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News | July 21, 2022
2 minute read

Robert Dubault Interviewed by MiBiz on Adopt-and-Amend Ruling; Warn of Restaurant and Lodging Closures

In MiBiz article, “Biz groups ‘stunned’ by adopt-and-amend ruling; warn of restaurant and lodging closures,” Warner Norcross + Judd Executive Partner Robert Dubault provided remarks on the Michigan Court of Claims recent decision to void the 2018 illegally watered down ballot initiatives that were intended to strengthen the state’s minimum wage and paid sick leave requirements.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Douglas Shapiro ruled on Tuesday, July 19, that the GOP-led Legislature’s “adopt and amend” strategy for the separate ballot initiatives was unconstitutional. The ballot proposals called to increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour and to require employers to provide 72 hours of sick leave per year.

Lawmakers passed the laws before immediately amending them to reduce the requirements on employers – and prevented the amended proposals from going to voters. The original ballot-voted laws are now reinstated per Shapiro’s order. An appeal might be on the horizon.

Dubault offers his thoughts, saying if kept in place or upheld, the law would be a “game changer” and would bring swift changes for employers.

“Certainly it’s going to require all Michigan employers to now have to take a very good, hard look at their paid time off policies,” said Dubault, adding that restaurant operators who still operate under the tipped system with hourly wages around $3 will “have to take a hard look at their business model.”

“Long story short, I think human resources and benefits departments are going to be pretty busy the next few days looking at this and saying: ‘We’ve now overlaid a more generous statute under the old law, and where does that leave us midway through the year?’” Dubault said.

MiBiz subscribers can read the full article here.

Dubault is a labor and employment attorney who counsels and represents public and private sector employers in a wide variety of labor and employment matters, such as hiring, discipline, termination, leaves of absence, employment discrimination, workplace harassment, ADA/FMLA, wage and hour compliance, collective bargaining, labor arbitration, NLRB and MERC proceedings and most recently, COVID-19-related matters. He is the executive partner for Warner’s Muskegon office. Learn more about his practice here.