Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Bills Head to Governor

Senate Bill 1171 (minimum wage) and Senate Bill 1175 (paid sick leave) both passed a full House and Senate vote yesterday. Both bills have been altered significantly over the past couple of weeks.

“Bills move quickly in a lame duck session and we’re happy with how both bills were amended,” said MLBA Executive Director Scott Ellis. “Altering something as major as these two bills is never easy, but many industries came together to find a compromise.”

The final version of SB 1171 saves the tip credit, allows for the minimum wage to reach $12.05 by 2030, allows for the tipped minimum wage to reach $4.58 (38% of the minimum wage) by 2030 and does away with tying the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The original proposal would have removed the tip credit and raised the minimum wage to $12 by 2022.

“The last proposal would have raised the minimum wage to $12 by 2030 and the tipped minimum wage to $4 by 2030,” Ellis said. “So, we gave up a little ground in the final version, but the most important thing is that we retained the tip credit.”

The final version of SB 1175 allows workers to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked. It also allows for employers to cap the total earned sick time that workers can earn in a year to 40 hours. However, unused time must be carried over to the next year. This version also exempts businesses with 50 or fewer employees.

The original proposal would have applied to all businesses and would have allowed employees to gain one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked and would have capped the total that could be earned to 72 hours per year.

“The number one thing we lobbied for here was the exemption for businesses with fewer than 50 employees,” Ellis said. “It’s important for bars and restaurants to offer sick leave to their employees, but small establishments needed the option to pick a plan that works for them.”

The MLBA expects Governor Snyder to sign these bills in the upcoming weeks. We will make a formal announcement when they are officially signed.

“Overall, we couldn’t be happier with how these bills were amended,” Ellis said. “We knew the push for a higher minimum wage and paid sick leave were coming down the pipeline. The compromises made are much more fair for the hospitality industry when compared with the original ballot proposal language.”