You better not get sick


Representative Earl Poleski introduced House Bill 4249, which states: “Sec. 3. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a county, township, city, or village shall not adopt or administer an ordinance or policy requiring an employer to provide an employee with paid or unpaid leave from employment that is not required under federal law or the law of this state. (2) This act does not prohibit an ordinance or policy concerning leave or other absences of an employee of the county, township, city, or village that adopts the ordinance or policy. Sec. 4. A county, township, city, or village ordinance or policy that is inconsistent with this act is void.”

The bill’s intention is to create an Employment Uniformity Leave Act and which will open the door for private sector employers to do away with sick leave benefits in the end. What is ironic is the legislative analysis group under the House Fiscal Agency declared, “The bill does not appear to have any direct state or local fiscal impact.” That is sheer stupidity. The sick leave benefit enables workers to remain in pay status, meaning they will continue to receive pay until they return to work as long as their sick leaves lasts. With no sick leave benefit, they will lose wages, which will compound an already troublesome economy in Michigan, not to mention the emotional and psychological burden to the families barely able to pay their bills now.

The co-sponsors are Dale Zorn, Matt Lori and Peter MacGregor, all Republicans, like Poleski, who appear to be totally out of touch with having real jobs. I would bet you when these dudes were children; their parents had sick leave benefits that enabled them to stay in paid leave status when they were sick and couldn’t go to work. This benefit kept them all in clothing, food, medicine, a house, heat, plumbing, electricity, spending money, school supplies, etc. Moreover, their parents were able to pay school taxes that enabled them to receive their educations not to mention their respective city, state and federal taxes to keep those governments running for their benefit. In other words, decent, safe lives for them as children.

Those of you who are still working and yet voted down the working class this past fall and elected these legislators will suffer along with your neighbors. You are not immune from this one. At the last election, do you remember how the Republican Party thumped their chests stating how they were going to create good jobs and put good people back to work? Now, they jeopardize jobs with a bill that will open the floodgates that will eventually permit all employers to remove sick leave benefits to save money. These mean spirited legislators continue to go after the working class with a new vengeance as they continue to flush the middle class down the drain. How can anybody respect this bunch? Time for recalls?

Gerry Niedermaier