The Rights of Employees in Michigan for Hours

By Jill Stimson
In Michigan, employers can reduce an employee's hourly rate after giving notice of the reduction.

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The U.S. Department of Labor governs the federal labor wage and hour regulations for covered employees. Each state can enact additional wage and hour regulations governing employers who work within its jurisdiction. In Michigan, the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth is responsible for administering the state's labor regulations. The Michigan Minimum Wage Law of 1964 and the Payment of Wages and Fringe Benefits Act govern employees' wage and hour rights.

Overtime

According to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, employees who work over 40 hours a week have a right to receive overtime compensation at the rate of time and one-half if they are not "exempt" under the act. Generally, hourly employees and employees who work for employers in non-administrative, non-supervisory and non-executive positions are eligible for overtime compensation. Under the Michigan compensatory hours regulations, employers can pay their employees overtime compensation with "comp time," in lieu of monetary compensation in limited circumstances.

Compensatory Time Rule

An employee must first provide written consent accepting the comp time instead of monetary compensation for overtime work. Employers cannot use comp time unless they obtain voluntary consent before their employees perform overtime work. If an employee refused to consent, they must pay him monetary overtime compensation. An employer cannot use this arrangement unless it offers at least 10 days of paid time off in addition to overtime comp pay. Additionally, an employer is limited to using comp time up to 240 hours, and after an employee's overtime work exceeds the 240-hour limit, his employer must pay him monetary compensation.

Limitations

There is no law in Michigan that allows an employee to refuse overtime work. Since Michigan is an at-will jurisdiction, employers can terminate their employees who refuse to work mandatory overtime or work hours outside of their regularly scheduled hours. Additionally, employers must compensate their employees for required travel time outside of normal commuting and training time. There are no lunch or rest break laws in Michigan, and employers do not have to provide their employees with lunch or rest breaks. However, the state requires employers to provide minors with unpaid rest or meal breaks.

Paychecks and Minimum Wage

Employers must pay their employees for all time worked at least once every two weeks. However, agricultural employers may have to pay their hourly employees at least once every week. Employers must provide last paychecks by the next regular pay cycle after termination but must pay hand-harvest employees within 24 hours. Employers must comply with the state's minimum wage law of $7.40 per hour, at the time of publication. However, there is a limited exception for employers to pay employees $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of training at initial hiring.

Considerations

Since state laws can frequently change, do not use this information as a substitute for legal advice. Seek advice through an attorney licensed to practice law in your state.

About the Author

Jill Stimson has worked in various property management positions in Maryland and Delaware. Stimson worked for the top three property management companies in the commercial industry and focuses her career on property building logistics and tenant relationships. She holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Science in psychology.