On March 29, 2019 the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (IWOWA) MCL 408.931 et seq was enacted. It is the legislature’s attempt to increase and enhance the minimum wage in Michigan and protect workers’ rights to overtime. In passing the law, the legislature made it clear that IWOWA would supersede any previous statutes inconsistent or in conflict with the act. MCL 408.945.
Under the IWOWA an employee is a person
1. Not less than 16 years old;
2. who is employed by an employer
a. on the premises of the employer; or
b. at a fixed site designated by the employer;
c. and may include a minor who is employed under the Youth Employment Standards Act. MCL 409.115(1).
An Employer under IWOWA means a person, firm, or corporation, including this state and its political subdivisions, agencies, and instrumentalities who employs 2 or more employees at any 1 time within a calendar year.
The act prescribes that the minimum wage will be $ 9.45 in 2020 and increase by approximately .20 per hour annually through the year 2030 to
$ 12.05. In any given year, if the unemployment rate in the state is 8.5% or greater, then the increase will not take place.
For any work performed in excess of a 40-hour work week, the worker shall receive an hourly rate that is 1-1/2 times their regular hourly rate. In some instances, an employee may receive compensatory time off at a rate of 1-1/2 hours for each hour which overtime compensation is required.
Persons who provide companionship services to the elderly or infirm who cannot provide for themselves as defined in 29 CFR 552.6 but do not live with the individual are entitled to the minimum wage and overtime pursuant to the act.
Persons who provide childcare but are not live-in domestic service employees as defined in 29 CFR 522.102 are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pursuant to the act.
Exceptions to paying domestic service workers minimum wage or overtime pay require that:
a. the worker is under 18 years of age;
b. the services are provided on a casual basis; and
c. services do not exceed 20 hours per week.
For local units of government that pay firemen, police officers and correctional officers, if the worker exceeds 216 hours of work in 28 consecutive days, all additional hours are to be paid at the overtime rate.
For local units of government that hire workers to provide residential care to chronically ill persons, the worker is entitled to overtime pay if
1. the worker and government enter into a written agreement that the work week is 14 consecutive days;
2. work in excess of 80 hours in a 14-day period will be paid at an overtime rate.
MCL 408.934a(2)
An employer is permitted to pay a new employee who is less than 20 years old a training hourly wage of $ 4.25 for the first 90 days of employment. An employer is not permitted to displace a current worker so it can pay a trainee at a lower rate.
MCL 408.934b
The minimum hourly wage for persons whose income is based on tips is 38% of the minimum wage if the worker receives tips in the course of their employment. If the tips and 38% of the minimum wage when added together does not meet the prevailing minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. The tips must be documented gratuities as indicated by the employees declaration of purpose pursuant to the Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) 29 USC 3101. The employee must be informed by the employer of the provisions of this section.
MCL 408.934d
An interested party may petition the commissioner to establish a suitable scale of rates for apprentices, learners, and persons with disabilities who are clearly unable to meet normal production standards rates that are below the minimum wage.
MCL 408.934c


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July 10, 2020

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