half of Democrats voted to adopt the initiative. House Democratic Leader Sam Singh described his caucus’ reasoning, saying, “What we’ll do between now and the election is make sure that they commit to not gutting this in lame duck. If they can’t commit to it, then it’s very clear for the voters that the only people who will protect the things that we got today are Democrats.”
In the state Senate, the vote was 24 to 13. At least 19 affirmative votes were needed to pass the measure. All 10 Senate Democrats, along with three Republicans, voted against adopting the initiative. The remaining 24 Republicans voted to pass the initiative.
The state House voted 78 to 28 to adopt the initiative. At least 44 affirmative votes were needed. Supporters of adopting the initiative included 57 Republicans (90.5 percent) and 21 Democrats (45.7 percent).