MMA logo

To: MMA Employment & Workforce Policy Committee Members

Subject: Minimum Wage / Paid Sick Leave Laws Stayed by Court of Claims

The ruling that would have increased the state’s minimum wage to $12/hour and required practically all Michigan employers to provide at least 72 hours of paid sick leave has been stayed by the Court of Claims.

Background

Two weeks ago, the Michigan Court of Claims ruled in Mothering Justice v. Nessel that the Michigan Legislature acted unconstitutionally when they used an “adopt and amend” strategy on two initiatives (the Improved Workforce Opportunity Act and the Earned Sick Time Act). As such, the amended laws were voided and the language of the initiatives restored.

Without action by the Courts, that would have meant that the state’s minimum wage would increase to $12/hour and employers would have to provide up to 72 hours of paid sick leave beginning on August 9, 2022.

Latest Update

Shortly after the ruling was issued, the Attorney General filed a request for the Court of Claims to stay the decision pending an appeal of the case to the Court of Appeals. On Friday, July 29, Judge Douglas Shapiro ruled that while the appeal is “not likely to prevail on the merits, that the defendant is not likely to suffer substantial harm if a stay is not issued, and that further delay will cause irreparable harm to plaintiff employees who would benefit from enforcement …” there is a justified need to delay the enforcement of the decision.

Shapiro further writes, “Despite defendant’s failure to demonstrate entitlement to a stay pending appeal, the Court finds that there are justified concerns regarding the ability of employers and the relevant state agencies to immediately accommodate the changes required … for this reason, the Court finds that it is in the public interest to stay the effect of the Court’s decision for a period of time…”

Shapiro stayed his decision though February 19, 2023 and advised any further actions or requests should be directed to the Court of Appeals or directly to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Impact for MMA Members

While this is a temporary victory, this situation remains murky. Without further action from the Court of Appeals or the Michigan Supreme Court, the laws will now go into effect in February 2023. Manufacturers should continue to consult with their legal counsel on what changes will need to be made to employee policies in the event that the Courts decide to allow the laws to be enforced next year.

As always, MMA continues to monitor this situation. We are leading the discussions with numerous interest groups on the strategy for further appeals to resolve this situation. We will also continue to stay in touch with the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) as they share more information about their work in administering the Acts.


For more information, please contact me at worthams@mimfg.org, or 517-487-8511, for questions or additional information.


David

David Quinton Worthams (Dave)|Director of Employment Policy|Michigan Manufacturers Association
620 S. Capitol AveLansing Michigan48933
Tel:517.487.8511 |Fax:517.853.3311|Email:worthams@mimfg.org