New Michigan Employment Legislation: A Countermeasure to a Labor-Based Voter Referendum
Posted Sep. 12th 2018
On September 5, 2018, the Michigan Legislature adopted two legislative initiatives that will affect all Michigan employers. Both laws were scheduled to be placed on the November ballot, but because they were adopted by the Michigan Legislature, no vote will occur. The action is widely seen as a countermeasure to a labor-based voter referendum that, on August 22, 2018, won the approval of the Michigan Court of Appeals to be placed on the November ballot. Given the legislative action, amendment to the newly enacted law is expected. Nevertheless, here are some key provisions as presently enacted.
Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act
This straightforward act amends Michigan’s current minimum wage laws by accelerating the increases in the State’s minimum wage as follows:
a. Beginning January 1, 2019, $10.00.
b. Beginning January 1, 2020, $10.65.
c. Beginning January 1, 2021, $11.35.
d. Beginning January 1, 2022, $12.00.
Earned Sick Time Act
Unlike the wage act, this act is rather complicated. In its present form, it provides:
- Application to all Michigan employers.
- Michigan employers who employ less than 10 employees will be required to provide to each employee (whether full-time, part-time, or temporary) 1 hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours in a year (which can be carried over to the next year).
- Employers who employ 10 or more employees will be required to provide to each employee 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to a maximum of 72 hours per year which can be carried over to the next year.
- Sick leave can be used in the smaller of hourly increments or the smallest increment that the employer’s payroll system uses to account for absences or use of other time.
- An employer may require up to 7 days’ notice of the use of leave when it is foreseeable, but as soon as practicable when it is not.
- Sick leave may be used for the illness of an employee, family member or domestic partner.
- Sick leave may be used for meetings, court appearances, etc. involving domestic violence against the employee, family member or domestic partner.
- Employers will be required to post notices of employee rights under the law in both English and Spanish.
- Retaliation against employees will be subject to a fine of $1,000 as well as other penalties. The same fine may be imposed for violating the notice posting requirements.
This law is currently scheduled to take effect in March 2019. It should be noted that extensive legal battles are likely to occur if the Michigan Legislature attempts to amend the law as it currently is written, which is all but a foregone conclusion to occur in the forthcoming lame duck session of the Michigan Legislature. Of course, we will keep you apprised of any developments.
For further information, please contact John McGlinchey at (313) 566-2500.