Reps. Driskell, Yanez Stand Up for Families, Children

Amendments would have made exemptions for those who need paid leave
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

LANSING — State Representatives Gretchen Driskell (D-Saline), Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights), members of the House Commerce Committee, offered a series of amendments to House Bill 4249, which would prohibit municipalities from enacting paid leave policies for private employers stricter than the state or federal government.

“Hard-working parents shouldn’t have to miss out on a day’s pay to stay home and care for a sick or disabled child, making it harder to make ends meet,” Driskell said. “We need to stand up for Michigan’s working families, which is why my colleagues and I offered these amendments.”

Driskell’s amendments would have allowed municipalities to create paid leave policies for parents to attend parent-teacher conferences at their child’s school, or for maternity leave or to care for a sick child. Yanez’s amendments would have allowed ordinances covering domestic violence victims, active-duty service members and veterans, and military spouses. Additionally, the committee’s Democratic Vice Chairman, Rep. Jon Switalski (D-Warren), offered an amendment would have applied to employees suffering from a contagious illness.

“As legislators, we are allowed to take paid time off for an illness or other personal situation. Our middle-class families should have the same opportunity,” Yanez said. “Employees are more productive when they don’t have to worry about a smaller paycheck as a result of a personal situation outside of work.”

There are no cities, townships or counties in Michigan that have enacted the kind of ordinance that HB 4249 seeks to prevent. Instead, the bill attempts to subvert local control by imposing a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.