Michigan law prohibits discrimination in compensation between men and women who are similarly employed. This prohibition is contained in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (MI Comp. Laws Ann. Sec. 37.2202), the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (MI Comp. Laws Ann. Sec. 408.423), and the Unfair Discrimination, Restraint of Trade and Trusts Law (MI Comp. Laws Ann. Sec. 750.556). The Civil Rights Act and the Restraint of Trade Law cover all employers; the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act covers employers with two or more employees.
Under the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act, it is unlawful for an employer to:
• Discriminate between employees within an establishment based on sex by paying wages to employees in the establishment at a rate less than the rate paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility that are performed under similar working conditions.
• Retaliate against any employees who have testified or are about to testify before the state wage board or in any investigation or proceeding.
Differences in pay are permitted, however, if based on a bona fide seniority or merit system, a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a factor other than sex.
An employer may not reduce the wage rate of an employee to comply with the law.