LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Gov. Rick Snyder Friday signed Senate Bills 1171 and 1175 to continue to increase the minimum wage and provide paid medical leave benefits for many Michigan workers.
“I look at legislation presented to me through a policy lens – is it the right policy for the state of Michigan and Michiganders as a whole? That’s what I did with these bills and have now signed them into law,” Snyder said. “I looked at what the potential impacts and benefits of the changes would be and decided that signing these bills was the appropriate action.”
Gov. Snyder noted that Michigan’s tremendous comeback has led to increased economic development and more jobs statewide, with unemployment now at its lowest rate in 18 years. In addition, Michigan’s per-capita income has grown 32 percent since 2010, for an average increase of more than $11,000. The state is now in the top 10 nationally and number one in the Great Lakes states for income growth over time.
“We need to continue our forward momentum while making sure all Michiganders are participating in the comeback,” Snyder said. “The leave bill offers the majority of workers in the state paid medical leave up to a week off work with pay. We are now one of only eleven states that provide such a benefit.
“The minimum wage bill continues Michigan’s minimum wage approved back in 2014 by providing fixed amount increases based on projected inflation and helps keep us in the top third of states nationally.”
The governor said the initial ballot proposals on these two issues were well-intentioned but would have resulted in cost and compliance burdens for job providers that could have negatively impacted employment in Michigan.
The new minimum wage law:
• Increases the minimum wage to $9.45 in 2019 and then increases it again each year, reaching $12.05 by 2030;
• Maintains a tipped-employee wage rate of 38 percent of the full minimum wage rate; and
• Provides an increase to $4.58 per hour for tipped employees by 2030.
The new paid medical leave law:
• Accrues paid medical leave at a rate of at least one hour of leave for every 35 hours worked, which is the average accrual rate of the 10 states that have paid medical leave laws;
• Allows for the carryover of 40 hours of paid medical leave per year, which is the same rate as eight of the 10 states with paid medical leave laws and is much higher than the 24 hours that can carry over in California;
• Requires an employer to provide an employee at least three days to present the employer with documentation when taking paid sick leave, which is consistent with eight of the 10 states with paid medical leave laws, and better than the other two states that immediately require a doctor’s note;
• Establishes that employees can immediately began accruing and using paid medical leave upon the effective date of the act (except for new employees, who must wait 90 days), which is consistent with six other states with paid medical leave and better than three states that require longer waiting periods; and
• Requires employers to pay each eligible employee using paid medical leave at a pay rate equal to the greater of either their normal hourly wage or base wage for that eligible employee or the full minimum-wage rate. If a tipped worker’s hourly pay is less than minimum wage, their paid sick time will be paid at a level that is at least the non-tipped employee minimum wage.
“The two bills I signed today strike a good balance between the initial proposals and the original legislation as drafted,” Snyder said. “They address a number of difficulties for job providers while still ensuring paid medical leave benefits and increased minimum-wage incomes for many Michiganders.”
The bills, sponsored by Sen. David Hildenbrand and Sen. Mike Shirkey, respectively, are now PA 368 and PA 369 of 2018.