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Grand Rapids Employment Lawyer

Every worker in the United States is protected by certain federal laws which are designed to prevent discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation against whistleblowers, denying family or medical leave and failing to pay minimum wage or overtime.

I am very happy with the outcome of my case and the way it was handled. I did not have to be present throughout the trial, and my case was still settled.
- S. Jackson

If you were denied your rights as an employee, you may be able to hold your employer liable and pursue compensation. The Grand Rapids employment lawyers at Jay Trucks and Associates are offering a free case evaluation to see if you may be eligible to be compensated. Our attorneys have over 150 years of combined experience protecting the rights of the people of Michigan while recovering millions on behalf of our clients.

Give us a call today to schedule your free case evaluation and you will not be billed for any of our services, unless we successfully recover compensation for your claim.

Jay Trucks and Associates. Ph: (800) 762-8623.

Determining if You Have a Valid Case

If you are unsure about your rights or eligibility to file a claim against your employer, you can contact our firm and someone from our legal team should be able to determine if your case is valid. 

Some of the more common reasons why workers file a claim against their employer are:

  • Not paying at least minimum wage per hour
  • Not paying for overtime hours
  • Not paying overtime (one-and-a-half times regular pay) per hour
  • Sexual harassment
  • Breach of contract
  • Racial discrimination during the hiring process or employment
  • Discrimination based on religion, sex, age, disability or genetic history
  • Denying family or medical leave which is protected under federal law for most workers
  • Wrongfully terminating an employee for not partaking in illegal or unethical conduct
  • Exposing illegal activity to an employee
  • Wrongful termination
  • Retaliation against a whistleblower for reporting illegal activity

If you were a victim of any of the above issues or something similar, we recommend immediately contacting a Grand Rapids employment attorney from Jay Trucks and Associates to find out if you are eligible for compensation. We are prepared to answer your questions in a free case review.

Michigan Employment Laws

According to federal employment laws, employers are not required to pay workers minimum wage if their job duties fit an executive, administrator, professional or outside sales representative exemption.  

Executive Exemption

Employers are not required to pay executives overtime if they:

  • Earn at least $684 per week
  • Regularly supervise two or more full-time workers
  • Are authorized to fire or hire people and make suggestions on firing, hiring and promoting workers
  • Their primary duties are managing the company or a department in that company

Administrative Exemption

Administrative employees are exempt if they make at least the above-mentioned executive amount and:

  • Their primary job description is to do non-manual office work directly related to managing the business or its customers.
  • One of their primary tasks is using independent judgement and foresight for important matters.

Professional Exemption

In addition to receiving at least $684 per week, individuals must meet the following criteria to qualify for a professional exemption:

  • The individual must have advanced knowledge and expertise in science or other learning field.
  • The advanced knowledge was acquired through extensive education in a subject matter.
  • The individual’s main job function requires advanced knowledge and work that mostly requires analytical thinking, decision making and responsibility.

When it comes to overtime exemptions and other wage issues, employers are required to apply the state or federal law that is more beneficial to the worker.

In the Fair Labor Standards Act, there is a list of overtime and minimum wage exempt employees, such as:

  • Police officers
  • Firefighters
  • Paramedics
  • Farmworkers
  • Employees in fishing operations
  • Air carrier employees
  • Taxi drivers
  • Employees in recreational establishments
  • People who work at motion picture theaters

Unsure if you may be exempt from overtime or minimum wage requirements?
Call us today at (800) 762-8623.

Discrimination Types

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The following actions are in violation of the law if they are done based on one of the characteristics listed in the law:

  • Terminating or firing
  • Not hiring
  • Not promoting
  • Reducing compensation
  • Modifying terms and conditions of employment
  • Denying benefits
  • Using discriminatory language in a job posting
  • Not providing reasonable accommodation for a disability or religious belief

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is also prohibited in the workplace and is also addressed in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These types of cases are generally categorized into one of the following two groups:

Hostile work environment harassment is when a work environment is offensive, hostile or intimidating. A work environment that continues to interfere with your work is also considered to be hostile.

Quid pro quo harassment refers to employees being asked to allow sexual harassment or to perform sexual favors in exchange for promoting, hiring or retaining employment.

Harassment can be physical or verbal and include things like jokes, physical advances, displaying offensive material, sending offensive emails, or making degrading comments about others.  

What Causes Wage and Hour Disputes?

Most wage and hour disputes are caused by employers who intentionally misclassify workers to avoid paying overtime or minimum wage.

For example, some workers are misclassified as independent contractors, which means the employer does not have to pay them overtime or minimum wage. However, if your employer is controlling your work, setting your work hours and providing work equipment, you may have been misclassified.

Food servers are only required to receive $2.13 for every hour worked, provided they receive at least $30 per month in tips. The problem is, when these types of workers are asked to stay late to perform other tasks, such as cleaning up. When this happens, the exemption to minimum wage laws may become invalid.

Minimum wage in Michigan is $9.65 per hour as of January 1, 2020. This means all employees who fall under the non-exempt category must be paid at least $9.65 for each hour worked.

According to Michigan overtime laws, each employee who works over 40 hours in one week, must receive at least one-and-a-half times their regular hourly rate.

If you have been denied the pay you are entitled under the law, call a Grand Rapids employment attorney at Jay Trucks & Associates. We do not charge any legal fees unless we recover compensation for your claim.

Jay Trucks & Associates Ph: (800) 762-8623.

Employment Laws Affecting Your Case

There are various laws that protect employees’ rights, such as Title VII of the Civil Right Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Others may include:

Equal Pay Act of 1963

This federal law prohibits men and women from being paid differently if they do the same work.

Family and Medical Leave Act

Eligible employees can receive 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain reasons: birth of a child, providing care for a spouse, child or parent with a severe medical ailment, or to manage a health condition that makes you unable to work.

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

Service members are given the right to be reemployed in the civilian job they left because they were performing uniformed service.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Employers must reasonably accommodate employees’ disabilities in the workplace.

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act

You can continue to receive group health benefits for a certain period of time if you are fired, your hours are reduced, or you are transitioning between jobs.

At Jay Trucks and Associates, our Grand Rapids employment lawyers have extensive knowledge of these and other laws that may apply to your claim.

Deadlines You Should Know

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission gives you 180 days from the date of harassment or discrimination to file a complaint, either at the state level or the federal level.

Minimum wage or overtime complaints have a two-year deadline for filing a complaint. There is an extra year added to the deadline if there were repeated or intentional violations of the law.

What Can I Be Compensated For?

Those who did not receive overtime pay or minimum wage may be able to pursue the wages they were not paid, along with liquidated damages, which are usually equal to unpaid wages. If you suffered harassment or discrimination, you may be able to pursue nonmonetary forms of relief, such as reinstatement to your old job, a promotion, or changes to the employer’s policies on harassment claims.

Other damages that may be available in an employment claim include:

  • Lawyer fees
  • Court costs        
  • Bonuses, increases in pay, commissions, vacation days, retirement benefits you were denied
  • Wages you lost due to discrimination
  • Expenses accumulated to find a new job
  • Future lost earnings if you are unable to be reinstated to your old job title

Sometimes discrimination victims may be awarded compensatory damages, which are designed to cover any out-of-pocket expenses that were created, such as medical costs, job search expenses and emotional damages such as mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.

In rare instances, victims may be awarded punitive damages, which are only paid when egregious or extremely malicious incidents occur. However, federal law says there are limits to the amount of compensation, depending on the size of the employer:

  • $50,000 in claims against employers with 15-100 employees
  • $100,000 for claims against employers with 101-200 employees
  • $200,000 for claims against employers with 201-500 employees
  • $300,000 for claims against employers who employ more than 500 employees

Get in Touch with a Grand Rapids Employment Attorney Today

Workplace discrimination, harassment and wage violations are all against the law and we are prepared to hold employers liable for your damages, including lost wages.

Jay Trucks and Associates prides itself as a firm that was created to defend the common folks of Michigan. Our firm has recovered millions on behalf of our clients, and we do not charge any lawyer fees unless we help you recover the compensation you may need.

Our team of legal professionals is ready to take your call any time of the day or night, 24-7.

Free Consultation. Ph: (800) 762-8623.