FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan
Monday, February 25, 2013
Contact: Jessica Tramontana, [email protected], 517-974-6302
Republicans work with ALEC to hurt workers by banning paid sick days
LANSING – Citizens’ watchdog group Progress Michigan today condemned Republican efforts to attack workers by banning local governments from protecting workers’ right to paid sick leave. State Rep. Dale Zorn recently co-sponsored HB 4249, which would prevent any local government from adopting paid sick day ordinances.
“Paid sick days promote healthy communities and save employers, taxpayers, and families money,” said Zack Pohl, Executive Director of Progress Michigan. “This legislation is about giving more handouts to corporate special interests at the expense of working Michigan families. Republican politicians like Dale Zorn should be working to create good jobs and invest in education, not attacking workers’ right to paid sick leave.”
Studies overwhelmingly show that paid sick days reduce government spending on public health insurance programs and promote reduced dependence on public assistance. Paid sick days also provide long-term cost savings for employers through increased productivity and savings from reduced workplace contagion. Despite this, two in five private sector workers can’t earn the basic paid sick time they need to care for themselves and their families when they are ill.
House Bill 4249 is based on model legislation drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, which serves as a “bill mill” for big corporations.
Recently documents were uncovered from ALEC’s 2011 Annual Meeting showing that ALEC’s Labor and Business Regulation subcommittee focused its entire meeting on the issue of paid sick leave. State lawmakers in attendance were provided with copies of an ALEC model bill, already adopted by the Wisconsin Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker, that overrides municipal paid sick days laws.
ALEC’s Labor and Business Regulation subcommittee is co-chaired by Yum! Brands, Inc., a fast food company that is a major opponent of paid sick leave laws. Over the last several months, public outcry has forced dozens of corporations and lawmakers, including Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) to drop their ALEC memberships.
Wisconsin Legislature: 2011 Senate Bill 23