Michigan Employment Law Update — March 2019

Michigan

State Supreme Court Asked to Review Constitutionally of Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Laws

On February 20, 2019, the Michigan House adopted a resolution (H.R. 25), along with the state Senate (S.R. 16), requesting guidance from the state Supreme Court about the new minimum wage and paid sick leave laws. Procedurally, under the Michigan Constitution, “either house of the legislature or the governor may request a supreme court opinion on important questions of law as to the constitutionality of legislation after it has been enacted into law but before its effective date.”

Specifically, the two questions the court has been asked to address are as follows:

  • “Does Article II, Section 9 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1963 permit the Legislature to enact an initiative petition into law and then subsequently amend that law during the same legislative session?” Meaning, is it constitutional for the Legislature to adopt citizen initiatives and then revise them in the same two-year term?
  • “Were Public Act 368 of 2018 and Public Act 369 of 2018 enacted in accordance with Article II, Section 9 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1963?” Meaning, are the Legislature’s revised versions of the minimum wage and paid sick leave laws legal?

These adopted resolutions do not amend the laws nor does it stall their March 29, 2019 effective date. Rather, the result depends upon the court, which may or may not respond. The court is not required to render a reply or a decision. However, adoption of the resolutions demonstrates that even at the legislative level there is confusion about these laws, their legality, and implementation.

Further guidance will be provided depending upon court action.

Read MI H.R. 25, MI S.R. 16, and see the Michigan Supreme Court’s website.