On August 29, 2019, legislators from the Michigan House of Representatives announced an ambitious package of 12 bills aimed at creating new criminal and civil penalties to combat employers that fail to properly pay wages and overtime pay. The legislation would also establish enhanced protections and penalties under Michigan’s whistleblower statute and create new civil remedies against employers for overzealous enforcement of noncompete agreements and for misclassifying employees as independent contractors.
On February 19, 2019, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a ruling in Eplee v. City of Lansing, clarifying that the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) does not create “an independent right protecting the medical use of marijuana in all circumstances, nor does it create a protected class for users of medical marijuana.”
Employers in Michigan have been on a roller coaster ride over the last several months regarding new paid sick leave and minimum wage requirements.
Hitting the ground running, Michigan’s new governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has imposed new requirements in the employment arena—but only for executive branch state employees and some contractors and grant and loan recipients. This could be a sign of things to come for employers everywhere in Michigan, or at least a sign of building momentum within the state government.
On December 27, 2018, as one of his last acts in office, term-limited Michigan governor Rick Snyder signed an executive directive which will extend sexual orientation discrimination protection to a number of private employees.
In 2018, the Michigan Legislature passed two seemingly conflicting pieces of legislation addressing future minimum wage increases. Now that 2019 is here, many employers may be confused about what the changes are and when they become effective.
In 2019, a number of states’ minimum wage rates will increase.
On December 14, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed the Paid Medical Leave Act into law. The act requires covered employers to provide paid sick leave to many of their Michigan-based employees.
On December 4, 2018, the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives passed the Paid Medical Leave Act, which makes wholesale changes to the state’s paid sick leave proposal and is on its way to Governor Rick Snyder for his signature.
On the night of November 6, 2018, Michigan voters passed the ballot initiative known as the “Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act” (MRTMA) to allow the limited use and possession of marihuana.
On September 5, 2018, the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives adopted a citizen-initiated paid leave ballot proposal that was supposed to be put to a vote in the November 2018 general elections.
On March 26, 2018, Governor Rick Snyder signed an amendment to Michigan’s Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act into law. Public Act 84 (2018) prohibits local government bodies from adopting or enforcing any local policy, resolution, or ordinance that regulates what a prospective employer must request, require, or exclude during the interview process or on an application for employment.
Does discrimination based on gender identity fall within Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s protection against discrimination “because of sex”?
In 2018, the federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour for non-tipped employees and $2.13 per hour for tipped employees. The following table summarizes the statewide minimum wage increases that have been announced for 2018, along with the related changes to the maximum tip credit permitted and minimum cash wage allowed for tipped employees.
Effective January 1, 2018, the Michigan minimum wage will increase to $9.25 an hour. This is the last of the scheduled increases under Public Act 138 of 2014. Beginning in January of 2019, annual adjustments to the minimum wage will be made based on the unemployment rate and consumer price index, and any future increases cannot exceed three-and-one-half percent.
Individuals wishing to begin the new year by taking a beloved pet or emotional support animal out to a restaurant may run into new legal deterrents in some states. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) entitles people with disabilities to bring “service animals” into public places such as restaurants and stores, many individuals do not realize which animals the law covers.
Effective January 1, 2017, 29 states plus the District of Columbia will have minimum wage rates that are above the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour. The District of Columbia will continue to have, as it did last year, one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country at $11.50 per hour until July 1, 2017, and $12.50 per hour after that date. With respect to state minimum wages, Massachusetts and Washington will have the highest minimum wages at $11.00 per hour effective January 1, 2017, with California close behind at $10.50 per hour (for employers with 26 or more employees), effective January 1, 2017, and Connecticut following at $10.10 per hour, effective January 1, 2017.
In 2016, 17 states and the District of Columbia implemented increased minimum wage rates. This year, even more states are scheduled to do so.