Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Take Effect, Supreme Court To Hold Hearings on ‘Adopt and Amend’

Michigan’s new minimum wage and paid sick leave laws have taken effect. Member companies are encouraged to carefully review the new laws to ensure they are in compliance.

Minimum Wage

  • Effective today, the minimum wage has increased to $9.45. The minimum wage will increase again in 2020 to $9.65, and will continue to increase annually until ultimately reaching $12.05 an hour in 2030.
  • The minimum wage for tipped employees remains 38 percent of the minimum wage, resulting in a four cent increase an hour.
  • Employers are only required to pay minors 16 to 17-years-old 85 percent of the minimum wage rate, increasing from $7.86 an hour to $8.03 an hour.

Paid Sick Leave

  • The newly adopted paid sick leave law generally provides for workers to receive one hour of sick time for every 35 hours worked up to a maximum of 40 hours a year. The new law only applies to businesses who employ 50 or more employees, as defined by the statute.
  • Review a detailed FAQ released by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

‘Adopt and Amend’ Strategy Undergoing Review – What Happens Next?
After successfully advocating for amendments to the original petition language late last year, the Detroit Regional Chamber has been working diligently as part of the Small Business for a Better Michigan Coalition to ensure these new requirements continue to adequately address the needs of small businesses across the state.

Request for Supreme Court to Weigh In
In January, Sen. Stephanie Chang asked Attorney General Dana Nessel to issue an advisory opinion on the constitutionality of the “adopt and amend” process used to pass the legislative amendments to the adopted proposals. In response, the Michigan Legislature has requested the Michigan Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue and the attorney general has stated she will hold off on releasing her own opinion until the Supreme Court responds to the Legislature’s request.

Supreme Court to Hold Hearings
The Supreme Court weighed in and announced it will hold oral arguments in July on the requests from the House and Senate for an advisory opinion regarding the constitutionality of the “adopt and amend” strategy used on both the Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave laws.
The Chamber will continue to support the adopted amendments in order to maintain Michigan’s competitive business environment and will keep members updated as the process continues.

Clayton & McKervey named to Accounting Today’s Top Firms – Great Lakes Region

Southfield, Mich.—March 26, 2019—Clayton & McKervey, a certified public accounting and business advisory firm helping growth-driven companies compete in the global marketplace, is pleased to announce it has been included on the list of Top Firms in the Great Lakes Region by the accounting profession’s leading trade publication, Accounting Today. The list was released as part of Accounting Today’s annual listing of the Top 100 Firms in the nation. The Top Firms: Great Lakes considers public accounting firms based in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

“Clayton & McKervey is so pleased to be included on this list of top firms in the Great Lakes region,” Clayton & McKervey President Rob Dutkiewicz, CPA, said. “With a focus on entrepreneurial, global growth-oriented clients, we bring a unique perspective to the business marketplace – and our clients are responding and driving our own business growth. This recognition presents a great opportunity to thank our clients and also acknowledge the terrific efforts of the entire Clayton & McKervey team.”

Clayton & McKervey clients include privately held companies and systems integrators. Services offered include tax, assurance, accounting, consulting and international services, including transfer pricing, international tax, foreign direct investment and global expansion. International practice areas include Mexico and China. Within its consulting services, Clayton & McKervey has a growing transactions services practice and also offers business planning and succession and exit strategies.

About Clayton & McKervey
Clayton & McKervey is a full-service certified public accounting and business advisory firm helping closely held businesses compete in the global marketplace. The firm is headquartered in metro Detroit and services clients throughout the world. To learn more, visit


Walsh to Host Corporate Social Responsibility Panel Discussion

TROY, Mich., March 26, 2019 — Walsh will welcome four business leaders for a panel discussion about corporate social responsibility (CSR) on Saturday, April 6, 2019, from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at their main location at 3838 Livernois in Troy, MI. The event is free and open to the public and includes a complimentary buffet lunch. Advanced registration is required.

Panelists include:

David Girodat, Regional President, Fifth Third Bank – Eastern Michigan

Nicole Kiefer, President, CredentialCheck

Jeffrey Littmann, Life Trustee, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation; former Director and CFO, Buffalo Bills, Inc.

Daniel Oginsky, EVP & Chief Administrative Officer, ITC Holdings Corp.

Philip Fioravante, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Marketing at Walsh, will moderate a discussion about the importance of corporate social responsibility in the modern business world.

“The intersection of doing business and doing good for the community is no longer an option, it’s imperative,” said Fioravante. “Companies must look to innovative approaches to moving beyond normal business exchanges and offer their customers a greater sense of corporate social responsibility.”

Hosted by the Walsh Marketing Association, the program will include a Q&A session and time for networking.

To register for Beyond Business: Corporate Social Responsibility, please visit


Walsh is an all-business, private, independent, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees, as well as certificate programs. Founded in 1922, Walsh is one of the region’s largest business schools and Michigan’s third largest graduate business school, offering classes in several locations as well as online. Our nationally ranked programs integrate theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. Walsh degree programs include accounting, finance, information technology, management, marketing, taxation and other fields. For more information, please visit

Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (

Rehmann Named One of Accounting Today’s Fastest-Growing Firms

TROY, Mich., March 28, 2019 – Rehmann was named one of Accounting Today’s Fastest-Growing Firms in the United States, ranking among the country’s Top 100 Firms and Regional Leaders.

Accounting Today releases an annual ranking of the largest practices in tax and accounting. The list includes the top firms’ growth strategies, service areas and client niches as well as a host of benchmarking data. The publication also recognizes a list of Fastest-Growing Firms, which is comprised of accounting practices with the highest 2018 revenue growth in percentage terms.
Ranking 14th among the Fastest-Growing Firms in the country, Rehmann showed a 23.28 percent growth rate with revenue totaling $143 million in 2018. Only 20 firms reported growth above 20 percent.

“Ranking among the top 20 Fastest-Growing Firms in the country underscores Rehmann’s commitment to our growth as a firm,” said Randy Rupp, CEO at Rehmann. “At the same time, we’re proud to pursue such growth while continuing to deliver the exceptional results and client service we are known for.”

Rehmann was the only firm headquartered in Michigan to be recognized as one of the top Fastest-Growing Firms.

Accounting Today’s 2019 class of Top 100 Firms and Regional Leaders showed a higher growth rate overall than the results released in 2018. The ranking features firms nationwide and in 10 major geographic regions.

About Rehmann

Rehmann is a fully integrated financial services firm of CPAs & consultants, wealth advisors and corporate investigators dedicated to providing clients proactive ideas and solutions to help them prosper professionally and personally. Additionally, through a unique combination with Trivalent Group®, a top 100 managed IT service provider, we have expanded our technology capabilities and launched a managed IT solutions practice. Rehmann has nearly 900 associates in Michigan, Ohio and Florida. Rehmann is an independent member of Nexia International, offering clients a global approach. Find us online at

Contact: Holly Shier

Dickinson Wright Earns 100 percent on Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 17th Annual Scorecard on LGBTQ Workplace Equality

DETROIT, Mich., March 28, 2019 – Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that it received a perfect score of 100 on the 2019 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation’s premier benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. Dickinson Wright joins the ranks of over 560 major U.S. businesses that also earned top marks this year.

“The top-scoring companies on this year’s CEI are not only establishing policies that affirm and include employees here in the United States, they are applying these policies to their global operations and impacting millions of people beyond our shores,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Many of these companies have also become vocal advocates for equality in the public square, including the dozens that have signed on to amicus briefs in vital Supreme Court cases and the more than 170 that have joined HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act. Time and again, leading American businesses have shown that protecting their employees and customers from discrimination isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s also good for business.”

“Once again, we are pleased to have participated in the 2019 Corporate Equality Index and to achieve a perfect 100 for the second year in a row,” said Harlan Robins, Deputy CEO – Finance & Diversity. “This recognition reflects the firm’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture for all of our lawyers and employees. At Dickinson Wright, we understand that hiring and retaining a diverse workforce is a core component of the firm’s values and it is instrumental to providing our clients with the best legal service.”

The 2019 CEI evaluates LGBTQ-related policies and practices including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBTQ community. Dickinson Wright’s efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria results in a 100 percent ranking and the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.

For more information on the 2019 Corporate Equality Index, or to download a free copy of the report, visit

About Dickinson Wright PLLC
Dickinson Wright PLLC is a general practice business law firm with more than 475 attorneys among more than 40 practice areas and 16 industry groups. Headquartered in Detroit and founded in 1878, the firm has 19 offices, including six in Michigan (Detroit, Troy, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw) and 12 other domestic offices in Austin and El Paso, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville and Music Row, Tenn.; Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Silicon Valley, Calif.; and Washington, D.C. The firm’s Canadian office is located in Toronto.

Dickinson Wright offers our clients a distinctive combination of superb client service, exceptional quality, value for fees, industry expertise and business acumen. As one of the few law firms with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, Dickinson Wright has built state-of-the-art, independently-verified risk management controls and security processes for our commercial transactions. Dickinson Wright lawyers are known for delivering commercially-oriented advice on sophisticated transactions and have a remarkable record of wins in high-stakes litigation. Dickinson Wright lawyers are regularly cited for their expertise and experience by Chambers, Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and other leading independent law firm evaluating organizations.

Michigan still fights ‘brain drain,’ although outlook has improved

March 28, 2019


Brian McVicar


The Detroit Regional Chamber has launched a similar campaign., also launched last fall, aims to attract and retain recent college graduates by connecting them with other young professionals and spotlighting neighborhoods and networking opportunities. It includes a feature called “Text a Detroiter,” which enables users to text an “ambassador to get information and recommendations about the things you care about.”

Judging the impact of the site is difficult, because “we haven’t made a huge marketing push yet,” Handel said.

“We’re still kind of tweaking the website and getting feedback on it,” he said. “But it’s picking up traction.”

View the full article here

Statewide business organizations announce partnership with Governor Whitmer aimed at shaping and approving “Michigan Reconnect” and “MI Opportunity Scholarship”

LANSING, March 28, 2019 – Today, four major business organizations announced key support for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s goal of increasing the percentage of Michigan’s workforce with a post-high school degree or high-value certificate to 60 percent by the year 2030. Business Leaders for Michigan, the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Grand Rapids Chamber and the Small Business Association of Michigan expressed high level support for the Governor’s MI Opportunity and Reconnect proposals, and look forward to working together with her team and the Legislature to increase post-secondary access for high school graduates and adults, consistent with principles related to accountability for both students and colleges.

“Nearly every large employer in Michigan faces the same major challenge: talent attraction and retention,” said Doug Rothwell, CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “We want to have homegrown talent sustaining our state’s productivity and continued economic growth, and to achieve that we need to boost the number of residents who attain a post-secondary degree or certification. Gov. Whitmer quickly identified this challenge and brought forth an attainable goal for us to all work toward.”

“The Chamber was an early adopter of the goal of achieving 60 percent degree or certificate attainment by 2030 – a goal now shared by Gov. Whitmer,” said Sandy K. Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Our experience leading the Detroit Promise helps us provide valuable feedback to ensuring the Governor’s proposal fills the talent gap and allow businesses to succeed across the state.”

“Closing the skills gap and addressing our talent crisis is the number one issue for our members,” says Andy Johnston, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Grand Rapids Chamber.  “To combat this issue, we need a plan to increase degree attainment, including four year and two-year degrees, as well as certificates and credentials.  We are eager to work alongside the Administration, the Legislature and other stakeholders to craft initiatives that accomplish these goals and create a sustainable and thriving workforce.”

“Michigan has come a long way in the last decade,” said Brian Calley, President of the Small Business Association of Michigan. “The lack of available talent to accommodate growth is a common challenge that businesses of all sizes face. We need a unified, comprehensive strategy to connect more people to education and opportunity. SBAM looks forward to working with the Whitmer Administration and the Legislature to reach the ambitious 60 percent degree or certificate attainment by the year 2030.”

The attached document describes principles needed to ensure effectiveness as the MI Opportunity Scholarship and Reconnect programs are developed and negotiated within the legislative process. The support of these goals should not be construed to be an endorsement of any other aspect of proposed policies or the budget.


Media Contacts:

Business Leaders for Michigan
Anna Heaton, 313.259.5400,

Detroit Regional Chamber
Kelly Weatherwax, 313.596.0360,

Grand Rapids Chamber
Andy Johnston, 616.822.1878,

Small Business Association of Michigan
Laura Biehl, 248.921.5008,

American Society of Employers (ASE) releases 2019 Starting Salaries for Co-op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey

Media Contact: Heather Nezich, Manager, Communications, ASE, 248.223.8040,

Livonia, Mich. —March 26, 2019 — The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, released the organization’s 2019 Starting Salaries for Co-op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey today. The annual survey provides a comprehensive look at the current state of wages and benefits provided to co-op students and recent college graduates. The survey also presents employers a snapshot of the recruitment and retention trends associated with these new entrants to the workforce.

Mary E. Corrado, ASE President and CEO, stated, “The data shows that college graduates have higher expectations for career growth and work environment than they do for compensation. Employers must realize that it takes more than fair and competitive compensation to create an engaging employee experience and retain these new workers.”

115 companies responded to the 2019 Starting Salaries for Co-op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey. The majority (76%) of the respondents have under 500 employees. Just over 80% of respondents are located in the metro Detroit region with 51.3% of those classified as automotive suppliers.

2019 Starting Salaries for Co-op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey Highlights:
• Nearly three out of four (74%) respondents say their company has hired, or plans to hire, a recent college graduate in 2019, similar to what was reported in 2018.
o 30% of the companies have increased their hiring efforts for college graduates this year compared to last year, an increase of 7% from 2018.
• The data suggests that the top five in-state institutions Michigan organizations actively recruit from are: 1) University of Michigan; 2) Michigan State University; 3) Oakland University; 4) Lawrence Technological University; 5) Kettering University.
• The top three most popular technical Bachelor-degree disciplines hired in the past year were: 1) Mechanical Engineering; 2) Electrical Engineering; 3) Computer Science.
• The top three most popular non-technical Bachelor-degree disciplines hired in the past year were: 1) HR/Labor Relations; 2) Finance; 3) Accounting
• The top three knowledge/skill factors organizations consider when making hiring decisions, in order, are: related coursework; computer skills; and internship/work experience.
• The top three perceived shortcomings of recent college graduates are: 1) career expectations (62%); 2) adaptation to work environment (60%); 3) compensation expectations (53%).
• Of the six disciplines named above (Accounting, Finance, HR/Labor Relations, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science) the highest starting salaries went to the engineering disciplines. The average starting salary for Electrical Engineering was $68,330; and for Mechanical Engineering the average was $66,305. Finance came in at $53,981; Computer Science $53,445; HR/Labor Relations $49,144, and Accounting came in at $44,646.
• Pay rates for high school and college co-ops and interns were separated by technical and non-technical roles; the average hourly rate for a college senior in a technical field is $17.84 an hour and $16.20 for a non-technical field; the average hourly rate for a college junior in a technical field is $16.72 an hour and $15.17 for a non-technical field.
• This survey is available free of charge to ASE members and for $525 to non-members.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at

American Society of Employers (ASE) Welcomes Four New Board Members

American Society of Employers (ASE) Welcomes Four New Board Members

Media Contact: Heather Nezich, Manager, Communications, ASE, 248.223.8040,

Livonia, Mich. —March 26, 2019 — The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, has added four new members to their Board of Directors for 2019. One member resigned.

New Board Members
• Elliott Forsyth, Vice President, Business Operations, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center
• Laura A. Jones, HR Director, Global Cadillac, General Motors
• Ron Moran, Vice President, Ghafari Associates, LLC
• Sarah Orwig, Director, HR Business Operations, Product Development, Ford Motor Company

Board Member Resignation
• Neil Marchuk, Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Arconic, Inc.

The changes were announced by ASE President & CEO Mary E. Corrado. “ASE is pleased to welcome these highly regarded new board members. Their breadth of knowledge and experience will help ASE continue to grow as we have for 117 years,” stated Corrado.

In addition to the board changes, Sandy Selewski, Chief Human Resources Officer at Zeal Credit Union joined the American Society of Employers Educational Foundation Board of Trustees.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at

Winners Announced for Detroit Drives Degrees 2019 Race to the FAFSA Challenge

The Detroit Regional Chamber Detroit Drives Degrees’ annual “Race to the FAFSA Line” challenge was started three years ago to increase FAFSA completion among high school seniors in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne county to 65 percent and encourage them to take the next step to postsecondary education.

This year, 81 schools and more than 8,000 students in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne county participated in the challenge. Combined these students will receive an estimated $65.4 million in aid for completing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The winners of this year’s challenge include:

  • Grand Prize Winner for Overall Most Improved FAFSA Completion: Detroit International Academy for Young Women for 49 percent improvement.
  • Most Improved FAFSA Completion for Medium Schools: Romulus Senior High School for 14 percent improvement.
  • Most Improved FAFSA Completion for Large Schools: Grosse Point South High School for 11 percent improvement.
  • Most Innovative FAFSA Completion Strategy: Frontier International Academy for 84 percent overall completion rate.
  • Highest Overall FAFSA Completion Rate: Taylor Preparatory High School for 128 percent completion.*

The challenge was a collaborative effort involving the following partners: Detroit College Access Network (DCAN), Detroit Public Schools Community District, Macomb Intermediate School District, Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), Wayne RESA, and several local college access networks. The challenge was supported by The Detroit Pistons, DTE Energy, Emagine Entertainment, Grand Valley State University Charter Schools Office, Independent Bank, the Michigan Association of State Universities, and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

*The FAFSA completion rate is calculated using the total number of completed FAFSAs and the total number of seniors in a class. The rate can be over 100 percent of students filling out the FAFSA for the first time are 19 years old and no longer in high school, as so in the case at Taylor Preparatory High School.