24 March 2023

Michigan Repeals Right to Work and Reinstates More Aggressive Prevailing Wage Law

Today Governor Whitmer signed legislation repealing Michigan’s 2012 “Right to Work” law. As a result, private sector employers and unions in the state will be permitted to negotiate collective bargaining agreements with union security clauses that require workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment. The new law will go into effect in February 12, 2024.

In addition, Governor Whitmer signed legislation that reinstates a more aggressive version of the prevailing wage law in effect in the state prior to 2018, which establishes minimum pay and benefits requirements for workers involved in publicly-funded construction and infrastructure projects.

Under the new prevailing wage law, each violation is subject to a $5,000 fine and an additional 10 percent penalty, with joint and several liability for such violations on contractors and subcontractors.

The law also authorizes construction workers to sue contractors and subcontractors for unpaid prevailing wages and benefits, and empowers courts to award both damages and injunctive relief, as well as costs and attorneys fees.

If you have any questions about these significant changes to Michigan’s labor law landscape, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the authors or another member of Miller Johnson’s labor law practice group.


*** this client alert was updated on November 10, 2024 to reflect the new law effective date of February 12, 2024, not April 2024 as originally reported.