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Quick guide to Minimum Wage in Michigan

Minimum Wage in Michigan

 Quick Guide to Minimum Wage in Michigan

Michigan, like many other states in the United States, has its own minimum wage laws that govern the lowest hourly wage that employers can pay their employees. These laws are designed to ensure that workers receive fair compensation for their labor, allowing them to maintain a decent standard of living. In this quick guide, we will explore the minimum wage in Michigan, its recent updates, and other related information to help both employers and employees understand their rights and responsibilities.

 Understanding the Basics

 What is the Minimum Wage in Michigan?

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the minimum wage in Michigan was $9.65 per hour. However, it’s important to note that minimum wage rates can change over time due to inflation and legislative updates. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult the most current information provided by the State of Michigan or the United States Department of Labor for the latest rates.

 Tipped Employees

Michigan, like many other states, allows employers to pay a lower minimum wage to tipped employees. As of 2021, the minimum cash wage for tipped employees in Michigan was $3.67 per hour. However, when tips earned by an employee do not bring their total hourly wage (including tips) up to the regular minimum wage, the employer is required to make up the difference.

 Special Minimum Wage Rates

Certain special minimum wage rates may apply to specific categories of employees in Michigan. For example, the minimum wage for minors (those under 18) may differ from the regular minimum wage. Additionally, some employees, such as those with disabilities, may be subject to different wage regulations. Employers should consult the State of Michigan’s official resources for detailed information on special minimum wage rates.

 Recent Updates

Minimum wage rates can change, so it’s essential to stay informed about any recent updates to Michigan’s minimum wage laws. As of my last update in 2021, the minimum wage in Michigan had gradually increased over the years, thanks to a ballot initiative passed in 2018.

 Michigan’s Minimum Wage Increase Timeline

  1. January 1, 2019: The minimum wage increased to $9.45 per hour.
  2. January 1, 2020: It further increased to $9.65 per hour.

It’s important to note that the minimum wage rates are subject to change, and the state may have implemented additional increases since 2021. To get the most current rates and information, you should consult the official resources provided by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

 Employee Rights and Protections

 Overtime Pay

In Michigan, non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Overtime pay must be at least 1.5 times the regular hourly rate. It’s essential for both employees and employers to understand these regulations to avoid any labor law violations.

 Wage Theft Protection

Michigan law provides protections against wage theft, which includes various unlawful practices by employers, such as not paying employees for all hours worked, withholding wages, or failing to pay overtime. Employees have the right to file complaints with the appropriate labor authorities if they believe their wages are being stolen or unfairly withheld.

 Resources for Employers and Employees

 State of Michigan

The State of Michigan’s official website is a valuable resource for both employers and employees seeking information on minimum wage regulations. It provides up-to-date information on minimum wage rates, special wage rates, and other labor-related topics.

Website: [Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity](https://www.michigan.gov/leo)

 United States Department of Labor

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is another valuable resource for understanding federal labor laws and minimum wage regulations. While Michigan has its minimum wage laws, federal laws may also apply to certain employees and situations.

Website: [United States Department of Labor](https://www.dol.gov/)


Understanding the minimum wage laws in Michigan is essential for both employers and employees. Compliance with these laws ensures that workers are fairly compensated for their labor and protected from wage theft. However, it’s crucial to stay informed about any changes or updates to minimum wage rates, as they can vary over time. Employers and employees should consult official government resources, such as the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and the United States Department of Labor, for the most current information and guidance regarding minimum wage in Michigan. By doing so, both parties can ensure they are following the law and promoting fair labor practices in the state.

The Changing Landscape of Michigan’s Minimum Wage: Past, Present, and Future


The minimum wage has long been a subject of national debate, reflecting broader discussions about economic fairness, labor rights, and social equality. In Michigan, a state with a rich history of industrial growth and economic transformation, the minimum wage has played a pivotal role in shaping the lives of workers and the overall economic landscape. From its origins to recent legislative changes, let’s explore the journey of Michigan’s minimum wage, highlighting intriguing facts that shed light on the state’s evolving approach to this crucial issue.

Historical Roots

Michigan’s history is deeply intertwined with the rise of industrialization, automotive manufacturing, and labor movements. In 1965, Michigan established its first minimum wage of $1.25 per hour, reflecting the state’s recognition of the need to ensure fair compensation for workers in an ever-changing economy. This initial step was a response to the broader national movement advocating for better working conditions and a decent living wage.

Automotive Industry Influence

The automotive industry has had a profound impact on Michigan’s economic landscape. The state’s strong ties to this industry have influenced its approach to the minimum wage. In the early days of the automobile boom, wages in the sector were often higher than the established minimum wage due to strong labor unions negotiating on behalf of workers. This helped set a precedent for higher wages in other industries as well.

Recent Legislative Changes

Michigan’s minimum wage has witnessed significant changes in recent years. In 2018, the state adopted a gradual increase plan that aimed to raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2022. The legislation was seen as a response to growing concerns about income inequality and the need to provide workers with a livable wage. The phased approach demonstrated a commitment to balancing the interests of businesses and workers, acknowledging the broader economic impact of sudden wage hikes.

Tipped Workers’ Wage

Tipped workers also play a crucial role in Michigan’s economy, particularly in the restaurant and service industries. Interestingly, Michigan has a unique approach to the minimum wage for tipped workers. The state permits employers to pay tipped employees a lower hourly wage as long as their tips bring their earnings up to or above the regular minimum wage. This practice reflects the intricacies of the service industry and recognizes the role of tips in supplementing workers’ incomes.

Economic Impact and Business Perspectives

The debate surrounding the minimum wage often centers on its potential economic impact. Businesses have differing perspectives on the issue. Some argue that raising the minimum wage could lead to increased operational costs and potential job loss, especially for small businesses. Others contend that a higher minimum wage can stimulate consumer spending and reduce employee turnover, ultimately benefiting the economy.

Local Initiatives

Michigan is characterized by its diverse local communities, each with its unique economic challenges and opportunities. Some cities and counties in the state have taken matters into their own hands, implementing local ordinances to establish minimum wage rates higher than the state’s mandated minimum. These initiatives demonstrate the state’s willingness to adapt its approach to the minimum wage to reflect the needs and priorities of individual communities.

Path to the Future

As Michigan continues to evolve in an ever-changing economic landscape, the minimum wage remains a critical component of the state’s labor policies. The recent legislative changes reflect Michigan’s commitment to addressing income inequality and ensuring fair compensation for workers. However, the ongoing discussion highlights the need for a delicate balance between supporting workers and sustaining businesses.


Michigan’s minimum wage journey is a testament to the state’s rich history and its dedication to economic progress. From the early days of the automotive boom to the recent legislative changes, Michigan’s approach to the minimum wage reflects a careful consideration of the needs of workers, businesses, and the broader economy. As the state looks to the future, it will continue to navigate the complexities of economic growth, labor rights, and social equity, striving to find the optimal balance between supporting workers and fostering a thriving business environment.

Quick Guide to Minimum Wage in Michigan 

There are specific minimum wage laws in the state of MI, and this article will address some of the more important and regularly accessed laws.  Additionally, this following section will describe specific minimum wages in Michigan that have been in place since 2008.
As of July 1, 2008, the minimum wage has been $7.40 per hour in the state of Michigan.  As in other states, the minimum wage in Michigan for tipped employers is much less.  A tipped employee will earn $2.65 per hour plus tips, as long as their tips account for, at least, minimum wage.
Additionally, a training wage of $4.25 may be paid to employees of the age of 16-19 for the first 90 days of their employment.  The training minimum wages in Michigan may be adjustable upon an employer’s discretion, and is often necessary in fact to support constant employment.
As of July 24, 2009, minors may make fewer minimum wages in Michigan if their employer decides to pay them the federal minimum wage.  All minors under 18 years older may be paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25, but again, the majority of employer will usually follow state standards.

Laws for Minimum Wages in Michigan

The majority of important laws for minimum wages in Michigan are listed under section 408 of the Minimum Wage Law of 1964.  The law allows the state to make adjustments on an annual basis, and some important sections of this law are provided below and extend on the minimum wages listed in the section above.
Section 408.384b Training hourly wage; employee less than 18 years of age, displacement prohibited; violation; fine
This section of law lists the set amount of minimum wage in Michigan for those training under 19 and for minors as well.  This section of law for minimum wage in Michigan also states an employer may be subject to a civil fine of $1,000 for violating this law.
Additionally, one of the most important sections of this law states the following:
“An employer shall not displace an employee to hire an individual at the hourly wage authorized under this section.”  In other words, an employer cannot terminate an employee or reduce hours, wages, or benefits.
Section 408.387 Rates for apprentices, learners, and persons with physical or mental disabilities; establishment
This section of law for minimum wages in Michigan states that the director of the department of consumer and industry services is allowed to mandate “suitable scales” for the rates of those listed in the title.  The rates may be lower than the normal minimum wage in Michigan.
If you believe your employer has violated your rights to a certain kind of minimum wage in Michigan, you should refer to section 408.392.  Also, you can refer to section 408.395 for Michigan law on employers who discriminate against employees who have or currently serve on the wage deviation board in MI.