labor law guide
The Michigan employment laws every business owner should know
Wages and breaks
The current minimum wage for tipped employees is $3.84.
Non-exempt employees must be paid an overtime pay rate of 1 ½ times the regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in one workweek.
The federal overtime rule stipulates that the minimum salary requirement for administrative, professional, and executive exemptions is $684 per week, or $35,568 per year.
Final paychecks in Michigan
State law requires employers to pay employees who were fired, laid off or who quit must be paid all final wages by the next regularly scheduled payday.
There is no statute specifically stipulating when employers must pay employees who quit due to a labor dispute.
Michigan child labor laws
Minors under the age of 16
Minors under the age of 16 may work a maximum of 8 hours per day and 48 hours of combined work and school hours per week during a school week.
Their work must not start earlier than 3 p.m. Monday through Friday , and work is prohibited between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Minors 16 and 17 years of age
Minors 16 and 17 years of age may work a maximum of
10 hours a day, 6 days a week and 48 hours per week when school is not in session.
Up to 24 hours of work per week is permitted when school is in session, according to the Michigan Wage and Hour Division.
Work is prohibited during the hours of 10:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. when school is in session and 11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. on the weekends and when school is not in session.
The Michigan Earned Sick Time Act is set to go into effect February 20, 2023, which would mean that eligible employees accrue 1 hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employers who employ 10 or more employees on their payroll during at least 20 calendar workweeks in either the current or preceding calendar year must permit employees to use up to 72 hours of paid earned sick time per year, while employers with less than 10 employees must permit employees to use up to 40 hours of paid earned sick time per year and up to an additional 32 hours of unpaid earned sick time per year. Despite ESTA’s 72-hour annual usage cap, the law does not allow employers to cap accrual or carryover of earned sick time.
Employers may be required to provide an employee unpaid medical leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
Employers are not required to provide vacation leave but must comply with their own established policies in an employee handbook if they choose to implement one.
Employers may establish a policy denying payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment as long as there is a signed contract.
If there is a policy in place that says vacation time will be paid out upon separation of employment, it must be followed.
Employers may establish a policy in their employment contract disqualifying employees from receiving payment for accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with certain requirements.
The amount of vacation time an employee can accrue may be capped by the employer as long as the employee has been notified in writing.
Employers can implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy that requires employees to use their vacation time by a set date, as long as employees have been informed in writing.
Employers do not have to pay employees for time spent responding to a jury summons, but employees cannot be terminated or otherwise penalized for doing so.
Employers may not require employees to work without their consent any number of hours during a day that, when combined with the number of hours the employee spent responding to the jury summons, exceeds the number of hours in a normal shift.
The employee cannot be required to work past their normal quitting time.
Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays.
Michigan does not require employers to provide leave.
Employers cannot take any adverse action against an employee who is a crime victim (or their representative) and testifies in a criminal proceeding.
Employers may not discriminate against, discipline, or discharge an employee because they are a member of the civil air patrol or are absent from work to respond to an emergency.
The employer can require that the employee provide as much notice as possible of their need for leave as a member of the civil air patrol.
Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave.
Employers may not discharge or discriminate against an employee because they are a member of the armed forces or engage in military duties. They must also allow their employees to take military leave.
Hiring and firing
Federal law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of: Race, Color, Age, Sex, Sexual orientation, Gender, Gender identity, Religion, National origin, Pregnancy, Genetic information, including family medical history, Physical or mental disability, Child or spousal support withholding, Military or veteran status, Citizenship and/or immigration status.
Additionally,the state of Michigan prohibits discrimination based on the following: use of lawful consumable products off the premises and outside of work hours, non-conviction criminal records, height or weight, marital status, AIDS/HIV, and/or wage garnishment for consumer debt.
Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.
Michigan is an employment-at-will state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time, provided that the reason is not discriminatory and that the employer is not retaliating against the employee for a rightful action.
Regarding employment and payroll data, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and others, you must:
For at least 3 years: keep payroll records, certificates, agreements, notices, collective bargaining agreements, employment contracts, and sales and purchase records. Also keep completed copies of each employee’s I-9 for three years after they are hired. If the employee works longer than three years, hold on to the form for at least one year after the employee leaves.
For at least 2 years: Keep basic employment and earning records like timecards, wage-rate tables, shipping and billing records, and records of additions to or deductions from wages. Also keep the records that show why you may pay different wages to employees of different sexes, such as wage rates, job evaluations, seniority and merit systems, and collective bargaining agreements.
For at least 1 year: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says employers should keep all employment records for at least one year from the employee’s date of termination.
Other record-keeping laws that may apply to you:
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, you need to keep records of job-related injuries and illnesses for five years. But some records, like those covering toxic substance exposure, have to be kept for 30 years.
You must keep files of benefit plans and seniority and merit systems while they are in effect and for at least a year after they end. You must also retain summary descriptions and annual reports of benefits plans for six years.
If your company is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, you must also retain relevant records of leaves, notices, policies, and more for three years.
Additional laws that may apply to you.
Employers must pay their employees at least weekly, biweekly, or monthly on regular paydays. Employers in agriculture must pay their employees who harvest crops by hand at least weekly. Employees who are paid weekly or biweekly must be paid within 14 days of the end of the pay period. Employees who are paid monthly must be paid by the first day of the month for wages earned the previous month. Employees who harvest crops by hand must be paid within two days of the end of the pay period, unless the employer and employee agree in writing to a different arrangement.
COBRA is a federal law that allows many employees to continue their health insurance benefits after their employment ends. Because federal COBRA only applies to employers that have 20 or more employees, many states have adopted their own versions of the law, which are known as “mini-COBRAs.” Michigan does not have a mini-COBRA, so federal laws apply.
Employers may not discharge or discriminate against an employee for reporting an alleged violation of the law to a public body.
Employers who run background checks should ensure they’re following the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Schedules not maintained on a regular basis or fixed rotation shall be posted at least 14 calendar days prior to the beginning of the workweek.
Employers are not allowed to change an employee’s work schedule unless they have notified the employee of the change 96 hours in advance of the workweek. If the employer does not give 96 hours notice, employees must be paid overtime for the hours worked on the first shift of the changed schedule.
If a permanent change is made to a pre-established schedule, employees must be given off for a minimum of two shifts or be paid overtime for the hours worked on the first shift of the changed schedule.
An employer may not do the following: Request an employee or an applicant for employment to grant access to, allow observation of, or disclose information that allows access to or observation of the employee’s or applicant’s personal internet account; or discharge, discipline, fail to hire, or otherwise penalize an employee or applicant for employment for failure to grant access to, allow observation of, or disclose information that allows access to or observation of the employee’s or applicant’s personal internet account.
Michigan is an “all parties” consent state, meaning every person on a phone call must be aware that they are being monitored or recorded and have consented by placing or continuing the phone call. This means employers may monitor or record phone calls between their own employees only if each employee has been given notice that phone calls may be monitored or recorded. However, phone calls placed by employees to outside parties may not be monitored or recorded unless the outside party has also consented.
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Remember, this is not official legal advice. If you have questions about Michigan labor laws, it’s best to contact an employment law attorney.
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This summary is not qualified legal advice. Laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality. It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. If you need more compliance help, we recommend consulting with a qualified lawyer, checking with your local government agencies, or signing up for Homebase to get help from our certified HR Pros.