MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan school employees will be getting a nice refund in the new year, just in time to re-fatten those wallets after the holidays.
It's all thanks to a Michigan Supreme Court unanimous decision that will refund all Michigan school employees from 2010 to 2013, totaling $554 million.
In 2010, Michigan state legislature passed a law that took three percent out of all employees' paychecks without any consent to go towards employee retirement funds. In 2012 the law was amended giving school employees an opt-out provision, saying it was a violation of the 5th amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the takings clause. On Wednesday after years of battling in the courts, the Michigan Supreme Court ordered that the money be refunded to all employees.
"This is an important decision that affects all school employees. The legislature singled out school employees with this bill which was another problem in it and the teacher unions, MEA and AFT were the ones that fought this for all employees whether they were union members or not, so everyone will received this refund thanks to the hard work of the MEA and AFT legal departments," says Fred Cole, President of the Marquette Area Education Association (MAEA) and teacher at Marquette Senior High School.
The three percent refund should be returned to all school employees on January 22.