Proposed Article I, Section 28(5)

This proposed subsection defines an employee as someone who works for an employer “for compensation.” An employer is a “person or entity employing one or more employees.”

This provision allows unionization of a single employee.

As a practical matter, defining “employer,” “employee” and “compensation” has proved extremely complicated in existing state labor law. The brief and arguably circular and vague definition of these terms in Proposal 2 will almost certainly lead to lengthy and complex litigation.

The potential for disagreement over the meaning of employment-related terms has been underscored by recent litigation over whether home-based day care providers and home help providers who indirectly receive child care and Medicaid subsidies are state government employees.[56] A similar controversy arose over an attempted unionization of graduate student research assistants at the University of Michigan.[57] Each of these debates necessarily involved intense investigation of existing labor and constitutional law regarding what constitutes employment.