From ROC Michigan
November 1, 2023 - The Michigan Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear oral arguments to raise the state’s minimum wage to $13 an hour, with annual cost-of-living increases. This decision provides a pathway for Michigan restaurant workers to receive a badly needed raise, following the Board of State Canvassers failure to certify a similar ballot measure for the state ballot in 2024.
The Supreme Court hearing has been set for December 6 and 7, 2023. In response, Chris White, director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) of Michigan, stated the following:
“We are thrilled that the Michigan Supreme Court’s action has set a date to hear arguments for what millions of workers, including restaurant workers, in the state need: a minimum wage increase to over $13 dollars per hour.
“We were wrongly circumvented by a Legislature that was supposed to protect us and prioritize the welfare of workers, and instead blocked a ballot initiative to raise Michigan's minimum wage to $12 by 2022, including for tipped workers, with annual increases tied to inflation, and to extend paid sick days to all Michigan workers.
“But the Court’s agreement to hear the collective voice of hardworking people signals an important step towards moving past political finger-pointing and gives restaurant workers and all Michigan workers a new hope to get the minimum wage increase that they deserve.
“If the Court rules in ROC’s favor, it will ensure a minimum wage increase for every worker in the state. Higher wages mean more economic opportunities and job protections, lower job turnovers, and a government that does work better, faster and stronger.”
ROC Michigan is one of the plaintiffs in the Mothering Justice vs Nessel, et al. case, asking the Michigan Supreme Court to protect and defend the minimum wage increase. This is separate from the recent deadlock at the Board of Canvassers that blocked a minimum wage petition sponsored by a separate organization from appearing on the ballot in 2024.
Last year, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Douglas Shapiro ruled that the “adopt and amend” tactic by the Republican-led legislature in 2018, which altered two voter petitions, was unconstitutional.
On January 26, 2023, less than a month before a February 19 increase in the minimum wage was set to take effect for tens of thousands of Michigan workers, the Michigan Appeals Court blocked the increase by upholding a 2018 “adopt and amend” maneuver of the state legislature.
When the Supreme Court rules in our favor, it will ensure a minimum wage increase for all workers in Michigan.