Advocating For Your
Workplace Rights
And Interests

Could the expansion of Michigan’s prevailing wage law affect you?

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2024 | Employees' Rights |

Starting in March of this year, non-union construction workers in Michigan who work on publicly funded projects for the state or a locality must receive the same pay and benefits as their co-workers who belong to unions. This is called the “prevailing wage.” The law takes effect approximately a year after Gov. Gretchen Witmer signed the law that expands Michigan’s prevailing wage law that she reinstated in 2021 and expands it to local public projects.

The concept of “prevailing wage” has been somewhat of a political football in recent years. It was first enacted back in the 1960s. In 2018, it was repealed. Three years later, as noted, it was reinstated and now expanded.

What is the case against the prevailing wage?

Not surprisingly, groups throughout Michigan that represent contractors and builders are against expanding the prevailing wage law because it will mean they’re required to pay non-union workers higher wages and will likely drive up the cost of publicly funded projects.

As the head of one of these groups said, “It pays on a pay scale that doesn’t really make sense for a lot of contractors. It’s really just not worth the effort.” He says that non-union companies will be less likely to bid for these jobs – particularly in areas of the state with higher prevailing wages.

Of course, those who have supported expanding the prevailing wage argue that aside from benefitting non-union workers, it will help prevent employers from paying lower wages to non-union workers in an effort to come in with the lowest bid.

It’s always important to know your rights under the law when it comes to compensation. If you believe that you’re being paid less than you’re required to receive, you have every right to bring your concerns to the attention of your employer without having to worry about potential retribution. If you’re not able to resolve a concerning matter with your employer, it can help to get legal guidance to better understand and protect your rights.


FindLaw Network