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Lawmakers introduce plans to amend new minimum wage and earned sick time laws

Picture of the Lansing capitol building
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
Replacing the Michigan Business Tax is high on the legislature's agenda

State lawmakers recently passed legislation to change the state’s minimum wage law and require that employers offer earned sick time. But those laws haven’t gone into effect yet, and lawmakers want to make changes to those laws before they ever have a chance to be felt by Michigan’s residents.

The legislation was introduced by Republican Senators. Critics say lawmakers want to water down the new laws. They say if the Legislature didn’t like the laws, they should've let the voters decide on these issues on the ballot.

Representative Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) said she's concerned about a new bill that would get rid of parts of the earned sick time law. The law helps employees who sue their employer for retaliation for using their sick time.

“I think that it really dilutes a lot of what some of the protections need to be for workers in Michigan,” she said.

Another bill would bring back a lower minimum amount that employers have to pay tipped workers. 

Before the bills were introduced, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) said both laws needed to be changed in order to protect businesses.

“So we continue to keep our economy on track and not put up a roadblock or hindrance in their way,” he said.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R