Employers with Michigan employees should remain vigilant to the likelihood of profound changes to the state’s wage-and-hour laws, including a new sick leave obligation, an increase in the minimum wage to $12.00 an hour, and a phase-out of the tipped employee wage classification. Pending the outcome of current litigation, these changes could take effect as soon as February 21, 2023.
On July 19, 2022, the Michigan Court of Claims in Mothering Justice v. Nessel held that the state legislature’s amendment of two 2018 ballot initiatives was unconstitutional. The initiatives are the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (IWOWA) (the minimum wage law) and the Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA), formerly the Earned Sick Time Act. Mothering Justice is currently stayed until February 20, 2023. On August 5, 2022, the Michigan attorney general filed a joint motion for expedited appeal. The Michigan Court of Appeals—and perhaps the state Supreme Court—will decide whether the IWOWA and the PMLA must be enacted as originally submitted to the legislature or as the legislature later amended them.