Wages and the Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.
On March 29, 2019, Michigan’s Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act went into effect. On January 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule to make 1.3 million American workers eligible for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Minimum Wage and Overtime Requirements
The FLSA and Michigan’s Workforce Opportunity Wage Act establish minimum wage requirements for covered employees. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and effective January 1, 2020, Michigan’s minimum wage is $9.65 per hour.
Federal law requires employers to pay their employees time and a half for all hours worked over 40 hours per week, unless they fall within an established exemption. Exempt employees, because of their rate of pay and type of work that they do, are not eligible for overtime pay, but nonexempt employees must be paid time and a half for any hours worked more than 40 in a workweek.
Workers may think or be told they are exempt from the overtime requirements, but often these employees are misclassified and are unfairly denied overtime pay that belongs to them.
For tipped employees such as bartenders or waiters, the federal minimum wage is $2.13, and Michigan’s minimum wage is $3.67. The FLSA prohibits employers from taking workers’ tip money. Tips are to be retained by the employee (except for valid tip pools).
Many employers require employees to turn over tips to the employer or share them with employees who may not legally participate in a tip pool. If this happens, you may be entitled to reimbursement of your tip money.
If you do not make enough tips to cover the difference between your hourly wages and the minimum wage, your employer must make up the difference. If a tipped worker is entitled to overtime pay, the overtime rate should be calculated based on the regular minimum wage ($7.25 under federal law), not the tipped worker hourly wage. The attorneys at NachtLaw, P.C. are prepared to help tipped workers recover the money they are owed.
Independent contractors are not subject to the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements. However, employees are sometimes misclassified as independent contractors. Workers who have been classified as independent contractors but are more like true employees may also be entitled to compensation for lost wages and overtime pay.
Help from Experienced Michigan Employment Attorneys who Truly Care about Your Case
There are many nuances to the law, but if you suspect that your employer has violated the minimum wage or overtime laws, you may be entitled to past unpaid minimum wage or overtime plus interest.
Contact us today. The attorneys at NachtLaw have over 20 years of labor and employment law experience and are prepared to help you recover lost wages.