Fighting for Michigan Manufacturers in All Three Branches of Government
For 120 years, MMA has had an unwavering commitment to serve Michigan manufacturers by creating and maintaining a statewide business climate that allows manufacturers to compete globally. Much attention is paid to actions taken by the State Legislature and regulatory agencies, but gains earned in the legislative or regulatory process can be lost in the courts.
2023 has already proven to be an active year as MMA proactively advocates in the courts in cases that could have far-reaching effects on the industry.
Mothering Justice v. State of Michigan: The Future of Michigan’s Paid Sick Leave Mandate
MMA has been tip of the spear in advocating for the interests of manufacturers since a 2018 initiated law threatened to impose punitive and costly paid sick leave requirements on Michigan employers.
At the urging of MMA and the business community, the Legislature adopted the initiated law to avoid submission to a vote of the people and later that session amended the act to render them fair to both employees and employers. Opponents to this action filed suit against the Michigan Legislature, asserting that the ability to “adopt and amend” citizen initiatives in the same legislative session is unconstitutional.
For more than 35 years, the MMA Lawyers Committee has closely followed cases involving the misapplication of a law, rule or regulation that may affect Michigan manufacturing interests. Contact MMA’s Dave Worthams at email@example.com or 517-487-8511.
The Court of Claims agreed with the plaintiffs and ruled that the initiatives, as they were originally submitted, should become law effective 2/19/23. That decision was appealed to the Court of Appeals and MMA submitted an amicus brief and provided guidance going into the oral arguments before the Court in December 2022.
In January 2023, the Court of Appeals issued a unanimous opinion in agreement with MMA’s arguments, avoiding the threat of saddling employers with hasty implementation of a more onerous paid sick leave mandate.
Plaintiffs have appealed the ruling to the Michigan Supreme Court and MMA will continue to fight to protect manufacturing interests.
Ajax v. EGLE: The Need for Certainty in Permitting
MMA has filed a joint amicus curiae brief in support of Ajax Materials Corporation in their case against the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). While EGLE approved Ajax’s application for a permit to construct a new asphalt plant in Genesee Township, the agency added unusual site-specific requirements to the project using questionable statutory authority.
MMA has fought for decades for consistency in the application of environmental standards and requirements in accordance with statute and regulation. Allowing EGLE to approve applications using ad hoc policies or preferences will spur future applications to increasingly include amorphous requirements beyond the letter of state law.
In the brief filed with the Genesee County Circuit Court, MMA contends that EGLE must use applicable standards as written in statute or rule and asks the court to require EGLE to reconsider the conditions of the permit and include only conditions reasonably necessary to assure compliance with applicable requirements.
Oral argument for this case is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, 4/13/23.
Contact David Q. Worthams
Director of Employment Policy