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Mich.: State Raises Minimum Wage

By Diane Cadrain  6/11/2014
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Gov. Rick Snyder on May 28, 2014, signed Senate Bill 934, which increases the state's minimum hourly wage to $8.15 on Sept. 1, 2014, ultimately raises it to $9.25 per hour as of Jan. 1, 2018, through a series of four steps, and then indexes it to inflation. The inflation-based increase, however, will not go into effect if the unemployment rate for the state exceeds 8.5 percent at any time during the preceding year.

The bill also changes the minimum wage for tipped employees to 38 percent of the minimum wage for non-tipped workers. The minimum wage for non-tipped employees under 18 years of age remains at 85 percent of the standard minimum wage.

Governor Snyder, on signing the bill, called it a bipartisan move that “will help hard-working residents without hindering the state's improving economy.”

The bill is widely expected to derail a ballot proposal, championed by a group called Raise Michigan, that would bring the minimum wage all the way to $10.10 by 2017, tie it to inflation, and eliminate the tipped minimum wage.

In fact, the Michigan Restaurant Association, which represents some of the employers most affected by a minimum wage change, praised the bill for its potential to block that wage initiative, calling Senate Bill 934 “a responsible approach to raising the minimum wage that, while not perfect, spares the catastrophic economic fallout and job loss guaranteed to occur if the Raise Michigan ballot proposal was enacted.”

Diane Cadrain is an attorney who has been writing about employment law issues for over 20 years.

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