Sick days. Ever needed one?

By Brad O’Neil

For many, paid sick days are a lifeline when unforeseen situations arise. They provide security and peace of mind when a mom wakes up to a child with a fever or a son needs to care for his elderly parents and can’t make it in to work.

Unfortunately, they’re not afforded to everyone. In fact, more than 1.5 million Michigan workers are not able to take a paid sick day when they are ill or need to take care of a sick loved one.

As a result, people are often forced to choose between taking care of themselves and their families or being able to pay the electric bill.

Whether you work at a corporation or corner store, no one should have to face the prospect of being laid off or receiving a smaller paycheck simply because of an unexpected problem at home.

Not only would access to paid sick days help Michigan families, it’s good for businesses, would improve the economy, and is far more cost-effective than forcing workers to show up when they’re not at their best.

Additionally, 1.3 million emergency room visits could be prevented each year in the United States if workers had access to paid sick days, resulting in savings of $1.1 billion annually.

Michiganders are known for having strong work ethic. Guaranteeing that all hardworking people in Michigan have the right to earn paid sick days to take care of themselves and their families when the need arises should be something we strive to be known for, too.