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A Better Partnership


Sep 2018
September 07, 2018

Michigan Lawmakers Adopt Minimum Wage and Sick Leave Laws

Michigan’s legislature on Wednesday approved two pieces of citizen-initiated legislation that will raise the state’s minimum wage and require employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave. Both changes would take effect in April of 2019. 

The Michigan One Fair Wage initiative will raise the state’s minimum wage incrementally from the present $9.25 per hour to $12.00 per hour by 2022. Thereafter, the minimum wage would be increased based on changes in cost of living. The initiative covers tipped employees, and their wages will increase to $12.00 per hour by 2024. 

The Earned Sick Time Act mandates that employers provide all employees one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Eligible employees under the law could take up to 72 hours of paid sick leave per year for a host of medical and family-related reasons. Employees of smaller employers (under 10 employees) could take up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year and another 32 hours of unpaid sick leave for those same reasons. 

The two initiatives were headed for the ballot this November, but the Republican-led legislature adopted them with the intent of possibly modifying them later this year. The legislature’s adoption allows for amendments by a simple majority of legislators rather than the three-quarters required in both chambers that would have been necessary if voters approved the initiatives in November. 

Opponents feared that the initiatives would have a chilling impact on employers and, ultimately, employees, resulting in fewer raises, fewer bonuses, reduced hours, and even layoffs. The legislature may now amend the laws to make them less objectionable to the employer community.  

Notably, Michigan One Fair Wage, the organization that championed the minimum wage proposal, has already announced its intentions of challenging the legislature’s actions in court if the legislature amends the initiative.

Warner Norcross + Judd will continue to monitor this legislation and provide detailed guidance when it is finalized. If you are interested in additional information on these new laws, join us on October 9, 2018, at 12:00 pm EST for a one-hour webinar where attorneys will discuss what these new laws will mean for employers and update you on the latest developments. In the meantime, if you have any questions about either of these initiatives and the potential effects on your organization, contact any member of Warner Norcross + Judd’s Labor and Employment Practice Group. 

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