NFIB Asks Courts to Clarify Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Issues Facing Small Biz

If you own and/or operate a small business in Michigan’s Great Southwest, you’re likely among the thousands of similar owners and operators wondering how to deal with Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage mandates facing a March 29th compliance deadline.

That’s one major reason today behind action by the state’s leading small business advocate, NFIB, along with other members of the Small Business for a Better Michigan Coalition, who have announced that they have filed amicus briefs with the state Supreme Court. The briefs are in support of the House and Senate requests for an immediate advisory opinion on those Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage mandates that have a March 29 compliance deadline.

Charlie Owens is State Director for the NFIB in Michigan. He says, “This action is critical for thousands of Michigan small business owners trying to figure out which version of the law they will have to comply with by the March 29th deadline.” Owens adds, “We fully supported the legislature in acting to make much-needed changes to the original paid sick leave and minimum wage ballot proposals last session, and we believe they were on solid constitutional ground in doing so, but only the state Supreme Court can settle this issue once and for all.”

Owens says that the confusion is the result of a recent call by a state Senator, who is opposed to the changes made last session, for yet another Attorney General opinion on the constitutionality of adoption and amendment of citizens’ initiatives. Two prior Attorney General opinions on the subject conflict with one another. The first, by Former Attorney General Frank Kelly, opined that the legislature could not adopt and amend in the same session, and the second, by former Attorney General Bill Schuette, said that they could. If the current Attorney General, Dana Nessel, issues an opinion that the move was not constitutional – then the current law is null and void, and the original proposals could go back into effect.

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Owens contends, “The uncertainty created by the back and forth AG opinions on this issue can only be settled by our Supreme Court, and a timely decision is needed as soon as possible.”

A copy of the amicus brief filing can be viewed or downloaded by clicking this link: MichiganAmicusBrief

For more than 75 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven. Since being founded in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses, and remains so today. For more information, you can visit online at