Minimum wage, sick days and other such measures are often seen as being in the hands of lawmakers alone. However, in the case of Michigan, it is a court that may be having the final word on these issues following a constitutional question about lawmakers’ treatment of the issue. The resulting ruling could have a significant effect on Michigan businesses. Here are some of the points in the ruling with the strongest implication for businesses in the state.
- Minimum wage will be raised to $12 per hour: This aligns with the ballot measure passed in 2018, which lawmakers later weakened to push out the $2 increase to 2030. The judge ruled that weakening this language was unconstitutional, and therefore, the increase needed to remain in place.
- Paid sick leave: Paid sick leave was also something that was weakened, with lawmakers backtracking to exempt businesses with 50 or fewer workers. Per the ruling, these smaller businesses will still need to offer paid sick leave.
- The above measures will be enforced as of February 2023: A subsequent court ruling was made to delay the implementation of these measures until February. Part of the reason for this is that the case remains under appeal.
The above–listed rulings have been highly controversial. Businesses are worried that the wage increases will be difficult to shoulder in this economic climate, and workers are concerned about the delay in these measures, which they consider critical to their livelihoods. Additionally, as the case remains under appeal, the realities here could change. In times where laws are changing and standards may be difficult to keep track of, it is a good idea for businesses to work with an experienced Michigan business lawyer with a strong understanding of the current laws and standards.