Legislation to Fix Paid Sick Leave, Minimum Wage Laws Introduced

November 12, 2018

The Michigan Chamber continues to urge the Michigan Legislature to fix the new mandatory paid sick leave and minimum wage laws before the end of 2018. In a step in the right direction, legislation was introduced in the Michigan Senate last week to do just that. Although Senate Bills 1175 and 1171 don’t reflect all the changes the Michigan Chamber is advocating for, we are pleased with the progress.

The paid sick leave and minimum wage bills were adopted by the Michigan Legislature after ballot proposals on the two issues were certified for the November general election ballot. In doing adopting the proposals, lawmakers removed both proposals from the November general election ballot and retained their ability to amend the proposals with a simple majority vote. Had the issues gone to the ballot and been approved by voters, any changes would have required a three-fourths vote of the Legislature, a near impossible threshold. The Michigan Legislature can now amend either or both laws before their March 2019 effective dates – either during the lame duck legislative session after the November general election or in the new 2019 session.

The mandatory paid sick leave proposal gives employees one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. All employees (full-time or part-time), temporary workers and independent contractors would be entitled to use 72 hours in a year. As written, the proposal places severe compliance burdens on employers, including those with paid leave policies currently in place.  he Michigan Chamber is urging lawmakers to consider amendments to make the policy workable for employers and employees alike.

The minimum wage proposal increases the minimum wage from $9.25 to $10 beginning January 1, 2019, and to $12 per hour by January 1, 2022. It also increases the wage for tipped employees from $3.52 to 100 percent of the minimum wage by 2024. If the proposal goes into effect as written, Michigan would have the highest minimum wage rate in the Midwest and one of the highest minimum wages in the nation. The Michigan Chamber is urging lawmakers to revisit both increases and to be pragmatic, not extreme.

The Michigan Chamber is in discussions with the Legislature on both issues and is advocating on your behalf. We expect debate on both proposals to begin in earnest in late November or early December and will communicate various opportunities to engage with lawmakers on this important issue.

Please contact Wendy Block, Vice President of Business Advocacy, with any questions at wblock@michamber.com.