Winter is in full swing in Michigan, as is flu season. Even the most rigorous hand washing, sanitizing, and multivitamin regimen can’t always protect us from the dreaded flu or cold – especially if you have kids (a.k.a small germ factories). When an unexpected illness strikes, sometimes it’s impossible to even get out of bed, let alone go in to work. It’s times like those that I’m glad I have paid sick days through my employer.

It makes sense for employers in Michigan have paid sick leave policies in place. It’s hard to do well at your job when all you can think about is how much you wish you were at home in bed recovering or worrying about the fact that you had to send your sick child to school because you couldn’t get the day off, or worse.

Unfortunately, millions of Michiganders aren’t able to take a paid sick day when they’re ill or need to take care of a sick loved one. Many people can’t afford to have their employers short them a day’s worth of pay or risk getting laid off when situations like these arise and they have to take a day off, and they shouldn’t have to. Everyone should have the right to earn paid sick days.

State legislators introduced a bill on Thursday that would allow workers to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. I’m glad that our elected leaders are doing what’s right and standing up for working Michiganders. This commonsense solution is long overdue.

Right now, only three states offer paid sick leave and Michigan is not one of them. It’s time for our legislators to lead in creating a state where people want to live and work and where all employers treat their employees well.

Our work doesn’t stop here. For those who don’t have access to paid sick days, this type of law can be life changing; it can make a world of difference for workers across the spectrum. This is a crucial component in building a better quality of life for everyone in our state, but we still have a long way to go.

Show your support by telling our elected leaders in Lansing that everyone needs paid sick days.

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