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.
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.