Snyder signs law banning local wage, benefit ordinances

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — Municipalities in Michigan will be prohibited from setting local minimum wages above the state rate and imposing new requirements on employers for sick time and other fringe benefits under a bill Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law Tuesday.

House Bill 4052 bans future municipal ordinances that regulate the hours, compensation and terms of private sector employment, but it does not impact existing ordinances, Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said.

The Republican governor signed the bill because he wants to avoid creating a “patchwork of varying regulations across the state,” Wurfel said.

Under the new law, municipalities would still be allowed to require criminal background checks for employees seeking a local business license or permit.

Cities could still regulate the hours of operation of a business, but the new law prohibits local ordinances regulating the scheduling and hours of employees of private businesses.

Michigan’s state minimum wage rate is $8.15 per hour and scheduled to increase to $8.50 on Jan. 1, 2016.

The new law, known as the “Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act,” goes into effect in 90 days.

The legislation became the latest battle between organized labor and the Republican-controlled Legislature and governor.

“Gov. Snyder has led a coordinated attack on democracy and workers ever since he set foot into office and this is the next iteration of that effort,” Lonnie Scott, executive director of the liberal political group Progress Michigan, said in a statement.

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