Overtime Pay Laws in Michigan
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What are the Overtime Laws in Michigan?
The Department of Labor issued new overtime rules on May 18, 2016. These new rules updated overtime regulations and automatically protect an additional four million American workers. If you are covered by this regulatory update, you will qualify for overtime pay on December 1, 2016.
Additionally, Michigan has its own overtime laws, which are set out in the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act. If your employer refuses to pay overtime, you may have the right to file wage and hour claims with both the State of Michigan and the federal government.
Under Michigan law, non-exempt employees must be paid 1.5 times their hourly wage for work exceeding 40 hours per week. Daily overtime (for working more than eight hours in a day) is not available. State overtime laws cover Michigan employers if they have at least two employees.
How Do I File an Overtime Claim in Michigan?
If your employer violates overtime laws, you may have state and federal claims against them. You may file either a lawsuit or an administrative complaint against your employer.
Under Michigan law, you can file a civil lawsuit for unpaid overtime. There is a three-year statute of limitations in overtime lawsuits. Any claims filed after this three-year deadline will be dismissed. In addition to unpaid overtime, you may be eligible for additional money (“liquidated damages”) if your employer intentionally violated the law.
Alternatively, you can file a complaint with Michigan’s Wage and Hour Program. This state agency will investigate your claim, negotiate with your employer, and may file a lawsuit on your behalf. The three-year statute of limitations also applies to Wage and Hour complaints. The Wage and Hour Program does not charge a filing fee for overtime complaints (unlike the courts). Under federal law, you have the right to file additional lawsuits and complaints.
Is Mandatory Overtime Illegal?
Unfortunately, Michigan employers can require forced overtime. Michigan does not limit the number of hours most adult employees can work. If you refuse to perform mandatory overtime, you may be terminated. However, your employer must pay 1.5 your hourly rate for all required overtime.
What Are the Overtime Pay Laws in Michigan for Salaried Employees?
Some salaried employees are entitled to overtime, especially after the Department of Labor’s 2016 update. Overtime laws exempt certain professional and executive employees. Unless you are exempt, you should receive overtime pay. Unfortunately, some employers misclassify workers as exempt. You may need to file a lawsuit if this occurs.
What Does Regular Rate of Pay Mean Under the Overtime Pay Laws in Michigan?
According to Michigan law, a non-exempt employee must receive 1.5 times his or her “regular rate of pay” for overtime work. If you are consistently paid $10 per hour, and work 50 hours in a week, the calculation is simple:
- Your regular rate is $10.
- Your overtime rate is $15 ($10 multiplied by 1.5.)
- You earned $150 in overtime pay ($15 multiplied by 10 hours).
- However, calculating a regular rate of pay can quickly become complicated.
Not all workers earn a clear-cut hourly rate. Some employees are pieceworkers and are paid based on productivity. Other employees are paid under multiple hourly rates (due to varying shift premiums and other incentives). This can make calculating your regular rate of pay incredibly difficult.
Do I Need an Employment Lawyer’s Help?
An employment lawyer can help you:
- Understand your rights under state and federal law,
- Determine whether you are an exempt or non-exempt employee,
- Calculate your unpaid overtime,
- Choose between an administrative complaint and a civil lawsuit, and
- Determine whether you are a victim of retaliation.
- If you decide to file a civil lawsuit, an employment lawyer can guide you through the litigation process.
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Last Modified: 07-25-2016 04:53 PM PDT
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