Senate Democrats Offer Recommendations to Re-Engage Michigan

LANSING — Today, Sens. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit), Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) and Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) released their recommendations after being unable to reach consensus on the bipartisan Senate Safe Behaviors for Safe Workplaces workgroup.

“Every worker needs workplace protections to ensure they can do their jobs safely and without unnecessarily risking their lives or the health of their loved ones,” Sen. Chang said. “This includes, but is not limited to, affordable and accessible childcare, paid sick leave for when people inevitably fall ill, and protection from employers who fail to put in place proper workplace protections for workers. While we were encouraged by many of the conversations with our Republican colleagues on the workgroup, it has become clear that consensus on major issues was not going to happen during such partisan times. We feel it’s necessary to issue our Democratic plan to stand strong for Michigan workers, their families, and public health.”

Announced on April 7 by Senate Republican leadership, the workgroup was tasked with gathering information from businesses, medical professionals, and residents to create recommendations for best practices in the workplace in preparation of the workforce responsibly and safely transitioning back to their places of employment. 

“I represent a community that in normal times is an economic hub in Southeast Michigan and, in these abnormal times, has been one of the hardest hit areas of the state due to COVID-19,” Sen. Moss said. “The recommendations we are making today aim to ensure vulnerable workers are protected when the economy comes back online and takes into consideration workers’ individual conditions — such as underlying chronic health issues, lack of access to safe transit, and other barriers — as we emerge from this public health crisis together.”

Democrats on the workgroup backed the recommendations to keep the public’s health at the forefront of the conversation, including the need to:

“Many of my constituents live paycheck to paycheck, and I understand the need for Michigan families to get back to work so that they can better provide for their families,” Sen. Santana said. “But with schools and childcare centers closed, we must ensure proper worker protections are in place, so a parent does not have to choose between going to work or leaving a child alone over fears of being fired. That’s why these reforms to our workplace behaviors are critical to any plan moving forward.” 

The full Democratic recommendations report can be viewed online.

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