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Employee rights under Michigan state law

The Workforce Opportunity Wage Act specifies what Michigan employers must pay their employees based on their age and status within a company. The act applies to any employer who has two or more employees who are 16 or older. Employees who are under the age of 16 are not subject to the guidelines of the act.

Employers are required to keep a record of all employees who work for them and the number of hours that they accrue for each work and pay period. They must also keep records of how much is paid each pay period as well as the employee's basic wage per hour, day or week. A person who works more than 40 hours during a workweek is due 1.5 times the basic rate of pay. Workers may file civil actions against an employer if overtime pay is not received.

Employees between the ages of 16 and 19 may be paid a training wage of $4.25 per hour for their first 90 days. However, employers may not displace other employees in favor of a worker making this wage. Minors may also be subject to a sub-minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Workers over the age of 18 are due a minimum of $8.15 an hour, which will rise to $9,25 per hour by January 2018.

Employees who feel as if they have been the victim of employment violations may wish to hire an employment law attorney. An attorney may be able to get an employer to pay all overtime and other withheld pay as stipulated under the law. This may be done either outside of court or during a trial. In addition to back pay, it may be possible to win reinstatement if the employee was terminated due to pursuing legal action.

Source: Michigan.gov, "An Overview of the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act", November 18, 2014

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