Michigan Plans to Boost Salaries of Overtime-Exempt Workers

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

October 28, 2019

Michigan is the latest state to consider increasing the minimum salary that must be paid to overtime-exempt workers.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has directed the state labor department to begin the administrative process of updating its employee classification regulations with the goal of expanding the number of Michigan workers entitled to overtime pay.

A press release from the governor did not specify what the new salary threshold would be, and her office has not responded to a request for comment from XpertHR.

However, it appears likely she intends for Michigan's overtime-exempt workers to be paid well more than the $35,568 minimum salary taking effect January 1, 2020, under new regulations from the US Department of Labor (DOL). Gov. Whitmer said, "President Trump took a big step backwards when he implemented a rule that leaves 200,000 Michigan workers behind."

The process of finalizing new overtime regulations could take between 6 to 12 months, Whitmer estimates.

Some states - including Alaska, California and New York - already have minimum salaries that exceed the forthcoming federal rate.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania and Washington are in the midst of raising their minimum salaries via the regulatory process while legislators in other states, including Maine and Massachusetts, have introduced bills that would raise their states' minimum salaries by amending state law.