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Overtime requirements under the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act

Under Michigan law, employees are eligible to receive overtime at a rate of one-and-one-half times their general hourly wage. That being said, employers are only obligated to pay their employees overtime in cases in which there is a voluntary, written agreement in place.

To be enforceable, it's required that both the employer and employee mutually endorse the overtime agreement prior to the compensation period. Even then, such an agreement is only permitted in cases in which an employer grants an employee at least 10 days of paid leave annually.

Michigan law requires that employers remunerate their employees within 30 days of working any overtime. They also require records surrounding accrued time, compensation, approvals or denials to be in writing. Furthermore, state law prohibits the accumulation of more than 240 hours of unpaid hours.

If an employer fails to render compensation to an employee, whether it be for minimum or overtime wages, the employee is permitted to file a civil action with the Wage and Hour Program. A successful claim may result in recovery of wages, plus any other damages, costs and attorney fees.

In cases in which an employer is found to have been in violation of the program, an employer may be assessed a civil fine of $1,000. In some cases, an employer may face misdemeanor charges as well.

Under Michigan law, it is unlawful to pay someone less than the same compensation based on gender for the same work, effort and responsibility. A person, regardless of gender, can be paid less for the same work, only if based on a seniority or merit system or a different compensation scale is being used.

When it comes to the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act, those under 16 years of age are not covered. Additionally, if someone is covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as a worker with a disability, he or she would also not be covered. Some administrative, executive or professional positions are exempt as well.

If you or someone you know has been denied proper compensation in the form of minimum wages and/or overtime, the advice and counsel of an experienced overtime employment law attorney may help you recover the remuneration you are entitled to.

Source: Michigan.gov, "An overview of the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act: Minimum wage and overtime," Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, accessed Feb. 03, 2017

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