Michigan Hourly Labor Laws

By Theresa Custodio
Hourly workers in Michigan are assured of certain standards under the law.
people at work concrete image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com

The Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth administers policies for employees who are paid on an hourly basis in Michigan. Hourly labor laws are in place to ensure fair pay and to regulate the amount of hours worked. Furthermore, the state enforces a set of rules for teenage workers.

Minimum Wage

The state’s minimum wage provision involves any employer having two or more workers who are 16 years of age or older. Employees are to be paid a minimum of $7.40 for each hour of work. If an employee receives tips as part of his job, an employer is required to pay a base rate of $2.65 per hour; however, the base rate of $2.65, when combined with tips, must equal at least $7.40 for each hour worked. Employers must keep a written tip statement on record signed by the employee and dated prior to the date a paycheck for that pay period is issued.


Employees working over 40 hours in a single work week must be paid at a rate of one and one-half times their normal pay for each hour of overtime. Agricultural workers and jobs in the amusement and recreational industries that operate less than seven months per year are exempt from the overtime law. In certain situations, an employer may offer workers paid time off, known as compensatory time, in exchange for each hour of overtime. This type of arrangement is voluntary on the part of the employee. Any agreement an employer makes with a worker must be agreed to, and be in writing, before the overtime hours are worked. The amount of compensatory time accumulated cannot be more than 240 hours. Employers must keep records of all compensatory time earned and paid.

Youth Employment

An employer may pay a minor aged 16 and 17 years old 85 percent of the states hourly minimum wage rate. Employers can establish a training wage for new workers between 16 and 19 years of age. The training wage must be no less than $4.25 per hour and can only be in effect for the youths first 90 days of employment. Teens who are 14 and 15 years of age may work only between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the school year, which is generally from after Labor Day to June first. During summer recess, youth may work until 9 p.m. Minors 14 and 15 years old cannot work more than three hours per day on school days and no more than eight hours a day on nonschool days. Youth aged 16 and 17 years old may work between 6 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. except on Friday and Saturday when work time can be extended to 11:30 p.m. Teens 16 and 17 years of age cannot work more than 10 hours per day and are allowed a maximum weekly average of eight hours per day.

About the Author

Theresa Custodio is a Michigan-certified nurseryman with over 10 years experience. She has spent over five years working for the State of Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality writing permits and violation notices, which are published for public record. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University with a major in biology and a minor in conservation and resource use.