Minimum wage increase unlikely to take effect on Jan. 1

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Minimum wage increase unlikely to take effect on Jan. 1

The Michigan Bureau of Employment Relations, Wage and Hour Division has announced the state’s scheduled minimum wage increase is not expected to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

Michigan’s Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act of 2018 prohibits scheduled minimum wage increases when the state’s annual unemployment rate for the preceding calendar year is above 8.5%.

The state’s 2020 annual unemployment rate, which is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Dept. of Labor, is calculated by using both average labor force and unemployment levels for January through December.

While Michigan’s October unemployment rate continued its downward trend and is 5.5%, the annual average from January through October currently sits at 10.2% and is highly unlikely to dip below the 8.5% threshold when when BLS releases the final 2020 unemployment numbers for Michigan.

If, as expected, the annual unemployment rate does not fall below 8.5%, then effective Jan. 1, 2021:

  • Michigan’s minimum wage will remain at $9.65 an hour.
  • The 85% rate for minors age 16 and 17 remains $8.20 an hour.
  • Tipped employees rates of pay remains $3.67 an hour.
  • The training wage of $4.25 an hour for newly hired employees age 16 and 17 for their first 90 days of employment remains unchanged.

Per statute, future increases to the minimum wage rate will occur in each calendar year following a calendar year for which the unemployment rate for this state, as determined by the BLS, is less than 8.5%.  See MCL 408.934(1) and (2).

Michigan’s minimum wage rate will next increase to $9.87 in the first calendar year following a calendar year for which the annual unemployment rate is less than 8.5%. See MCL 408.934(1)(h).

Visit for more information regarding minimum wage.

Helping Your Employees Stay Healthy

The CDC has said that getting the flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself, your family and your community from flu. A flu vaccine this season can also help reduce the burden on our healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and save medical resources for care of COVID-19 patients. If you haven’t gotten your flu vaccine yet, get vaccinated now.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has made it simple to inform your employees about the flu shot and resources available to them. Check out the various Outlook email templates, posters, FAQs and more on the BCBS ENGAGE web page. You might also want to know the symptoms of the flu versus COVID-19.
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2021 Fuel Economy Guide Now Available

2021 Fuel Economy Guide Now Available

Federal law requires new-car dealers to provide the Guide to customers upon request.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency have just released the 2021 Fuel Economy Guide. The Guide provides detailed fuel economy estimates for model year 2021 light-duty vehicles, along with estimated annual fuel costs and other information for prospective purchasers. By law, dealers must display the Guide and provide copies to customers upon request. Dealers may choose to (1) print copies to have on hand or (2) provide access to the electronic version/website on a computer or electronic device in the display area. The regulations ensure that prospective customers have ready access to fuel economy information for current model year vehicles. Click here to view the EPA/DOE letter detailing how to make the Guide available to customers.

2021 Fuel Economy Guide

  • Enhanced Electronic Access: The 2021 Fuel Economy Guide will be published in electronic format only. You can download the latest Fuel Economy Guide from the government’s fuel economy website by clicking here or visiting the dealer page and print copies from the electronic file as needed. The online Guide will be updated periodically to include newly released vehicle models and current fuel cost estimates.
  • Display Signage: Dealers can download and print a sign/poster to place in their display area directing customers to the Fuel Economy Guide (this is optional and not required by law). Signage is also available on the dealer page.
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Free COVID-19 safety consultations through MIOSHA Ambassador Program

MIOSHA partners with NSF International to expand Ambassador Program for businesses across Michigan

Businesses across the state can now schedule free COVID-19 safety consultations as a part of the new Ambassador program partnership with NSF International and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). Ambassadors are conducting outreach to statewide businesses to offer education and support to implement regulations on workplace safety.

“Partnering with NSF allows us to do even more for businesses at a time when we know they need the support,” said COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director Sean Egan. “As experts on public health and safety, NSF brings the exact prowess we need during this challenging time. Together, our Ambassadors will help businesses to understand and comply with changing regulations.”

The partnership with NSF International is enabling MIOSHA to drastically expand access to the program immediately. In addition to tier-one education which provides a brief consultation, businesses can now visit the COVID-19 workplace safety website to schedule tier-two consultations, an in-depth assessment of workplace safety requirements, with NSF International. These in-depth, collaborative meetings will connect employers directly with an Ambassador to identify and implement solutions in their specific workplace free of charge to the business. Tier-two visits are targeted to these at-risk industries: retail stores, restaurants and gyms.

Businesses that successfully complete tier-two visits will soon receive official signage to acknowledge COVID-19 workplace safety commitments and efforts to keep customers and employees safe.

As Michigan continues to see a rise in COVID-19 cases, employers must operate in compliance with the current MIOSHA Emergency Rules, MDHHS orders and federal guidelines. Ambassadors will work with business owners and managers to best implement safety directives to help ensure a safe workplace for employees and customers. Ambassadors will utilize the Ambassador Assessment to evaluate required safety precautions and then provide a toolkit of resources for additional ongoing support.

Ambassadors are delivering education toolkits to businesses statewide as part of tier-one efforts for the Ambassador program. The toolkit enables a review of current workplace safety and health procedures to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Ambassadors will not propose citations or issue penalties. They are there to work with businesses to improve conditions and help comply with regulations on workplace safety.

Educational materials in the Ambassador toolkit can be found at, including:

“We know employers need support, especially as we see cases rise across the state,” said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman. “Thanks to the new partnership with NSF International, we’re now equipped to help even more Michigan businesses. Employers can visit our site right now to sign up for a consultation to work directly with one of our Ambassadors.”

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., NSF International is a global public health organization with a 75-year history of collaboration with businesses, governments and regulatory agencies around the world. The not-for-profit organization protects human health by developing public health and safety standards and providing independent certification and testing services.

“Michigan has been a national leader in providing education and resources to local businesses in response to COVID-19 and we’re proud to support that ongoing effort,” said Paul Medeiros, Managing Director of NSF International’s Consulting and Technical Services group. “We’ve worked with hundreds of businesses and institutions around the world to minimize COVID-19 risks for employees and customers. This program will help Michigan businesses understand regulations and best practices so they can keep their doors open.”

The Ambassador program supports businesses from various industries, including retail stores, restaurants, and gyms where community transmission is heightened.

“We need programs like this to support the business community,” said Scott Ellis, Michigan Licensed Beverage Association Executive Director. “As business owners, all we want is to keep our doors open and to serve our customers. We’re doing everything we can to create safe spaces, but cases are rising, and we need to be diligent to stem the spread. It’s nice to have support to ensure we are all sharing solutions to keep Michigan safe.”

Employers and employees with specific questions regarding workplace safety and health may contact MIOSHA using the hotline at 855-SAFEC19 (855-723-3219).

Businesses can sign up to participate now at

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Foolproof Ways to Work Out in the Morning

It’s 5:30 a.m. Your alarm clock is sounding off relentlessly and you are one giant, toasty cinnamon bun in bed. The absolute last thing you want to do is get up and dive into a workout … but you should!

Research and testimonials show that working out before breakfast sets the tone for the day and reinforces a healthy schedule over time. Most people think they can’t handle morning workouts or don’t want to give up their sleep, but the routine gets addictive. The energy and morale boost felt throughout the day is well worth adjusting your schedule to wake up early.

Here are a few tricks that fitness buffs (and A Healthier Michigan bloggers) swear by to get you out of bed and into the gym each and every morning:

  1. Sleep in your workout clothes: They are just as comfy as pajamas and give you no excuse to not get moving after a good night’s rest.
  2. Move your alarm clock: Set your alarm on the other side of the room, forcing you to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you’re up and out, there’s no reason not to keep going.
  3. Brush your teeth ASAP: This is the bare minimum for getting ready for facing the day and can help you feel mentally ready to tackle a workout.
  4. Make your bed: As soon as you’ve brushed your teeth, make your bed. You’ll feel way less inclined to climb back in for another hour or two of rest.
  5. Allow enough time to get ready after: Working out from home makes this one a no-brainer! If you are heading to a workout facility, packing a bag is an easy excuse not to go before work or school. Don’t allow yourself an easy out!
  6. Build two playlists: Create one for preparing in the morning and one for your workout. Both should include motivational music and ways to get you psyched about the day.

Are you on board with the morning workout? Here are a few other ideas to motivate you in the a.m. and throughout the day: 


This article was originally published on a website sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  Blue Cross and MADA are your trusted partners in building a healthier business and workforce.

Embezzlement and Fraud – The silent crimes that could cost millions

Join Zurich on November 17 to gain a better understanding of embezzlement and fraud in the automotive industry. Discover how individuals carry out these crimes – many times for years – and the effect it can have on your dealership. Zurich specialists will uncover four habits of an embezzler, share loss stories, explain strategies used by embezzlers, plus offer basic guidelines to help reduce your risk of becoming a victim.

Get more information and register here.

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SOS offices encouraging online donations as part of annual Harvest Gathering campaign

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced that due to changes in this year’s Harvest Gathering campaign, all donations will be made virtually at

“As we celebrate 21 years of participation in this campaign, we’re adapting to the pandemic alongside food banks and other resources,” Benson said. “Instead of having you drop off food items at our branches, we encourage you to donate online and mention our offices when you make your donation. Even as we adjust to this new normal, donors are still able to put food on the table for their neighbors during a time of need.”

Due to COVID-19, many food banks are not accepting food donations this year, so the Food Bank Council of Michigan moved the Harvest Gathering campaign to a virtual-only giving opportunity. Residents can include a specific Secretary of State branch office name or business area if they would like that team to receive credit for their donation. When customers donate funds, they can also indicate what foods they would like to buy with those donations, or they can provide a donation to be used as needed.

Every $1 donated helps provide five meals for Michigan families. Before the pandemic, the food bank network distributed 2.6 million pounds of food each week. Since March, that average has increased to 4.5 million pounds of food a week, largely due to the impacts of COVID-19. On top of that, the Food Bank Council anticipates the need to increase another 15 percent heading into this fall and winter.

The campaign begins today and runs through Wednesday, Nov. 25. For more information visit

National Drive Electric Week 2020

With OEMs sharing new information about continued advancement in technology and new models coming to market, organizations like Consumers Energy, Renewable Energy & Electric Vehicles, believe it’s important for consumers to know that Michigan is continuing efforts to expedite the availability of public charging stations, particularly DC Fast charging stations that will enable drivers to travel the state, with diminishing concerns of “range anxiety”.

National Drive Electric Week, Sep 26-Oct 4, 2020, is a nationwide celebration to raise awareness of the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more. They are fun to drive, are less expensive and more convenient to fuel than gasoline vehicles, are better for the environment, promote local jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Are you considering going electric? Come talk to owners who have successfully done so!

Each year, National Drive Electric Week includes hundreds of events in communities across the United States and around the world. This year, for the 10th annual National Drive Electric Week, online events have been added for the first time. Please see the events page for more information about national, state and local events near you.


National Drive Electric Week


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Drivers risk tickets after license, vehicle registration extension expires Sept. 30

Michiganders have less than a week to renew their expired driver’s licenses, state identification cards and vehicle registrations before they will be assessed late fees and risk a ticket from police. All such credentials with expirations after March 1 were extended by the state Legislature through Sept. 30, and no additional extension is expected.
For driver’s licenses and IDs required to be renewed in person, such as those requiring a new photo, Secretary of State offices have been offering special appointments since Aug. 24, and they continue to be available through Sept. 30. Those that don’t require an in-person renewal must be renewed online or by mail.
The quickest way to renew vehicle registrations is at one of the more than 120 self-service stations located across the state. The average transaction time is two minutes, and customers walk away with their tabs in hand. Vehicle registrations also can be renewed online and by mail. Branch visits are not required for registration renewals.
To schedule an appointment, conduct a transaction online or find a self-service station, visit


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Approaching Behavioral Health Holistically

As behavioral health needs grow among today’s workforce – and especially among the workforce of tomorrow – organizations need to change their approach to think beyond traditional interventions.

To ensure a healthier, more productive workforce in the face of today’s challenges, employers need to implement a broad approach to behavioral health. Behavioral health isn’t just about the mind: it’s about integrating care to treat the whole person, so their physical and mental health care works in tandem. At the same time, steps should be taken to reduce the cultural stigma that prevents many from seeking the help they need.


A major barrier for many employees as they manage behavioral health issues is gaining access to the resources they need. Not only is seeking help a difficult first step – two out of five Americans live in areas that have a shortage of behavioral health providers.

Employers can step in to help by offering several kinds of behavioral health supports. There are Employee Assistance Programs that can help employees connect with the care that they need. Some employers may also choose to offer behavioral health clinicians in the workplace or through a virtual platform. Another option is to lower the amount of cost-sharing employees have for behavioral health visits through their health plan.

Increasing communication to employees on key behavioral health topics – like stress management, anxiety and depression, for example – can help build awareness of critical signs and symptoms that may have previously been ignored.


As an employer, while you consider which health plan offerings to provide to your employees, consider health plan partners that embrace integrated care models. Integrated care puts equal importance on physical and mental health.

There’s an economic argument supporting this holistic approach to health care: the cost of treating individuals who have both chronic medical conditions and behavioral health issues are two to three times higher than those without a behavioral health condition. Health plans that empower primary care providers to work with behavioral health providers allow for better coordination of care, which in turn reduces costs.


A productive workplace is a healthy one – and that doesn’t just mean a weight on a scale. Creating a workplace culture that values a healthy environment for employees means expanding benefits beyond basic medical coverage. A broad range of perks including things like tuition reimbursement, flexible hours and workplace wellness programs can help employees feel fulfilled in their work-life balance and further committed to their roles.

By taking steps to create a workplace that meets your employee’s needs, you are showing that you are listening and supporting them as more than just employees – but as people. Companies with engaged employees see as much as four and a half times more revenue growth than those with low employee engagement.


It can be incredibly difficult to step forward and seek help for a behavioral health issue – especially if an individual is worried about how they will be perceived socially and at work. There’s still a heavy stigma about seeking counseling or treatment, but employers have a powerful role to play.

About 62% of employees said that if someone in a leadership role spoke openly about mental health, they would feel more comfortable talking about it themselves. By empowering leaders, workplace influencers and managers with training on mental health resources and support, dialogues about behavioral health in the workplace will become more common and less stigmatized. The opportunities are endless to integrate conversations about behavioral health into existing meetings – including new hire orientations, lunch time webinars and ongoing speaker series.

Dr. William Beecroft, M.D., D.L.F.A.P.A., is a medical director of behavioral health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Dr. Amy McKenzie, M.D., is a medical director of provider engagement at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. 

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This article was originally published on, a website sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  Blue Cross and MADA are your trusted partners in building a healthier business and workforce.

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