Michigan’s minimum wage is on the rise. After not seeing an increase since 2008, Michigan’s entry level employees are in line to see an increase from $7.40 to $8.15 per hour after the Michigan Legislature recently passed the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act. This act includes the following increase schedule:

Beginning September 1, 2014 to $8.15
Beginning January 1, 2016 to $8.50
Beginning January 1, 2017 to $8.90
Beginning January 1, 2018 to $9.25

Starting in 2019, increases would will be based on the rate of inflation up to 3.5% per year. They would will also be affected by the unemployment rate. In any year where when the unemployment rate is 8.5% or higher, no increases would be required.

All of this seems pretty cut and dried, right? Well, as usual, this is where politics as usual can make this all much more complicated. Prior to the creation of the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act, a petition was launched to add a ballot proposal for the November election that would increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The petition collected enough signatures to be added to the ballot so that, if passed, it would amend the current minimum wage law.

By passing the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act, our legislature thought that this would make the ballot initiative null and void (because it replaced the law the ballot proposal would amend). There is now a legal challenge and a possibility that we may still see this on the ballot. If we do, we’re not certain which rate would will take precedence.

For now, we are advising our clients who employ minimum wage employees to plan on implementing the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act schedule. If anything changes, we’ll be sure to let you know.

In the meantime, please don’t share this information with my kids as I like my lawn mowing rate where it is….

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