Debate Over Minimum Wage Continues; Chamber Opposes Aggressive New Proposal

March 11, 2019

Despite legislation passed late last year to increase Michigan’s minimum wage rate to $9.45 per hour in March 2019 and then to $12.05 per hour by 2022, legislation is pending in the Michigan House and Senate to increase the minimum wage at a much higher and faster rate. The Michigan Chamber is strongly opposed to this proposal. Put simply, the proposed increases go too high, too fast and would put Michigan in the position of having one of the highest minimum wage rates in the nation and the Midwest.  

The proposed legislation would increase the minimum wage rate as follows:

  • $10.00 per hour - retroactive to 1/1/9
  • $10.65 on 1/1/20
  • $11.35 on 1/1/21
  • $12.00 on 1/1/22
  • Will adjust for inflation in 2023 and beyond.

For tipped employees, the tip-credit would increase from $3.59 per hour (the rate as of March 29, 2019) until it is fully eliminated in 2024. Under current law, all tipped employees are guaranteed to make the full minimum wage when their tipped minimum wage and tips are combined. This change would put restaurants in the position of having to figure out how they will increase entry level wages by over 325 percent in just a few years.

Nonpartisan studies have shown these “feel good” policies often lead to reduced employee hours, job losses and higher prices for consumers. The Michigan Chamber is strongly opposed to this proposal. We believe a better approach to helping low-wage workers is to focus on job- and skill-training, giving workers the tools they need to shift into better and well-paying jobs. 

Tell us what you think! Send your thoughts and comments to Wendy Block at wblock@michamber.com.