An important ruling from the Michigan Court of Claims could make businesses increase the minimum wage to £12 an hour and guarantee staff sick pay.
The two big changes can be voted on in August’s elections.
Michigan’s laws will allow the laws to be introduced if they get voted for.
Michigan law states if a ballot initiative receives enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, the legislature may choose to pass it without putting it on the ballot.
The legislature adopted two proposals in 2018, but it amended both of them.
By 2022, the $12 minimum wage was to be mandated by the One Fair Wage plan.
It was modified by the legislature to phase it in by 2030.
But the judge says that’s not allowed
Saru Jayaraman from One Fair Wage, said: “It is a victory for democracy and workers both.”
The Court of Claims is not the last legal stop, though.
The matter is still likely to end up in the Court of Appeals and then the Michigan Supreme Court.
The move has not gone down well with local businesses.
Justin Winslow from the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association said: “If this were to be immediately implemented, the chaos it would wreak on an already battered hospitality industry during peak travel season would be almost inconceivable,”
Brian Calley, who heads up the Small Business Association, says it’s just one more hit for his membership.
Calley said “First, we had mandatory closures, closures that lasted longer than almost anywhere else in the country followed by restrictions that lasted longer than just about anywhere else in the country. Then supply chain disruptions, workforce shortages, now inflation that has been completely out of control rising interest rates, difficulty getting employees and then stack on top of all of that are new costly mandates.”