Restaurant and direct care workers with no paid sick leave could increase coronavirus risk for Michigan, which currently exempts businesses with fewer than 50 workers from being compelled to offer paid leave.
Does Michigan’s constitution allow the legislature to adopt and amend citizen initiatives in the same two-year term, or does it explicitly prohibit the practice? It’s now up to the state’s highest court to decide.
The high court is hearing arguments Wednesday on whether Republicans in Lansing acted lawfully in passing a paid sick leave bill last year before neutering it. The court may offer its opinion, or it may not, raising the specter of a formal lawsuit.
Attorney General Dana Nessel said she will not write an opinion on last-minute GOP changes to wage and sick leave laws passed in December. Instead, she deferred to the state Supreme Court on whether the changes were constitutional.
The state’s high court will hear arguments in July on whether the Legislature followed the rules when it watered down the impact of citizen-drafted legislation to raise Michigan’s minimum wage and require employers to offer paid sick leave. But the court stopped short of saying it will issue an opinion.
Attorney General Dana Nessel and the state Supreme Court may yet weigh in on whether the Legislature violated the Michigan constitution in passing, then gutting, these laws during lame duck. The controversy may end in court.
Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said she may review Michigan lame-duck laws that gutted citizen proposals to raise the minimum wage and require paid sick leave. Her stance could produce a high-impact legal showdown with Republicans.
The term-limited Republican governor said he agreed with the GOP Legislature that the original laws passed earlier this year would harm economic progress in Michigan. Advocates for workers vowed a lawsuit.
The House may vote as soon as Tuesday afternoon on bills that would largely gut citizen-pushed laws to raise Michigan’s minimum wage and require employers to offer paid sick leave. Gov. Rick Snyder hasn’t said if he will sign.
The group that spearheaded the state’s new paid sick leave law says it believes the arrival of Democratic Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer — and her veto pen — in January will help its chances of making the ballot in 2020.
Michigan senators approved major changes to two citizen-backed laws that would increase worker pay and benefits, hours after presenting the changes to the public. Critics say the move leaves the public in the dark.
Changes are likely to the citizen-initiated laws the Republican Legislature passed in September. Proponents of the changes say they’re critical to protect small business. Opponents say they violate the will of the people.