Mich.: Employment Bills Pending in State Legislature

By Diane Cadrain May 14, 2015

Youth minimum wage. Senate Bill 250, introduced on April 14, 2015, would make a few changes to the state minimum law as it applies to employees under age 20. First, it would raise the training wage, payable to anyone under age 20 for the first 90 days of their employment, from $4.25 to $6.25. Second, it would expand the coverage of the youth minimum wage, payable after that first 90 days of employment, from anyone under age 18 to anyone under age 20. Also, it would set the required amount as either the federal minimum wage or 85 percent of the state minimum wage, whichever is greater.

Post-retirement employment. House Bill (HB) 4059 would change the Public School Employees Retirement Act to allow retired school employees to go back to work in critical shortage disciplines, or as substitute teachers, without jeopardizing their retirement allowances or health benefits. Although prior law authorized such post-retirement employment under those circumstances, it was set to expire. This bill would continue those provisions. It passed the House on March 20.

Right to work. HB 4312, introduced on March 5, would extend the state’s right to work law to police officers and firefighters. The right to work law, enacted in 2012, removed the requirement that all employees contribute to the union that represents them, but it exempted police and firefighters from its coverage.

“Michigan is the only Right to Work state in the nation that still allows its public safety employees to be discriminated against and fired for choosing not to join or financially support a private labor organization,” said bill sponsor Rep. Gary Glenn. “People who put their lives on the line for us each and every day to protect our families and communities should have the same civil rights protection and freedom to work as all other employees have now.”

Diane Cadrain is an attorney who has been writing about employment law issues for more than 20 years.


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