Paid Sick Leave on Ballot in Michigan, Likely in San Antonio Also

Michigan voters will likely decide in November whether to adopt a statewide paid sick leave law. The Michigan Board of Canvassers last week certified the initiative petition after concluding that its sponsor had submitted sufficient valid signatures. The initiative’s sponsor is an organization called MI Time to Care. The initiative would create the Earned Sick Time Act. ballot-1294935_640

Now that the initiative is certified, the Michigan legislature could either enact it  and avoid the vote, or propose an alternative that would go on the ballot, according to a local news report. If Michigan enacts a PSL law, it would be the eleventh state to do so and the third state to do so this year.

In San Antonio, the City Council will vote tomorrow whether to certify the results of the petition to initiate an Earned Sick Time ordinance. The City Clerk has recommended that sufficient valid signatures support the petition.  If the City Council accepts that recommendation, it could put the ordinance on the November ballot or enact the proposed ordinance.

My previous past about the Michigan and San Antonio ballot initiatives is here.

As I have noted often, when voters are asked whether they would like more paid time off, it is very likely the initiative will pass. The two exceptions were in Denver (2011) and in Albuquerque (2017).

Meanwhile, in Dallas, PSL proponents are asking for a recount of the signatures they submitted in support of a PSL ordinance. Earlier this month,  city officials said, according to a news report, that the number of valid signatures submitted was 871 signatures fewer than required.

Paid Sick Leave Ballot Initiatives in Michigan and San Antonio

Voters in Michigan and San Antonio (TX) may have the opportunity in November to enact a paid sick leave law.  PSL proponents in both jurisdictions recently submitted what they claim are a sufficient number of valid signatures to support the initiative although neither initiative has yet to be formally certified. As I have posted often, when voters have an opportunity to vote for paid time off, the odds are very high that they will approve that measure.  Voters have rejected more paid time off only twice, in Denver (2011) and Albuquerque (2017).

ballot-1294935_640

Michigan is not new to the PSL debate. In 2015, it enacted a preemption law prohibiting local governments from requiring an employer to provide paid or unpaid leave time. Efforts to enact a statewide PSL law through either legislation or a ballot initiative have been unsuccessful. The proposed PSL law which may be on the November 2018 ballot is here.

Pending legal challenges to the recently enacted Austin Earned Sick Time Ordinance will likely affect the San Antonio PSL effort. In April, a cadre of business interests filed a lawsuit seeking to enjoin implementation of the Austin ordinance, which is effective October 1, 2018.  They claim that the ordinance is preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Act (TMWA) and violates various provisions of the state constitution. The State of Texas has intervened in the case, arguing only that the Ordinance was preempted by the TMWA. A few weeks ago, a workers’ rights organization, a restaurant and an electrician, together, intervened in the case and asked the court to dismiss the challenges to the ordinance.  The San Antonio proposed ordinance is modeled after, if not identical to, the Austin ordinance. My prior posts on this PSL litigation are here and here and here.