About Us

In 2018, the MI Time to Care coalition submitted a sufficient number of signatures for a citizen initiated law to create the Earned Sick Time Act in Michigan. This legislation would have required employers with fewer than 10 employees to accrue 40 hours of paid sick time per year for their employees and employers with 10 or more employees to accrue 72 hours per year.


The legislature had the option of adopting this legislation, which they took, thus creating the Earned Sick Time Act and preventing the issue from heading to the ballot for voter approval. Shortly after the election, and just a few months after they adopted the Earned Sick Time Act, the legislature amended the policy and significantly weakened it. The “adopt and amend” strategy executed by the legislature has since been tied up in the courts, with the most recent action being the Supreme Court’s decision not to weigh in at the legislature’s request – there was not an actual case before them, simply a request from the legislature to issue an advisory opinion. The restoration of the full Earned Sick Time Act would expand paid sick to over 1.4 million Michigan workers. 

With the new Michigan Supreme Court seated in January, the coalition is ready more aggressively to pursue a parallel legislative and legal strategy that positions the Earned Sick Time Act for review by the Supreme Court next year. Due to the steps that need to be taken to set up an eventual Supreme Court opinion, the coalition will need a robust legal fund.

Additionally, given that the threat of a favorable Supreme Court ruling may lead the legislature and the business community to find a policy solution, the coalition must be adequately staffed and prepared to ensure that any legislative strategy includes, and is influenced by, the coalition. 

Partnering Organizations

Mothering Justice is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Through advocacy, leadership development, voter empowerment, and promoting family-friendly advocacy, Mothering Justice will  raise the voices of mothers and help them become policy makers and shapers. The overall goal of this organization is to empower a well-organized group of mothers that can engage fellow mothers and law makers around a variety of issues that affect working families.

 

Founded in 2008, the Michigan chapter is a large and active chapter of ROC United. We consist of hundreds of restaurant workers, employers and engaged consumers statewide, who are united together to improve working conditions and raise wages in the restaurant industry.

The Michigan chapter, as it reflects the mission and vision of ROC United, aims to advance the interests of restaurant workers by engaging them as leaders in our organizing efforts, connecting them with other restaurant workers, High Road restaurateurs, policy-makers, consumers, voters, and institutions, and expanding and deepening their skills and voices in the industry.

Our Michigan Story

Founded in 2008, the Michigan chapter is a large and active chapter of ROC United. We consist of thousands of restaurant workers, High Road employers and engaged consumers statewide, who are united together to improve working conditions and raise wages in the restaurant industry.

The Michigan chapter, as it reflects the mission and vision of ROC United, aims to advance the interests of restaurant workers by engaging them as leaders in our organizing efforts, connecting them with other restaurant workers, High Road restaurateurs, policy-makers, consumers, voters, and institutions, and expanding and deepening their skills and voices in the industry.

Our Team

Allen Lee

Case Manager

Allen came to ROC from Goodwill Industries, where he specialized in workforce development. In 2017 he joined ROC-MI to coordinate Restore Detroit, a skills training program for returning citizens and survivors of domestic violence. He managed the daily operations of the training classes and maintained compliance with major stakeholders. In 2019 Allen’s focus shifted to coordinating ROC-MI’s CHOW (Colors Hospitality Opportunity for Workers) Institute, which provides free 8-week industry specific classes, building the ladder of success for restaurant workers. Allen’s dedication to justice for restaurant workers comes from his lived experience of witnessing his mother’s struggle with wage and tip theft as a hospitality worker.

Sarah Coffey

Organizer

Born in Detroit and raised in Michigan, Sarah has been a movement organizer for over 20 years. She got her start in the streets of Seattle during the WTO protests in 1999, helping to get hundreds of protesters’ charges dropped and co-founding the Midnight Special Law Collective. She served as Program Director for MSLC for 10 years, where she co-created and co-led national workshops for thousands of activists and organizers across the spectrum of struggle for social change. Sarah returned to Detroit in 2010, where she continues to do community organizing in her neighborhood as well as working on issues nationally. Currently she sits on multiple Boards of Directors and is the Legal Worker National Vice President of the National Lawyers Guild. She splits her time at ROC between organizing and the CHOW Institute, and was ROC’s Practicum Manager for the 2019 EJAM Fellowship. Sarah’s first job was at Little Caesars when she was 15.

311 E Grand River Ave #1ST
Detroit, MI 48226
 
Text ROC to 79606
 
Restaurant Opportunities Center of Chicago is a chapter of the ROC United non-profit organization.