Michigan Labor Laws

March 15th 2024

This article covers:

What are Michigan Time Management Laws?

In the US, there are federal laws in place to manage the time spent by employees in the workplace, safeguarding their rights and guaranteeing fair pay for their efforts. These laws act as directives for employers, keeping them in check, and minimizing any forms of abuse or exploitation.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which dates back to 1938, is a critical federal law for time management, setting hourly wage rates and overtime pay, and requiring employers to keep an accurate record of their employees’ working hours. Overtime is pegged at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate for workers who exceed 40 hours a week. However, certain job categories, including executives, professionals, and administrative employees, are exempt from overtime pay depending on their job description and salary.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is another essential federal law that governs time management in the workplace, entitling eligible employees to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons, such as the birth or adoption of a child or caring for a family member with a serious health condition. This act also requires employers to maintain employees’ health benefits during their leave and restore them to their previous or equivalent positions upon their return to work.

Employers who contravene federal time management laws face severe legal ramifications, including fines, back pay, and damages. If workers feel that their employer has violated federal time management laws, they can file complaints with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division for investigation and legal action.

Overall, federal time management laws are instrumental in ensuring that workers are compensated fairly for their time and effort in the workplace, protecting them from abuse and exploitation by employers. The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act are vital federal laws that govern time management and worker compensation, ensuring fair labor practices across various sectors, including non-profit, public, and private organizations.

Michigan Minimum Wage $10.33 per hour
Michigan Overtime Laws 1.5 times the rate of regular pay after working 40 hours in a workweek
($15.495 per hour for minimum wage workers)
Michigan Break Laws Meal breaks not required by law
Rest period of 30 minutes required after 5 consecutive hours of work

What are the Hiring, Working & Termination Laws in Michigan?

Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976 protects employees from discrimination during the hiring process based on:

  • race
  • color
  • religion
  • national origin
  • sex
  • age
  • height
  • weight
  • marital status

Michigan employers are not allowed to refuse to hire or treat applicants differently based on these characteristics.

Michigan upholds the “employment-at-will” policy, where the employer or employee can terminate the work relationship at any time without explanation. Unless otherwise stated in their contract, private employees are bound by these terms. In the case of termination, the employer must provide the final paycheck on the next payday, and if the exact amount is unclear, an estimated payout is required.  

What Are the Key Labor Laws in Michigan?

Now, we will discuss some key labor laws in Michigan that may not be related to the categories we have previously explored. Some of these regulations include:

  • Mini-COBRA Laws – As an employee, there may be times in your life where you experience a significant event, such as being let go from your job or getting a divorce, which could impact your health insurance coverage. Luckily, in some cases, you may be eligible for continued coverage through federal COBRA or Michigan Mini-COBRA. This option could allow for health insurance to be continued for up to 36 months, typically at 102% of the original cost. Events that may qualify for this coverage include being terminated or experiencing a significant reduction in work hours, having a serious health issue that prevents you from working, or caring for a family member with health issues. However, it’s important to check with your local authorities to determine your eligibility for COBRA or Mini-COBRA plans.
  • OSHA Law – Michigan takes workplace safety seriously with an OSHA-approved State Plan implemented by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). Although sharing similarities with federal OSHA standards, the State Plan has unique requirements and is enforced through workplace inspections by MIOSHA to uphold safety regulations.
  • Whistleblower Protection Laws – In Michigan, exists a Whistleblowers’ Protection Act that has been in place for quite some time. It safeguards employees who come forward to highlight instances of law violations taking place at the local, state, or federal level. This legislation mandates that employers refrain from firing, intimidating or otherwise seeking revenge against workers who make or intend to make a report about any such violations. However, this protection is only extended to employees who act in good faith, and not those who knowingly report a false claim.
  • Ban-the-Box Law – Michigan’s “Ban-the-box” law aims to provide a fair chance at employment by delaying background checks and disallowing questions about prior arrests that did not lead to conviction during the initial job application. The law gets its name from the prohibition of the “box” on the job application that asks whether the job seeker has been convicted of a felony.
  • Background Check Laws – Michigan employers must follow federal laws like the Fair Credit Reporting Act when collecting pre-employment data. Additionally, “Ban-the-box” laws forbid asking about an applicant’s criminal history during the initial application process. Certain job roles, such as childcare staff and employees with access to patients in medical facilities, require thorough background checks.
  • Employer Use of Social Media Laws – In accordance with the Michigan Internet Privacy Protection Act (IPPA), it is not permitted for employers or educational institutions to ask for an employee’s social media passwords or for any information that would enable them to access said accounts. It is also prohibited for employers to retaliate against employees who refuse to provide this information. The only situation where this rule does not apply is if the employer has provided the necessary devices and software to the employee, in which case they may access any related accounts.
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing Laws – In Michigan, there are currently no laws addressing the policies and procedures that private employers should follow when it comes to drug and alcohol testing. Nonetheless, there are specific authorized testing types that classified employees may be subjected to. These include reasonable suspicion testing, which is done when there is a valid reason to believe an employee is using drugs or alcohol. Also, there’s pre-appointment testing, which is conducted before someone is hired for a specific position. Finally, follow-up testing may be done within two years of an employee disclosing drug or alcohol issues, entering rehabilitation, or failing a pre-appointment test.
  • The Employee Fair Scheduling Act – The Employee Fair Scheduling Act in Michigan mandates that employers must display non-fixed schedules a minimum of 14 days prior to the workweek’s start day. If this schedule is modified, the employees must be informed at least 96 hours before the beginning of the workweek. If the schedule changes without giving a 96-hour notice, employees are eligible for overtime pay for the duration of their first shift on the altered schedule. Additionally, if there is a permanent change in a pre-existing schedule, employees are entitled to overtime pay for the first two shifts of the new schedule.
  • Recordkeeping Laws – Both federal and Michigan state laws require employers to keep records of their employment practices. These records should include all hiring and application information, promotions, demotions, layoffs, recalls, discharges, and selections for training. Employers must keep these records for at least one year. Additionally, employers must keep job descriptions for at least two years and all records of leaves of absence for at least three years. Finally, records of test results and reasons for their administration must also be kept for at least three years.

What are Michigan Payment Laws?

Michigan’s minimum wage was increased to $10.33 per hour, as per the Michigan Labor and Economic Opportunity Bureau. This is slightly higher compared to last year’s minimum wage of $10.10.

What is the Minimum Payment in Michigan?

In Michigan, workers who typically receive tips are known as “tipped employees.” These individuals are entitled to a minimum wage of $3.93 per hour, which is paid by the employer. To ensure that the employee is making at least the minimum wage of $10.33, the employer must track employee tips and supplement the worker’s wages as needed, to make up the difference.

What are the Exceptions for Minimum Payment in Michigan?

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Michigan-based employers are allowed to pay individuals aged between 16 and 19 a lower training wage of $4.25 per hour. This wage is applicable only for a maximum of 90 days after the start of employment. After this probation period, employers are obligated to pay these employees at least the regular minimum wage rate.

In Michigan, the determination of which employees are eligible for exemption from the minimum wage is based on the federal FLSA regulations. This includes various employee categories, such as:

  • Farm workers
  • Taxi drivers
  • Outside salespersons
  • Salaried employees who fall under the categories of administrative, executive, or professional employees will be exempt if their weekly earnings exceed $684

What is the Payment Due Date in Michigan?

Employers in Michigan have specific requirements regarding the frequency of paying their employees. If an employer has a regular weekly or bi-weekly schedule, they must pay their employees for the work they did in the first 15 days of the previous month by the first day of the current calendar month. Additionally, they must pay their employees for the work they did from the 16th to the last day of the previous month by the 15th day of the current month. For employers who have a monthly schedule, they must pay their employees for all work done in the previous month within 15 days of the end of the monthly pay period.

What are Michigan Overtime Laws?

Michigan has its own set of  laws regarding overtime requirements and exceptions, in addition to the provisions set forth in the FLSA (which was previously described). The general rule is that any work done in excess of 40 hours in a workweek is considered overtime, and must be paid at a rate of 1.5 times the regular pay. However, certain categories of employees have specific rules that apply to them, including staff members of hospitals and other facilities where patients live onsite, law enforcement employees, security personnel in correctional facilities, and employees conducting fire protection activities.  

What are Overtime Exceptions and Exemptions in Michigan?

In Michigan, there are certain professions that are exempt from the requirement to be paid overtime. It’s also worth noting that retail and service employees can be classified as administrative, executive, or professional if more than 40% of their workweek activities are of this nature. The exempted professions include:

  • Those who are not covered by minimum wage requirements
  • Agricultural workers
  • Employees of seasonal amusement establishments
  • Public office holders
  • Administrative, professional, or executive employees such as teachers or school administrators

Learn more in detail about Michigan Salaried Employees Laws and Michigan Overtime Laws.

What are Michigan Time Off/Break Laws?

In Michigan, there are currently no federal regulations or state laws that would mandate employers to give their employees meal breaks or rest periods while working. However, if an employer implements a policy offering unpaid breaks, employees must be permitted to discontinue all work-related duties during these time intervals.

What are the Exceptions to Break Law in Michigan?

Employers are obligated to provide employees who are minors with a break during their shift. This is outlined in the Michigan Youth Employment Standards Act, which states that minors working for five or more consecutive hours must be given a minimum of 30 minutes for rest or a meal.

What are Michigan Breastfeeding Laws?

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recently introduced a new lactation room policy designed to create a supportive environment for breastfeeding workers. The policy mandates that employers must provide suitable facilities and reasonable breaks for employees to express their breast milk. The designated space should be private (ideally with a functional lock), equipped with a comfortable chair, an electrical outlet, and a flat surface such as a countertop. It is important to note that this space cannot double up as a toilet stall or restroom in any way.

Learn more about Michigan Break Laws.

What are Michigan Leave Laws?

Every state in the US has its own set of rules for the types of leave that employers must offer and those that they do not need to provide. Here, we will examine the mandatory as well as the non-mandatory leave policies that apply to Michigan.

What is Michigan Required Leave?

Firstly, it’s worth examining the different types of leave that are mandated by Michigan state law:

  • Sick Leave (Paid Medical Leave Act) – The Paid Medical Leave Act of 2019 stipulates that employees who work in organizations with 50 or more workers may be entitled to paid sick leave. Paid sick leave can be used in a variety of situations such as when the employee or their family member is experiencing a medical condition. The leave is earned at a rate of 1 hour for every 35 hours worked, but employers are not obligated to permit the accumulation of more than 1 hour per calendar week or more than 40 hours in a year. It’s worth mentioning that employers can limit the use of accrued sick leave to a maximum of 40 hours in a single benefit year.
  • Family Medical Leave – The Family and Medical Leave Act is a law that provides certain Michigan employees with the opportunity to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave after experiencing major life events. These events can include caring for a newborn child, adopting or fostering a child, experiencing a health condition that prevents you from working, or caring for a family member with a serious health condition. However, it’s important to note that federal law specifies certain conditions that must be met in order to be eligible for this leave. To take family medical leave, an employee must have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months prior to the leave and have worked at least 1,250 hours in those 12 months.
  • Jury Duty Leave – In Michigan, employees have the legal right to serve on a jury, and employers cannot prevent them from doing so. It’s important to note that employers cannot retaliate or threaten to take action against employees who choose to fulfill this civic duty. Furthermore, employers cannot require employees to work additional hours, which includes the time spent attending court, without a written agreement. Violating these rules may result in charges of misdemeanor or even contempt of court.
  • Emergency Response Leave – Michigan State employees who are classified as state civil service members or certified American Red Cross volunteers may be granted an unpaid leave of absence during times of public emergency to aid in disaster relief. If specific conditions are met, these employees may receive paid emergency response leave, which must be approved by their department head, the governor, or the civil service commission. The specific conditions for paid emergency response leave include a declaration of disaster by either the governor or the US president, a request for the employee’s services by the American Red Cross, and approval by the appropriate authority. The leave cannot result in adverse action against the employee, but funds may be withheld if the leave is used for unapproved purposes.
  • Military Leave – State employees who are also members of the uniformed services can take unpaid military leave. They’ll be given full seniority credit if they meet these requirements: Their military service is less than 5 years, they haven’t been disqualified, and they come back in a timely manner.
  • Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault – The Paid Medical Leave Act allows employees who have suffered from domestic violence to use their medical leave for various purposes such as getting medical or counseling services, seeking assistance from victim services organizations, obtaining legal services related to the abuse, and attending court hearings or other proceedings.

What is Michigan Non-Required Leave?

Now, let’s explore types of leave that aren’t required by Michigan’s laws:

  • Bereavement Leave – Michigan private employers aren’t obligated to give their workers bereavement leave, while state workers can take up to 8 hours of leave for the funeral service of their parent, child, or spouse.
  • Vacation and Holiday Leave – Michigan employees who are employed privately are not automatically given vacation or holidays, unless their contract specifies otherwise. However, those who work full-time for the State of Michigan are entitled to between 15 and 35 vacation days annually, as well as 12 scheduled holidays each year.
  • Voting Time Leave – Private employers are not obligated to provide leave for employees to vote. However, state employees are granted time off on Election Day biennially.

Here is a table of official US holidays:

Holiday Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Third Monday in January
Presidents’ Day Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Day after Thanksgiving Fourth Friday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

Learn more about Michigan Leave Laws.

What are Michigan Child Labor Laws?

In Michigan, there are specific laws governing child labor, known as the Youth Employment Standards Act (YESA), that apply to anyone under the age of 18, whether they are employees, independent contractors, or performing artists. To work, minors must obtain a work permit, agreement, or contract that has been signed by both their employer and the chief administrator of the school they attend. If they change jobs, they’ll need a new permit. It’s also possible for a permit to be revoked if the minor isn’t doing well academically. For their own safety, minors must be supervised by an adult while working, particularly in jobs that require handling cash, and this supervision is especially important after sunset or 8 p.m.  

What are the Laws on Working Hours for Minors in Michigan?

There are different legal working hours for minors depending on their age. Minors under the age of 16 can work from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. for no more than 10 hours a day and 6 days a week. While school is in session, they cannot work more than an average of 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week, and the combined total of school and work time cannot exceed 48 hours. For minors aged 16 and 17, they can work between 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. when school is in session, and until 11:30 p.m. when not in session. Similar restrictions on hours and days apply as those that apply to those minors under 16, but they have a greater range of working hours under certain circumstances.  

What are the Banned Jobs for Minors in Michigan?

The YESA is responsible for regulating certain occupations that minors are prohibited from working in due to their hazardous nature. Some of these occupations include:

  • Working in places where alcohol is being sold, served, or consumed
  • Confined spaces such as silos, sewers or boiler rooms
  • All construction operations
  • Handling explosives
  • Operating motor vehicles and power-driven machinery

Learn more about Michigan Child Labor Laws.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.