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Filing a Wage and Hour Claim - Michigan

Does Michigan have state overtime laws that are different from federal law?

Under Michigan law, employers must pay employees at a rate of one and one-half the employee's regularly hourly wage for working more than 40 hours in a workweek.

For some employees, Michigan law allows for the accrual and use of compensatory time instead of cash overtime wages, but there must be a written agreement to do so.

Some employees are exempt from the standard overtime requirement. Employees engaged in administrative, professional, executive, and agricultural activities are exempt from the overtime requirement. Different standards apply to the following employees under Michigan law, but not under federal law:

  • Law enforcement
  • Employees engaged in fire protection activities
  • Hospital employees
  • Elected officials
  • Political appointees of elected officials not covered by a civil service system
  • Amusement or recreational establishment employees if the park operates less than seven calendar months per year

Click for additional information on Michigan overtime law or federal overtime law.

Does Michigan have a minimum wage that is different from federal law?

Effective January 1, 2018, the minimum wage in Michigan is $9.25 per hour, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Employers, however, can use tips and gratuities to reduce the minimum wage required to $3.52. The minimum wage and tipped minimum wage are scheduled to increase in March 2019 to $9.45 and $3.59 respectively but the effective date is not certain. 

Employers who only have one employee at a time are not subject to Michigan’s minimum wage laws.

Under Michigan law, the minimum wage applies to employees not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), unless the required federal rate is less than the state required rate. The following employees may be paid at a rate below the minimum wage:

  • Employees younger than 18 years old may be paid 85% of the minimum wage.
  • New employees less than 20 years of age may be paid a training wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of employment
  • Employees under 16 years of age
  • Employees of summer camps for four months or less
  • Disabled employees
  • Employees engaged in harvesting fruits and vegetables or in sorting or bunching strawberry plants

The minimum wage will be recalculated annually in accordance with the consumer price index. Click for additional information on Michigan minimum wage law.

Do any cities or counties in Michigan have a minimum wage that is different from state or federal law?

In 2015, Michigan passed a law that stops any cities or counties in the state from passing their own minimum wage laws. Therefore, the state minimum of $9.25 per hour, or $3.52 per hour for tipped workers, applies across the state.

Does Michigan have meal and rest break requirements, unlike federal law?

Michigan does not have any meal or rest break requirementsfor employees aged 18 or older. However, Michigan requires that minor employees must be given a 30-minute break if they are employed for more than five consecutive hours.

How do I file a wage/hour or labor standards claim in Michigan?

You can file an Wage Complaint Form with the Wage and Hour Division of the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth. The filing should include as much information and documentation as possible, including pay statements and records of hours worked. This process can be completed with or without an attorney. Click for additional information on filing a wage claim.

What are my time deadlines?

If you have a wage/hour claim, do not delay in contacting the Wage and Hour Division to file a claim. There are strict time limits in which wage claims must be filed. In order for the agency to act on your behalf, you must file within three years from the date of the alleged violation. Some violations, however, are subject to a one year deadline.

As you might have other legal claims with shorter deadlines, do not wait to file your claim until your time limit is close to expiring. It may be helpful to consult with an attorney prior to filing your claim, but it is not necessary to have an attorney to file your claim with the Wage and Hour Division.

How can I or my attorney pursue a claim in court in Michigan?

In Michigan, employees can file a private lawsuit to recover unpaid back wages, liquidated damages, court costs, and attorneys' fees.

Local Department of Labor Office

Lansing Main Office
530 West Allegan Street
2nd Floor
Lansing, MI 48913
Phone: (517) 284-7800
Fax: (517) 322-6352
TTY: 1-855-464-9243
Email: whinfo@michigan.gov
Detroit Office
3026 West Grand Boulevard
Suite 9-450
Detroit, MI 48202
TTY: 1-855-464-9243
Email: whinfo@michigan.gov
Wage and Hour Division
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
P.O. Box 30476
Lansing, MI 48909-7976

Overnight Package Delivery Address:
Wage and Hour Division
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
2407 N. Grand River
Lansing, MI 48906

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