The current minimum wage is $7.40 in the state of Michigan and has been the standard for five years. There has not been much in the way of legislation to change it. However, an effort being led by workers’ organizations in the cities of Detroit and Lansing aim to change that. Both Democrat and Republican based workers’ unions have come together in an effort that they say will help small business in the state and create jobs for the struggling local economy.
Arguments for the minimum wage hike include keeping people off of the welfare roles and allowing them to have a living wage. They will be better able to participate in the consumer economy with expendable income, says Charles Owen, a small business lobbyist in the area. Other arguments for the wage hike include creating more liquidity in the economy, which will actually help small business.
However, the business community in the area has opposed the measure because they feel as though raising the minimum wage will deter hiring, which will in effect cause the exact opposite effect that the proponents of the measure say will occur. Small business lobbyists have been fighting the minimum wage increase for many years, and they are the main reason that the minimum wage has remained stagnant for the past five years.
If you believe that a hike in the minimum wage would allow for a better economy, then you must give yourself the appropriate legal backdrop to make that argument valid. Employee rights in many cases are human rights; however, they must be defended by law. An attorney who specializes in employee rights may be able to make the full case for a living wage on behalf of any workers who believe they deserve one.
Source: WLNS, “Workers Push to Increase Minimum Wage”, July 24, 2013