LANSING – Michigan Latest News: $15 Minimum Wage Ballot Proposal 2024 Blocked by Michigan Supreme Court.  The Michigan Supreme Court recently made a big decision about a proposal called Raise the Wage Michigan. Consequently, in a significant ruling, the Michigan Supreme Court has decided that the $15 minimum Wage Michigan ballot proposal will not be required to be placed on the November 2024 ballot.

Despite efforts by proponents of the $15 wage proposal, the Michigan Court’s ruling means that the initiative will not be featured on the 2024 November ballot as originally intended.  Therefore, the ruling has important implications for Michigan’s minimum wage and tip credit laws.

1. Why Was Michigan’s $15 Minimum Wage Hike Stalled by the Supreme Court?

The Board of State Canvassers, which is like the team that manages voting stuff, wanted to put this proposal on the voting list for November 2024. But a legal dispute surrounding Michigan’s minimum wage increase has put the brakes on a proposed ballot initiative.

Raise the Wage Michigan’s petition wording unintentionally created a loophole.  Their definition changed “employer” to only include businesses with 21 or more employees. This meant smaller businesses with 20 or fewer workers potentially wouldn’t have to follow the increased minimum wage and could instead pay the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour.

2.  Michigan $15 Minimum Wage Ballot Proposal Key Points:

  • The Case: Raise the Wage Michigan vs. Board of State Canvassers (October 2023).
  • The Proposal: Raise Michigan’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.
  • Current minimum wage: $10.33 per hour.
  • The Dispute: Wording changes in the petition caused a deadlock (2-2 vote) by the Board of State Canvassers, responsible for approving ballot initiatives.
  • The Issue: Raise the Wage Michigan’s petition initially defined employers subject to the minimum wage as those with one or more employees. However, in the circulated petitions, this changed to employers with 21 or more employees.

3.  The Potential Ramifications of Excluding the $15 Minimum Wage Proposal from the 2024 Ballot:

  • This change might have unintentionally excluded smaller businesses from the minimum wage increase, raising concerns and leading to the deadlock.
  • Adding another layer of complexity, Michigan Opportunity, likely opposed to the wage hike, intervened in the case, arguing against the proposal’s inclusion on the ballot. The Michigan Supreme Court will ultimately decide the fate of the minimum wage increase.
  • A survey by the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA) found that over 6 in 10 (61%) restaurant owners in Michigan might lay off more than a quarter (25%) of their tipped staff. This happens if minimum wage rule change significantly.

4.  How Does Michigan Supreme Court’s Ruling for Min. Wage Impact on Operators?

Operators in Michigan face the continuation of existing wage standards following recent legal developments:

  • Michigan’s minimum wage stands firm at $10.33 per hour.
  • The tipped minimum wage in Michigan remains unchanged at $3.93 per hour.
  • Notably, the ballot proposal seeking to raise the minimum wage and abolish the tip credit will not undergo voting in November 2024.

5. Michigan $15 Minimum Wage Update: What to Know?

I. Michigan’s Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers Upheld (For Now):

A recent court ruling protects the current system for tipped workers in Michigan. This means employers can continue to take a “tip credit” that reduces their cash wage as long as employees make enough tips to reach the minimum wage. However, the future of tipped wages in Michigan remains uncertain.

II. “Adopt-and-Amend” Case Still Looms:

The Michigan Supreme Court is still considering a separate case called Mothering Justice v. Attorney General. This case challenges the legality of a 2018 legislative action known as “adopt-and-amend.” This action aimed to change a proposed ballot initiative that would have raised the minimum wage and eliminated the tip credit.

Final Thoughts:

The “Mothering Justice” decision will determine whether the “adopt-and-amend” strategy was legal. If the court finds it unconstitutional, the original minimum wage increase proposal could be revived. This step is potentially leading to significant changes for tipped workers in Michigan.


1. What happened to the Raise the Wage Michigan ballot proposal?
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the Raise the Wage Michigan proposal will not be on the November 2024 ballot. This means the current Michigan minimum wage of $10.33 per hour and tipped minimum wage of $3.93 per hour remain in effect.

2. Could the minimum wage in Michigan still change?

While the Raise the Wage proposal is off the table for November 2024, the future of minimum wage in Michigan remains uncertain. The outcome of the ongoing “Mothering Justice v. Attorney General” case could impact future minimum wage changes.

3. What is the “Mothering Justice v. Attorney General” case about?

This separate case challenges the legality of a 2018 legislative action “adopt-and-amend” that aimed to modify a different minimum wage ballot initiative. The “Mothering Justice” decision could potentially revive the original minimum wage increase proposal, so it’s important to stay informed about its outcome.

Stay tuned at for more updates.

Additionally, this story was also published by the Small Business Association of Michigan