Tag Archives: Michigan

NEW LAW: Michigan Amends Improved Workforce Opportunity Act

Earlier this year, we reported that Michigan had passed a new paid sick leave law (NEW LAW: Michigan To Incrementally Increase Minimum Wage to $12.00 Per Hour).  In this article, we cautioned employers that since the law that was initially passed was scheduled to be a ballot initiative (the  Michigan Minimum wage Initiative) in the November 2018 election, the Michigan legislature would likely amend the law (and in amending the law, would make substantial changes to the minimum wage increase).

Well, the Michigan legislature did not disappoint.  On December 14, 2018, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed Senate Bill 1171 (the Improved Workforce Opportunity Act) into law.  This new law while it still increases Michigan’s minimum wage to over $12.00 per hour, it changes the planned increase in two important ways: Continue reading NEW LAW: Michigan Amends Improved Workforce Opportunity Act


With various cities and counties having enacted local minimum wages and 18 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York*, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington) are increasing their own minimum wages on January 1st (December 31st for New York), employers should take time to verify that they are meeting the minimum wage requirements of their state/city/county.

The below chart sets forth the minimum wage effective January 1, 2018.

employer PAYS $1.50/hr towards medical benefits$11.91

Federal $7.25
State City/County  Amount?
Alabama  $7.25
Alaska*  $9.84
Arizona* — all cities/counties except …  $10.50
Flagstaff* $11.00
Arkansas  $8.50
California* — all cities/counties except …                                  small employer (25 or less) $10.50
large employer (26 or more) $11.00
Berkeley  $13.75
Cupertino* $13.50
El Cerrito*  $13.60
Emeryville                                           small employer (55 or less) $14.00
large employer (56 or more) $15.20
Los Altos* $13.50
Los Angeles                                         small employer (25 or less) $10.50
large employer (26 or more) $12.00
Malibu                                                  small employer (25 or less) $10.50
large employer (26 or more) $12.00
Milpitas* $12.00
Mountain View* $15.00
Oakland $12.86
Palo Alto* $13.50
Pasadena                                             small employer (25 or less) $10.50
large employer (26 or more) $12.00
Richmond*                                             employer does NOT pay $1.50/hr towards medical benefits $13.41
employer PAYS $1.50/hr towards medical benefits $11.91
Sacramento*                                      small employer (100 or less) $10.50
large employer (101 or more) $11.00
San Diego $11.50
San Francisco $14.00
San Jose* $13.50
San Leandro $13.00
San Mateo*                                                 For-profit organizations $13.50
Non-profit organizations $12.00
Santa Clara* $13.00
Santa Monica                                       small employer (25 or less) $10.50
large employer (26 or more) $12.00
Sunnyvale* $15.00
Los Angeles County                            small employer (25 or less)

unincorporated areas                            large employer (26 or more)



Colorado* $10.20
Connecticut $10.10
Delaware $8.25
Florida* $8.25
Georgia $7.25
Hawaii* $10.10
Idaho $7.25
Illinois — all cities/counties except … $8.25
Chicago $11.00
Cook County

(except for the Village of Barrington)

Indiana $7.25
Iowa $7.25
Kansas $7.25
Kentucky $7.25
Louisiana $7.25
Maine* — all cities/counties except … $10.00
Portland $10.68
Maryland — all cities/counties except … $9.25
Montgomery County $11.50
Prince George’s County $11.50
Massachusetts $11.00
Michigan* $9.25
Minnesota* — all cities/counties except … “small employers” (employers with an annual sales volume of less than $500,000) $7.87
“large employers” (employers with an annual sales volume of $500,000+) $9.65
Minneapolis                                         large employer (101 or more) $10.00
Mississippi $7.25
Missouri $7.85
Montana* $8.30
Nebraska $9.00
Nevada $8.25
New Hampshire $7.25
New Jersey* $8.60
New Mexico — all cities/counties except … $7.50
Albuquerque*                                             employer provides benefits $7.95
employer does NOT provide benefits $8.95
Las Cruces* $9.45
Santa Fe $11.09
Bernalillo County*unincorporated areas                                             employer provides benefits $7.85
employer does NOT provide benefits $8.85
Santa Fe County unincorporated areas $11.09
New York**  “Upstate” employers (excluding fast food employees) $10.40
“Downstate” employers (excluding fast food employees) $11.00
“Small” NYC employers (excluding fast food employees $12.00
Fast food employees outside NYC $11.75
“Large” NYC employers (excluding fast food employees) $13.00
Fast food employees inside NYC $13.50
North Carolina $7.25
North Dakota $7.25
Ohio* $8.30
Oklahoma $7.25
Oregon — all cities/counties except … $10.25
Portland $11.25
Nonurban Counties 

(Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klmath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa Wheeler counties)

Pennsylvania $7.25
Rhode Island* $10.10
South Carolina $7.25
South Dakota* $8.85
Tennessee $7.25
Texas $7.25
Utah $7.25
Vermont* $10.50
Virginia $7.25
Washington* — all cities/counties except … $11.50
City of SeaTac* (hospitality and transportation workers) $15.64
Seattle* $14.00
small employer who does not pay towards medical benefits

(500 or less)

small employer who does pay towards medical benefits

(500 or less)

large employer who does not pay towards medical benefits

(501 or more)

large employer who does pay towards medical benefits

(501 or more)

Tacoma* $12.00
Washington DC $12.50
West Virginia $8.75
Wisconsin $7.25
Wyoming $7.25
 * = increase in minimum wage effective January 1, 2018

** = increase in minimum wage effective December 31, 2017


Caveat: Please be advised that this information is being provided as a courtesy and that ePlace Solutions, Inc. does not track local laws and ordinances and will not update this information with changes in local laws and ordinances.



IMPORTANT REMINDER for Michigan Employers Regarding Reasonable Accommodation

Did you know that Michigan’s Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act provides a statutory defense to an employee’s failure to accommodate claims, but ONLY IF you include key language in your Employee Handbook or a posted workplace notice.

Under the Michigan’s Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act (Section 210(18)):

A person with a disability may allege a violation against a person regarding a failure to accommodate under this article only if the person with a disability notifies the person in writing of the need for accommodation within 182 days after the date the person with a disability knew or reasonably should have known that an accommodation was needed.

However, for this defense to apply, an employer must “post notices or use other appropriate means to provide all employees and job applicants with notice” of these requirements.

One way that notice can be provided is by including the required language in your Employee Handbook.

In addition, the most recent version of Michigan’s Discrimination Law poster includes a note to employees and applicants with disabilities regarding the 182-day time limit and required writing.

Recommendation for Employers

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights website warns employers “a business that fails to provide adequate notice to its employees [of this legal provision] may waive the ability to use the time limit as a defense.”  To avoid such a waiver, it is recommended that all Michigan employers post the most recent version of Michigan’s Discrimination Law poster in their workplace and consider revising their Employee Handbooks to include notice of this provision.

Please be advised, in order to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer is still required to engage in the interactive process with any employee who needs an accommodation, even if the employee did not comply with the required procedure.  Adding the recommended language to a policy and/or posting the most recent poster only provides a defense under Michigan’s Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act.

Employer Friendly Changes made to the Michigan Wage Garnishment Laws

In late 2015, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 14 into law.  This Act made employer-friendly amendments to Michigan’s wage garnishment laws while streamlining the wage garnishment process. The amendments also decreased the default judgment risks arising when a garnishment is mishandled.

Some of the changes include:

  • Requiring that a $35 fee (instead of a $6 fee) be paid to the garnishee (ie the employer);
  • Changing the duration of the garnishment so that garnishment continues until the balance of a judgment identified in the verified statement supporting a garnishment is satisfied in full (instead of the garnishment ending after six months).
  • Requiring that a garnishment be properly served or it is invalid.
    • Previously the law allowed a garnishment to be served via store or plant-level delivery.
  • Requiring the plaintiff (the one seeking to enforce the garnishment) to provide the garnishee and the employee whose wages are being garnished (the judgement debtor) with a balance statement every 6 months
  • Requiring the plaintiff provide the employer/garnishee and employee judgment debtor with a release of garnishment within 21 days of full payment of the judgment (including all costs and interest).
  • Requires a plaintiff to engage in a new multistep notification process prior to garnishing an employee’s wages
  • Creates a new complete defense to employer/garnishee liability, which is intended to protect employers when the garnishment and/or notice of failure are not properly served or the employer owes the debtor no funds.
  • Limits liability of garnishees to 56 days of proper withholding when the garnishee files a motion within 21 days after a default judgment.
  • Allows employers to deduct from the employee’s wages without the necessity of obtaining voluntary written consent any amounts that the employer had to pay due to mishandling the garnishment

The new laws affect garnishments that were issued after September 30, 2015.  It is recommended that all Michigan employers review their wage garnishment obligations under these new laws.


New Michigan law Limits Joint employer Exposure for franchisors

In the wake of the recent NLRB decisions finding that franchisors are the joint employers of their franchise employees (best known, the NLRB’s July 2014 finding that McDonalds was a joint employer of its franchise employees), the Michigan legislature has amended the Michigan Franchise Investment Law (“MFIL”). This amendment clarifies that the franchisee is the sole employer of its employees unless the franchise agreement provides otherwise.

In addition to the amendment to the MFIL, the term “employer” has been redefined in the Michigan Employment Security Act, the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act, the Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Act, and the Payment of Wages and Fringe Benefits Act. The new definition makes it clear that the franchisor is not considered a joint employer of the franchise employees under Michigan law. Under the new definition, “the franchisee is considered the sole employer of workers for whom the franchisee provides a benefit plan or pays wages” except as “specifically provided in the franchise agreement.”

Finally, the Michigan Worker’s Disability Compensation Act was amended to exclude joint employer status unless “the franchisee and franchisor share in the determination of or codetermine the matters governing the essential terms and conditions of the employee’s employment” and “ both directly and immediately control matters relating to the employment relationship such as hiring, firing, discipline, supervision, and direction.”

Recommended action for Franchisors with operations in Michigan

In light of these amendments, it is recommended that franchisors review their franchise agreements with Michigan franchisees and consider amending their franchise agreements to clearly provide that the franchisee is the sole employer of the Michigan workers.

New Unemployment Compensation Notice Posting Requirements for Michigan Employers

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Office of Employer Ombudsman has changed the Unemployment Compensation Notice posting requirements for all Michigan employers. Instead of posting the one-page Information about Unemployment Benefits notice (Form 1710), all Michigan employers are now required to post Unemployment Compensation Notice to Employee (UIA1711). Please note, this new notice contains a “fill-in-the-blank” section that must be completed by employers prior to posting the notice.

Under Michigan law, this new notice must be posted in “easily accessible places frequented by employees.” In addition, Michigan employers are required to provide each employee a copy of the completed form before or at the time of employment separation.

It is recommended that all Michigan employers review their postings and replace their old unemployment benefits notice with this new form.

Increases to State Minimum Wage in 2016 – Is Your Company Affected?

With the start of 2016 just over two months away, employers in several states must begin preparing for the increase to minimum wage that will accompany the ringing in of the New Year.   Check the list below to see if minimum wage is increasing in your state …

Increase effective December 31, 2015

  • New York — Minimum wage increases to $9.00 per hour
  • West Virginia — Minimum wage increases to $8.75 per hour

Increase effective January 1, 2016

  • Alaska — Minimum wage increases to $9.75 per hour
  • Arkansas — Minimum wage increases to $8.00 per hour
  • California — Minimum wage increases to $10.00 per hour
  • Connecticut — Minimum wage increases to $9.60 per hour
  • Massachusetts — Minimum wage increases to $10.00 per hour ($3.35 per hour for tipped employees)
  • Michigan — Minimum wage increases to $8.50 per hour
  • Nebraska — Minimum wage increases to $9.00 per hour
  • Vermont — Minimum wage increases to $9.60 per hour





Michigan Employers — Update Your Safety and Health Protection on the Job Notice

Effective September 1, 2015, Michigan’s Safety and Health Protection on the Job notice has been revised to include new reporting requirements for all Michigan employers.

The changes to the reporting requirements include:

  • Fatal workplace accidents must be reported within 8 hours of the fatality.  Moreover, in case of a fatality, employers must provide a detailed report;
  • Severe on-the-job injuries that require hospitalization but do not result in death must be reported within 24 hours.  This new reporting requirement includes all work-related hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye.

The above-reports must be filed regardless of the size of the business. All employers, including those partially exempted by reason of company size or industry classification, are required to comply with the new severe injury and illness reporting requirements and to post the updated employment notice.


Medical Marijuana Users Eligible for Unemployment – Michigan

Employers that test employees for drug use – beware!

In Michigan, an employee who is terminated following a positive drug test may still be eligible to receive unemployment.  Ordinarily, an employee who is discharged for failing a drug test would be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits under Michigan state law. Medical marijuana use is legal in the state of Michigan under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA).

In a recent appellate court decision, the Court ruled that registered patients who use marijuana for medicinal purposes consistent with the requirements of the MMMA and are terminated from employment for failing a drug test due to such use are entitled to receive unemployment compensation benefits. Denial of unemployment benefits, according to the Court,  is a “penalty” prohibited by the MMMA. The Court refused to find that the increased contributions employers will be required to pay as a result of the marijuana user’s receipt of unemployment benefits was a penalty to the employer.