LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The minimum wage could be raised here in Michigan.
This comes after a Michigan judge restored an old law that cut the minimum wage and paid sick leave initiatives back in 2018.
While some officials say this could be a disadvantage to small businesses and restaurants, some local businesses have already jumped on board to pay their employees more than the new minimum.
But while this case spent four years in the courts, some businesses raised their wages anyway, and others say it will cost them.
“We’d lose business because of it, and we’re gonna let people go,” said Michael MacColemam, partner at Spades Bowling.
Judge Douglas Shapiro’s decision will restore a 2018 ballot initiative that’ll direct Michigan’s minimum wage from $9.87 to $12 an hour and require small businesses to provide paid sick leave to workers.
A representative says it could force restaurants to raise prices, lay people off, or both.
“Based on what members are telling us, if this is implemented, as the ruling came out yesterday, you could see about a third of restaurant servers laid off in the very near future, and that’s a number that is close to 50,000 people,” said Justin Winslow, CEO of the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association.
But some local business owners say the new ruling is a great thing.
“I think it’s really important, I think it should be higher,” said Colleen Kelley, owner of the Avenue Cafe.
They believe this even though it can be financially crippling at times.
“I won’t lie, I do payroll somedays and I’m like ‘wooo.’ I kind of rethink it. But, I remember that our corporate value is people over profit,” said Nikki Thompson Frazier, CEO of Sweet Encounter.
Officials say this ruling will more than likely be taken back to court.
“We expect an appeal to be filed very soon related to the court of claims decision. At this point, everyone should be holding tight on expectations,” said Wendy Block, VP of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.
While employers and employees will be affected the most, some say we should think about another group.
“Well it sucks for the consumers, because consumers are gonna pay for it,” said MacColemam.
As far as tipped employees, they would see a raise of 80% added to their current wage. Officials say this could impact the way consumers tip these workers when they’re dining out if they know servers are making a higher wage.