LANSING — Today the Board of Canvassers approved the MI Time to Care petition initiative, which would guarantee all Michigan workers the opportunity to earn sick leave. The initiative will now either be taken up by the Legislature, or sent to the ballot for statewide approval in November. State Rep. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) introduced a plan for earned sick time in early 2017, but Republican inaction has resulted in the bill, HB 4307, failing to receive a hearing, leading to a need for a citizen-led initiative. In response to today’s announcement, Rep. Chang issued the following statement:

“No one should be at risk of losing their job because they need to stay home to take care of themselves or a sick child, yet too many Michigan families currently face the choice between that or going to work sick themselves. Our state’s hardworking men and women cannot get ahead if taking basic care of themselves and their families costs them their living. The workers in jobs that don’t offer sick leave are often those preparing and serving our food, handling our cash transactions in gas stations or grocery stores, or even caring for our children. It’s a public health risk when nearly two-thirds of cooks and servers reported cooking or serving food while sick. This petition initiative proves what we already knew — that choosing between your income and your family’s health is no choice at all. I'm proud of the work this group of engaged citizens has done to bring this important issue to the forefront when my colleagues in the Legislature failed to act and I look forward to earned sick leave finally being the standard in Michigan.”