AG Opinion Updates: Michigan Civil Rights Commission Seeks Opinion on Minimum Wage Requirements and Agriculture Workers; Chang Opinion Request Declined

Contact: Kelly Rossman-McKinney 517 335 7666
Agency: Attorney General

April 25, 2019

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today said her office received the Michigan Civil Rights Commission’s (MCRC) opinion request and has declined to take further action on Sen. Stephanie Chang’s request.

MCRC opinion request on minimum wage requirements and agriculture workers

Attorney General Nessel received an opinion request last week from MCRC, which asked questions centered on whether Michigan’s Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (WOWA) imposes minimum wage requirements on certain employers.  In particular, the request focuses on the requirements regarding small farm agricultural employers, and whether exemptions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act affect Michigan-specific wage requirements for those employers. The Department will carefully evaluate this request and interested parties are encouraged to submit written comments on this issue to the Department at miag@mi.gov, ATT: Opinions Division, no later than May 16, 2019, so that they may be included in its considerations.

Sen. Chang opinion request on paid sick leave and wage proposals

Sen. Chang has been notified that the Department of Attorney General has declined to take further action on her opinion request regarding the constitutionality of the Legislature’s implementation of the new paid sick leave and wage proposals. Instead, the Michigan Supreme Court has granted the Legislature’s requests to take up the issue, has set the matter for oral argument and has asked the Department to provide information and briefings on both sides. The Department of the Attorney General will address the matter as requested by the Court. Initial briefs will be filed May 15; additional briefings will be filed on June 19, and oral arguments are scheduled for July 17.  The Department is also notifying the individuals and organizations that provided comments that their views will be considered as the briefing and arguments are prepared for the Michigan Supreme Court.

###