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Overtime and receiving compensation under Michigan law

If about nothing else, perhaps the most common concerns the Michigan Department of Labor receives regular calls about has to do with state law regarding unpaid overtime. While Michigan law clearly establishes certain guidelines by which some employees are entitled to compensation for the time they work in excess of their regular workweek, for others it is more ambiguous.

An employee's working of overtime is governed by Michigan State Statute, 408.384(a). In it, this law calls for mandatory compensation for overtime at a rate of one-and-a-half times the regular pay rate of an individual, provided they work in excess of 40 hours during any given workweek. That being said, exempt employees are still prohibited from receiving overtime pay.

In the second section of this same law, overtime guidelines specific to public service employees, including fire and law enforcement workers, are highlighted. Section (a) refers to those full time employee's work period being 28 consecutive days or 216 hours. It states that not only should employees be paid their statutory minimum hourly rate, but that they too should be paid time-and-a-half for any hours worked in excess of 216.

When it comes to what is considered as the bare minimum per hour overtime pay rate under Michigan law, it currently stands at $11.10. Most workers qualify to be paid a minimum of this amount for overtime worked including all emergency personnel, manual laborers, nurses and paralegals.

At the same time, there are some types of workers that, under Section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, are automatically exempt from receiving overtime compensation. Independent contractors, household staff, those working in transportation, agricultural workers or farmhands and any executives or administrative personnel making earning at least $455 a week, as well as some working in certain IT industry jobs, are excluded.

State guidelines require claims for unpaid wages to be filed within 12 months of the violation. Minimum wage or overtime lawsuits must be submitted within three years. If you suspect that you qualify for overtime, yet compensation has gone unpaid, an employment rights attorney can help you learn more about your prospects for receiving compensation for your claim.

Source: Employment.Laws.com, "Michigan overtime laws," accessed Jan. 05, 2017

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