Understanding Michigan's Minimum Wage

February 28, 2017

True or False:  The minimum wage for Michigan employees is $8.90 per hour.  

For most employees working in Michigan, it is true that the 2017 minimum wage is $8.90 per hour. However, it is false for some employees:

Tipped Employees: The employer is not required to pay minimum wage to tipped employees, if all of these apply: 

  1. The total of the employer-paid compensation plus tips is equal to or greater than the minimum wage. 

  1. The employee retains all tips.  

  1. The employee customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips. 

If all of those conditions apply, the Michigan employer is only required to pay the employee $3.38 per hour in 2017. 

Employees Under Age 20  

  • A training wage of $4.25 per hour may be paid to employees 16-19 years of age for the first 90 days of their employment. 

  • Minors 16-17 years of age may be paid 85% of the minimum hourly wage rate. 

Working Out of State. When working out of state, employees must be paid according to the labor laws of the state where the work is performed.  For example, Michigan employees who perform work in Minnesota, are subject to Minnesota law, and therefore must be paid a minimum wage of $9.50) for that work.  

Future rates. The Michigan minimum wage of $8.50 per hour only applies to 2016.  Rates for future years are scheduled to increase.  The chart below details Michigan’s current and future minimum wage rates.

Michigan Minimum Wage Schedule* 

Effective Date 

Michigan Minimum Hourly Wage Rate 

Tipped Employees Hourly Minimum Wage Rate 

85% of Minimum Hourly Wage Rate 

1/1/2017 

$8.90 

$3.38 

$7.57 

1/1/2018 

$9.25 

$3.52 

$7.86 

1/1/2019** 

TBD 

TBD 

TBD 

* Source:  http://www.michigan.gov/lara 

** Every January, beginning in January 2019, the state treasurer will adjust the minimum wage based on the average annual percentage change in the consumer price index for the most recent 5-year period for which data are available. 

So, the real answer to the true or false question posed is “it depends.” Like many payroll situations, it depends on a number of different factors. Employers should ensure that they are aware of the details of payroll laws and that they keep current on the ever-changing rules and regulations.   

Contributed by Roger A. Smith, CPP, Owner, Payroll Consulting firm PayrollProf.com. 

View our on-demand weibnar “What’s Unique About Payroll in Michigan” with Roger Smith.