Detroit–At last over 600,000 Michigan workers will receive increased minimum wages and earn paid sick leave, thanks to a court ruling this summer overturning a 2018 law the state legislature had quickly and cynically passed four years ago. The legislature thus preempted a minimum wage ballot proposal that had been heading for adoption in an upcoming election.
REPUBLICANS ATTEMPT A ‘BAIT AND SWITCH’
At that time, the legislature, in the tradition of “bait and switch,” employed an “adopt and amend” tactic to gut the law, including delaying an increased minimum wage until 2030!
A coalition of non-profit and activist organizations, MI Time to Care, was formed, including Mothering Justice and Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC United). They went to court to fight for Michigan workers. It took years and millions in lost wages and paid sick leave but the new ruling takes effect on February 19, 2023.
Among the major changes were: At businesses with 10 or fewer employees, workers can earn 40 hours of paid sick leave annually; at larger businesses, up to 72 hours per year; and Michigan’s minimum wage will rise to $13.03 per hour, $11.73 for tipped workers.
Court of Claims Judge Douglas Shapiro ruled that the law is unconstitutional. Therefore the original provisions of the ballot proposal still stand. This “adopt and amend” kind of tactic is but one of the methods Republicans are using to undermine democracy. Even though Michigan’s legislature has a Democratic majority, we must remain vigilant and nip these moves in the bud!