The Rights of Employees in Michigan for Hours

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Michigan employees are entitled to a minimum hourly wage for all hours worked, whether during regular working days or as overtime. Michigan law does not allow employees to refuse overtime work unless they meet certain criteria, such as being an executive employee earning at least $250 per week.

When you start a new job, you should have a clear idea of how many hours you'll be expected to work and what your employer's overtime policies are. Michigan follows federal labor wage and hour regulations, and also has additional regulations of its own, governed by the Payment of Wages and Fringe Benefits Act and the Michigan Minimum Wage Law. These laws relate to overtime hours, compensation and minimum hourly wage.

Regular Working Days

Michigan law does not define what constitutes a working day or a working week for the purpose of minimum wage and overtime requirements. The contract of employment should specify the schedule of days and hours an employee is expected to work. Michigan has no laws governing on-call time, sleeping time, travel time or time spent at lectures, trainings or meetings as hours worked in relation to overtime and wages. There is no rule determining whether or not an employer is required to pay an employee if he comes to work, but performs no actual work. Additionally, employers are not required to pay for a minimum amount of hours if the employee is allowed to leave before her original shift is completed.

Minimum Hourly Wages

As of July 2018, Michigan's minimum hourly wage is $9.25. This is higher than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25. From 2019, the minimum wage will be adjusted on April 1 of each year to reflect the average annual percentage change in the consumer price index for the most recent five-year period for which data is available. Michigan minimum wage laws apply to all employers who employ two or more employees over the age of 16 at the same time within a calendar year.

Michigan minimum wage laws allow employers to pay employees 17 years of age and younger a wage of 85 percent of the standard minimum wage. As of July 2018, the youth minimum wage is $7.86. It increases each year consistent with any minimum wage increase.

Working Overtime in Michigan

There are no Michigan labor laws on mandatory overtime. Employers are generally free to require employees to work as many hours as are needed, but there is no specific law in Michigan that permits employees to refuse overtime work. Employers can terminate the contracts of employees who refuse to work mandatory overtime or hours outside of their regularly scheduled hours.

Executive employees are exempt from Michigan overtime requirements if they are paid at least a $250 salary per week, have primary management duties and supervise at least two employees. Retail or service employees may also be exempt, provided they do not spend more than 40 percent of their working time performing nonexecutive duties.

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, Michigan employers must pay overtime at a rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly rate when nonexempt employees work over 40 hours per week. Generally, hourly employees and employees who work for employers in nonadministrative, nonsupervisory and nonexecutive positions are eligible for overtime pay.

Rest Time Between Shifts

There are no federal laws or Michigan labor laws on hours between shifts. It is up to each employer and employee to negotiate work shifts. Michigan laws state that a 30-minute unpaid meal break must be given to workers between the ages of 14 and 17 who work a shift of five or more hours. However, employers are not required by Michigan law to give breaks to employees age 18 and over.

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About the Author

Claire is a qualified lawyer and specialized in family law before becoming a full-time writer. She has written for many digital publications, including The Washington Post, Forbes, Vice and HealthCentral.

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