LANSING, Mich., May 21, 2020 — State Rep. John Cherry (D-Flint) recently introduced House Bill 5801 to increase the minimum wage for essential workers to $15 an hour and to make future adjustments according to inflation. In the bill, “essential workers” are defined as employees whose continued employment during a state of emergency is necessary for the “health, safety, or welfare” of the public, as determined by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

“This crisis has caused our society to reevaluate many things, including the way we value and compensate the workers we rely on every day,” said Cherry. “From grocery store clerks to food service employees, many of these workers have been fighting to receive a living wage for years and the pandemic has pushed that conversation into the forefront. I’m proud to stand with Michigan’s working men and women and will work to ensure that their value and contribution during this unprecedented time is not soon forgotten.”

If approved, HB 5801 would go into effect on June 15. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Commerce and Tourism for consideration.

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