Michigan Minimum Wage Increases to $10.10 January 1; Possible Increase to $13.03 in February
On January 1, Michigan’s minimum wage will increase from $9.87 to $10.10 per hour. On February 20, only seven weeks later, it will make a historic jump to $13.03—unless the Michigan Legislature or Court of Appeals intervenes.
The second increase is due to a very unusual set of events. In 2018, a ballot initiative proposed a substantial increase in Michigan’s minimum wage and tipped wage. Before citizens went to the polls to vote on the initiative, the Michigan Legislature adopted the proposed initiative, then amended it after the November 2018 election to reduce the amount and pace of the increases. Then-Governor Snyder signed the amended minimum wage increases into law.
In July 2022, a Michigan court held that once the Legislature adopted the ballot initiative, it did not have authority to amend it during the same legislative session. Therefore, the court ruled that the more aggressive minimum wage rates in the 2018 ballot initiative went into effect as state law, and the less aggressive rates in the Legislature’s amendment were ineffective. That decision has been stayed until February 20, 2023.
The court’s July 2022 ruling has been appealed, and it’s possible that a Court of Appeals decision could stop the second increase before it takes effect. Also, leaders of the Legislature and Governor Whitmer’s office have reportedly discussed the possibility of passing a new law to modify the scheduled increases. If a legislative fix can be achieved, it seems unlikely to happen before the new Democratic majority takes control of the Legislature in 2023.
If the ballot initiative rates take effect on February 20 as now scheduled, the minimum wage will increase to $13.03 per hour and the tipped minimum wage will increase from $3.84 to $11.73. (Beginning in 2024, the tipped wage would equal the minimum wage.)
More information on Michigan’s minimum wage, including required posters for employers, may be found at www.michigan.gov/leo/bureaus-agencies/ber/wage-and-hour.
We will keep you informed of any developments in this complex situation. If you have any questions, please contact one of the authors or another employment attorney at Miller Johnson.