An extension of Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Payroll Fraud initiative announced earlier this spring (see message from 4/30/19 below), nearly 30 bills have been introduced in both the House and the Senate, seeking to punish employers who “cheat” employees out of their pay and benefits. The Attorney General and House and Senate Democrats are citing a report from the Economic Policy Institute that claims that “unscrupulous business stole an estimated $429 million in wages and overtime pay from Michigan workers between 2013 and 2015”.
The bills introduced include proposals that would:
- Require employers to disclose employee wage information to job applicants SB 330 and HB 4631
- Increase requirements on employers for wage deductions SB 339 and HB 4640
- Dramatically increase employer penalties for violation of the Payment of Wages and Fringe Benefits Act and Michigan minimum wage laws HB 4623, HB 4868, HB 4869, HB 4870, HB 4871, SB 477, SB 478, SB 479, SB 480
- Create a new Office of State Employee Ombudsman to investigate complaints from state employees HB 4872, HB 4873, SB 481, SB 482
- Prohibit some noncompete agreements HB 4874, SB 483
- Empower private attorneys to sue companies on behalf of the state HB 4875, SB 484
- Expand whistleblowers’ protection HB 4876, SB 485
- Create new penalties for improper classification of employees as independent contractors HB 4877, SB 486
- Make employee complaints against employers to state agencies confidential HB 4878, HB 4879, SB 487, SB 488
The bills have been referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee and the House Commerce and Tourism Committee, respectively. Please contact MMA's Delaney McKinley for more information.