MI Paid Sick Days for ALL-- COVID 19
Dear Members of the Michigan legislature,

We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to co-sponsor the return of the Paid Sick Days Public Act 369 of 2018 to its original form.

The spread of COVID-19 has highlighted the economic consequences faced by working people when they lack access to paid sick days. In Michigan, 40 percent of workers lack access to paid sick days, and for low-income workers it’s even worse. While 93 percent of the highest-wage workers in the US have access to paid sick days, only 30 percent of the lowest wage workers do. Workers in jobs that require frequent contact with the public, including those in food preparation and service, personal home care, and child care are among the least likely to have paid sick days and the most likely to be unable to afford to take unpaid time away from work.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 self-quarantine for 14 days. But for people without access to paid sick days, this is a near impossibility. The New York Times Editorial Board acknowledged this, writing “We Are Ignoring One Obvious Way to Fight the Coronavirus” (https://nyti.ms/2IBy3LS).

This bill acknowledges time for quarantine for those who have been exposed, treatment and isolation for those who contract the virus, and for taking care of an ill loved one. It also covers lost income in the event of workplace or school closings. This bill shows that people need time off from work when there is a public health emergency, and provides paid sick and safe days to recover from short-term illnesses, access preventive care, care for a sick loved one.

We urge all members of the House and Senate to co-sponsor the Original Paid Sick Bill and the added portion for the State of Emergency, Pandemic and Epidemic to protect Michiganders in a Healthcare crisis. Our society is only as healthy as its most vulnerable members. We all have a stake in ensuring paid sick days for public health emergencies and for personal and family care.

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