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Minimum Wage Increasing in New Year; MI COA Adopt & Amend Hearing

Last week, the Michigan Court of Appeals (COA) held a hearing on the 2018 Adopt & Amend Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage legislation.

The COA, who has yet to rule in the case (Mothering Justice v Attorney General), is considering whether to overturn a July 2022 Court of Claims ruling. At issue is whether the Michigan Legislature had the constitutional authority to adopt and subsequently amend (“adopt-and-amend”) two 2018 ballot initiatives. One would have increased the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2022 and increased tipped wages from $3.75 to $9.60, and the other would have enacted one of most generous paid sick leave laws in the country, thereby forcing many businesses to make significant changes to their paid time off policies (PTO) and procedures.

Below are the cliffs notes from the hearing:

  • The court has been asked that a decision be rendered by February 1. The stay expires Feb 19.
  • The Feb 1 date will give time to file an emergency application for leave with the Supreme Court, and that the decision, if reversing the Court of Claims be given immediate effect.
  • The overall theme is that the plain language of the constitution allows what the legislature did; that the constitution is a limit on legislative action and where not limited, the legislature may take action.
  • The other side has argued that the “spirit” of the constitution is violated by the adopt and amend strategy.
  • All of the judges seemed concerned about the apparent inconsistency in the Court of Claims decision that said there could not be amendments at the same legislative session when an initiated law is adopted, except in some certain limited undefined circumstances.
  • In other words, the Court of Claims only “kind of” prohibited amendments.
  • The AG’s representative noted that thy disagreed with that aspect of the lower court’s decision and that all amendments should be prohibited in the same session.
  • A couple of the judges addressed the inconsistency and asked how to determine what amendments were allowed and what would not be allowed.

Minimum Wage Increase

Regardless of the court decision, Michigan’s minimum wage will increase in the new year. The increase from $9.87 to $10.10 per hour was set by Michigan’s Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act of 2018, which established an annual schedule of increases.

Effective January 1, 2023: 

  • The minimum hourly wage will increase to $10.10 per hour.
  • The 85% rate for minors aged 16 and 17 will increase to $8.59 per hour.
  • The tipped employee rate of hourly pay increases to $3.84 per hour.
  • The training wage of $4.25 per hour for newly hired employees ages 16 to 19 for their first 90 days of employment remains unchanged.
  • Download the required posters and learn more here.

For more on this case, read the Chamber’s Amicus Brief, and the Mothering Justice’s brief.

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