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Lansing Democrats hope Trump support for paid sick leave will give state effort traction

Mar 1, 2017

If you work, you deserve paid sick time.

That was the message of Democratic lawmakers in Lansing today who introduced legislation that would require employers to let full- and part-time workers earn sick time.

Employees would get one hour of sick time for every 30 hours they work.

The legislation would let workers use the time off for their own illness or the illness of a close family member. It would also apply to LBGT families, grandparents raising children, and single-parent families.

Bill sponsor Rep. Stephanie Chang , D-Detroit, said many Michiganders support the legislation. But some Republican leaders have already expressed disapproval of the bills, saying they cannot risk Michigan's recovery on such a major new mandate.

"We're going to keep pushing," said Chang. "Really this should not be, and is not, a partisan issue. We'll keep advocating and keep bringing up the voices of folks who are most affected by these issues."

Similar legislation has failed several times in the past.

Christina Hayes is a mother from Detroit, and she has had to risk being fired or miss doctor appointments for serious illness.

"It's like, do you go to work, you pass out, you die trying – literally," said Hayes. "Or do you put a legislation such as this in place to help people like myself."