Why a rising minimum wage is a good thing for people on Michigan workers’ compensation.
Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation (Senate Bill No. 1171) watering down an approved ballot initiative that would have increased the minimum wage. It will now be set at $9.45 starting in 2019.
We are strong advocates for a higher minimum wage but disappointed with this legislation. Michigan voters should have the final say when it comes to ballot initiatives. It was an unprecedented maneuver by the GOP-controlled Legislature.
Here is why you should care about this issue. A higher minimum wage has a positive impact on workers’ compensation benefits. Disabled employees are supposed to receive 80% of their after-tax average weekly wage. However, the weekly amount is capped at 90% of the state-wide average weekly wage. The idea is to limit workers’ compensation benefits to what most people in Michigan earn. The minimum wage impacts this calculation.
High wage earners are stuck with an arbitrary maximum regardless of their actual salary. Increasing the minimum wage should result in a higher state-wide average weekly wage. Employees disabled from their jobs will keep more of their salary through workers’ compensation. This is a good thing!
Workers’ compensation is a safety net for people hurt on-the-job. Most of our client’s live paycheck-to-paycheck. It is not easy supporting a family on just 80% of pay. Getting stuck with a maximum means they receive even less. It is critical that disabled employees receive fair compensation when unable to work.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Unhindered by Talent.