Michigan Labor Laws

As a worker in Michigan, you have certain rights that you should be aware of. If your employer or a coworker violates them, you could have a claim for compensation. Morgan & Morgan’s labor and employment attorneys are here to help. 

The fact is, an unethical employer can make any job untenable. If you were the victim of discrimination, harassment, or another unlawful labor practice, contact our Michigan attorneys. Schedule a free, no-risk case evaluation today.

Workplace Discrimination

State and federal laws prohibit Michigan employers from discriminating against current and prospective employees on the basis of characteristics such as race, religion, and national origin. Even so, some employers discriminate during various phases of the employment relationship. For example, they might:

  • Refuse to hire an applicant based on race, sex, age, or another protected trait
  • Deny a promotion or raise due to an employee’s religious beliefs
  • Refuse to offer equal pay for equal work because of an employee’s gender
  • Include unnecessary job qualifications to root out members of minority groups
  • Unjustly enforce disciplinary policies against certain workers
  • Refuse to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee with a disability

Workplace Harassment

When employees are subjected to unwelcome comments or actions based on protected characteristics, it may constitute workplace harassment. For example:

  • Making unwanted physical contact
  • Remarking on a coworker’s body or appearance
  • Telling obscene jokes or stories
  • Commenting on a coworker’s religious beliefs
  • Using racial slurs
  • Disparaging a coworker’s sexual orientation
  • Commenting on an employee’s age
  • Making obscene or offensive gestures

In addition, workplace harassment can take the form of quid pro quo (this for that) harassment, in which a superior makes a raise, promotion, or other employment decision contingent on an employee satisfying a sexual demand.

Wage & Hour Violations

Wage and hour laws are designed to ensure that workers are paid appropriately for the work they do. In Michigan, employers must abide by certain laws, including:

  • Minimum Wage: In Michigan, employers are required to pay at least $9.65/hour (the minimum wage as of January 1, 2020) and $3.67 for tipped employees.
  • Overtime: Michigan’s overtime law requires non-exempt employees to be paid time-and-a-half for all hours worked beyond 40 in a week. If, for example, you normally make $20 an hour, you’d be owed $30/hour for any hours worked above 40 in a week.
  • Leave: Michigan workers are afforded up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without risking their employment status for certain personal and family medical situations.
  • Misclassification: Employers may not misclassify their employees as independent contractors to avoid paying them benefits and overtime.

Wrongful Termination

Like in most states, employment is at-will in Michigan. That means a working relationship can be terminated at any time, by either party, with certain exceptions. Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee for reasons that are unlawful. For example:

  • Discrimination: A worker cannot legally be fired because of race, gender, or another protected trait.
  • Retaliation: A worker cannot be let go for exercising legal rights such as filing a worker’s compensation claim.
  • Breach of Contract: You may have a claim for compensation if your termination was in violation of a verbal or written contract.
  • Military Service: It’s against the law for an employer to terminate an employee because of their membership in the military.

Contact a Michigan Labor & Employment Attorney

If you were the victim of wage theft, wrongful termination, or another violation of your rights as a worker in Michigan, contact Morgan & Morgan.

Our attorneys work tirelessly to protect the rights of workers. In fact, our law firm files more labor and employment lawsuits than anyone else in the country. Across practice areas, we’ve recovered more than $7 billion nationwide for our clients.

Find out if we can help you by scheduling a free, no-obligation case evaluation. It costs nothing to hire us, and we get paid only if we win, so there’s no risk to you. Contact us today.


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