Legislation Introduced to Help Youth Gain Entry Into Workforce

May 4, 2015

In an effort to mitigate the impact Michigan’s higher minimum wage has had on youth employment in the state, legislation has been introduced to authorize a youth minimum wage and training wage. 

The legislation, which is supported by the Michigan Chamber, was introduced in the Michigan Senate last month by Senator Margaret O’Brien (R-Portage). It would authorize a youth employee training wage of $6.25 per hour for the first 90 days of employment and permanent youth minimum wage of 85 percent of the state’s minimum wage or the federal minim wage, whichever is greater. Both provisions apply to employees who are less than 20 years of age. Senate Bill 250 expands current law, which provides that employees between 16 and 17 years of age can be paid 85 percent of the state minimum wage.

Michigan’s minimum wage is set to increase from $8.15 per hour to $8.50 on January 1, 2016, to $8.90 on January 1, 2017, and to $9.25 on January 1, 2018. 

If the legislation is approved, applicable youth would need to be paid at least $7.25 until December 31, 2015. The wage would rise to $7.57 on January 1, 2017, to $7.86 on January 1, 2018, and then begin to rise with the inflationary increases set forth under the state’s minimum wage law on January 1, 2019. 

Please contact Wendy Block, Director of Health Policy and Human Resources, with any questions at wblock@michamber.com or (517) 371-7678.