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Have you suffered an infringement of your rights as an employee? If so, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for damages. In Michigan, as throughout the U.S., there are federal and state laws designed to protect employees from discrimination and other violations of rights in the workplace.

My attorney was very professional. He made sure I understood everything. I give him five stars…
– M. Stratton

At Jay Trucks and Associates, we are prepared to help victims obtain financial compensation and other remedies for employment discrimination, harassment, wage violations or other violations of the law. We have been advocating for Michigan residents for more than 30 years.

You are invited to consult with one of our Lansing employment law attorneys at zero charge to you. During this initial meeting, we can assess your eligibility for a case and discuss your legal options.

Learn more about how we benefit employee rights claims today: (800) 762-8623

Is My Claim Valid?

To determine whether you may have a valid case over an employment rights violation, our attorneys first need to speak with you to get more details. Every case is unique, but generally speaking, you may have a valid claim against an employer if you suffered any of the following types of violations:

Employment law claims are complicated, which is why we recommend you seek legal help if you think your employee rights may have been infringed.

Were your employment rights violated? Set up a FREE consultation today: (800) 762-8623

Who Is Exempt from Minimum Wage and Overtime Laws in Michigan?

Employers do not have to pay minimum hourly or overtime wages to bona fide executive, administrative or professional employees as defined under federal and state employment law:

Executive Exemption

Executive employees may be exempt from minimum wage and overtime requirements if they:

  • Manage a department, subdivision or an entire company
  • Employ two or more regular, full-time employees
  • Receive minimum pay of $684 weekly
  • Are an authorized decision-maker for hiring, terminating and promoting employees

Administrative Exemption

Employers may exempt administrative employees who meet executive exemption requirements:

Professional Exemption

This includes some of the same criteria as administrative or executive exemptions, along with other requirements:

Additional Exemptions

Employers are required to apply laws that most benefit an employee in issues involving wages, such as overtime exemptions.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has a long list of other employees exempt from overtime requirements, including: Taxicab drivers, movie theater employees, Farm hands, fishing operations employees, recreational establishment workers, air carrier workers, police officers, firefighters and paramedics.

Workplace Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from engaging in discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

The following actions, when based solely on one of the characteristics listed in the civil rights act, are illegal:

  • Firing an employee
  • Refusing to offer employment
  • Withholding opportunities for promotion
  • Offering a reduced salary
  • Modifying previously offered employment terms
  • Not providing reasonable allowances for another’s disabilities or religious difference
  • Denying access to employment benefits
  • Using terms of discrimination in a job advertisement

Sexual Harassment

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. This type of discrimination generally falls under one of two categories:

Quid pro quo

This occurs when employment decisions, such as being hired, promoted or keeping your job are based on whether you submit to sexual harassment or a demand for sexual favors. Harassment refers to many types of verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

These claims can be challenging because your attorney must prove submission to this conduct is either explicitly or implicitly a term of employment and how you respond to that unwanted behavior is your employer’s basis for offering employment or keeping you as an employee.

Hostile work environment

Refers to a work environment that is intimidating, offensive or hostile, especially when it unreasonably affects and interferes with your ability to work.

Examples of behavior that could qualify as sexual harassment might include unwanted sexual inuendo, lewd comments, physical advances or contact, sexual assault or degrading comments.  If there are repeated events, it is critical to a potential claim to accurately record them to provide supporting evidence.

Age and Disability Discrimination

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is a law that states men and women must not be paid differently for a job that requires equal effort, responsibility and skill. As with any job, exceptions based on an employee’s merit, quantity or quality of production and seniority are acceptable reasons for a difference in pay.

Our Lansing employment law attorneys are prepared to discuss your employment situation in a free consultation. There is no obligation or risk for seeking legal help through our firm.

Jay Trucks and Associates can take your call 24/7: (800) 762-8623

Hourly Wage and Overtime Pay Disputes

In these disputes, employees allege an employer refused to pay an employee at least the current minimum hourly wage or overtime wages for approved overtime hours worked. Employers often try to avoid paying an employee a fair wage by misclassifying an employee as an exempt worker.

Be aware that if your employer calls you an independent contractor, but oversees your schedule and work, and provides the supplies and equipment for you to do your work, then you may be misclassified and should be considered an employee.

All non-exempt employees in the state must be paid according to Michigan’s current minimum hourly wage, even if that amount is more than the current federal minimum wage. Employees must also be paid overtime wages after working 40 hours in a single week. Michigan Compiled Laws Section 408.414a prohibits employers from averaging a worker’s hours over two weeks to avoid paying overtime. If one week you worked overtime hours, but in the subsequent week only worked 40, your employer still owes you for the overtime hours you worked that first week.

It is a good idea to discuss your circumstances with one of our trusted Lansing employment law attorneys.

Call to set up your consultation with one of our licensed attorneys: (800) 762-8623

Employment Laws That May Apply to Your Claim

There are multiple federal laws in place to protect workers while on the job and in the work environment, including:

Our Lansing employment attorneys have extensive understanding of these laws and the protections they offer. We know how to determine if and when your rights may have been violated and what your options may be for pursuing compensation.

Submit our Case Evaluation form online.

Important Filing Steps and Deadlines

If you are a victim of discrimination or harassment at work, you should immediately report the incident according to your employer’s policy. This step is critical because it provides a documented record of violations against you that may be used as evidence if you later pursue a claim.

Filing Deadlines

Michigan’s Department of Civil Rights and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are responsible for handling complaints involving discrimination or harassment. It is important that you contact an attorney quickly since you have only 180 days from the day the incident occurred to file a complaint.

You can an FLSA complaint up to two years from the date of the incident. If there are repeated violations of the law, you may receive an extra year to file your claim.

Your attorney will need to obtain additional information for your claim, the industry or job you work in, your wages and when you were paid.

Our firm is prepared to fully handle the complaint process for you. This includes gathering evidence that may help to strengthen your claim.

Damage Limits for Employment Claims

If you pursue an FLSA claim for unpaid wages, you may be able to recover some liquidated damages as well as court costs and attorney fees, in addition to any unpaid wages. Attorneys’ fees refer to the expenses incurred by your attorney to investigate, prepare and pursue your claim.

EEOC discrimination complaints may result in recovery that is not monetary. For example, you may be able to seek reinstatement to your old job.  Additional financial compensation you may be eligible to pursue could include back wages not paid due to discrimination, attorney fees, costs associated with searching for a new job, benefits that were included in your job (commissions, vacation time, retirement benefits), and future lost income if reinstating you to your former employment is not possible.

Federal law places carefully defined limits on compensatory and punitive damages that may be recovered from a wage dispute claim:

  • 15-100 employees: $50,000
  • 101-200 employees: $100,000
  • 201-500 employees: $200,000
  • Over 500 employees: $300,000

Call a Lansing Employment Law Attorney for a Free Consultation

Victims of an employment rights violation, such as discrimination, sexual harassment or unpaid wages, may wonder whether they have a valid case or if they have any legal options.

At Jay Trucks and Associates, we have over 30 years of experience and are well-versed in Michigan’s employment laws. We are ready to assess whether your case has merit and if so, help you hold your employer financially accountable for infringement of your rights.

There is no risk in calling our firm. We accept these cases on contingency, which means there is no output of money upfront, and we do not get paid unless you do.

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

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:

Administrative Exemption

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

Professional Exemption

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

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:

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.

In Michigan and across the country, employees are protected by laws prohibiting acts of discrimination or sexual harassment, wage violations, retaliation against whistleblowers and denying leave for family or medical reasons.

Jay Trucks & Associates really care about their clients. My attorney was very helpful and understanding…– W. Harris

If any of your rights as an employee were infringed or denied, our Flint employment attorneys are prepared to help you hold your employer financially accountable. At Jay Trucks and Associates, we have been advocating for Michigan residents for decades. During that time, we have successfully recovered millions on behalf of these victims.

Learn whether you may have grounds to pursue compensation from your employer in the completely free and confidential consultation we offer. You can also use this time to ask us questions about what you may expect from this type of claim.

Ready to find out if you may have a case? Our firm is ready to take your call 24/7. Ph: (800) 762-8623

Free Consultation. No Upfront Fees.

Do I Have a Case Against My Employer?

In Michigan, as in other states throughout the U.S., employment law covers a variety of complex legal issues and disputes that happen in the workplace.

Before we can determine if you may have a valid employee rights case, we need to first understand more about the type of violation that occurred, as well as any factors that may have contributed to your situation.

We strongly recommend that you carefully date and document as many details as possible about this matter and seek legal help with one of our reputable Flint employment lawyers. There is no risk because your initial consultation is completely free and confidential.

Complete our Case Evaluation form today.

Laws That Protect Workers

There are multiple federal laws that are designed to protect employees from discrimination, wage disputes and a number of other common workplace issues, including:

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

This law is intended to protect workers against acts of discrimination in the workplace based on race, religion, sex (orientation or gender) or national origin, such as:

Workplace Discrimination

These decisions become acts of discrimination if an employer does them based on age, sex, race or any other characteristic of discrimination:

  • Terminating an employee
  • Not offering employment to an individual
  • Denying a deserved promotion
  • Changing a salary offer
  • Modifying the terms or conditions for employment
  • Using language that is discriminatory when advertising job opportunities
  • Denying benefits to some employees only
  • Not making reasonable accommodations for employees with differing religious beliefs

Sexual Harassment

Another type of workplace discrimination prohibited under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is sexual harassment. This is type of discrimination generally falls under one of two categories:

Victims of discrimination are often intimidated into remaining silent, but if you have a valid claim, we are committed to helping you hold the at-fault party responsible.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

This law establishes the federal hourly wage minimum and required rate of overtime pay for nonexempt employees. States may have higher minimum wages than the federal one and employees are required to defer to the more beneficial rate of pay for the employee.

Minimum Wage Requirements

Employers must pay non-exempt workers at least the current minimum hourly wage. However, many employers ignore this law and continue to pay their employees below that rate.

Overtime

Overtime must be paid to employees who work more than 40 hours in a week, in accordance with the FLSA and Michigan Compiled Laws Section 408.414a. Employers are prohibited from averaging the number of hours worked over two weeks to attempt to deny overtime. If you worked overtime hours one week and none the next, you would still be owed overtime for that first week.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

This law defines different types of job-protected leave. The law enables eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family or medical reasons, such as:

  • Providing spousal care due to illness or other complications
  • Caring for a child or dependent parent suffering from a serious medical condition
  • The birth of a child
  • Obtaining treatment or care while suffering from a serious health condition that prevents you from working

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

This law gives service members the right to be reemployed in their civilian job if they leave to perform uniformed service.

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

Employees who suffer an involuntary job loss, reduced hours or who are transitioning to another job are given the opportunity to continue receiving group health benefits for a limited period of time.

Equal Pay Act of 1963

A law that requires men and women to receive equal pay for the same work, with certain exceptions.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

This law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation for disabilities.

Are There Any Employee Exemptions To The FLSA Law?

The FLSA does not require employers to meet the minimum wage requirements or pay overtime compensation to workers whose jobs fit certain criteria, including certain executive, administrative or professional employees with certain salaries, job responsibilities, continuing education, as set by the U.S. Department of Labor.

When applying federal or state wage or overtime exemption laws to workers, employers are required to apply whichever law is most beneficial to an employee.

Additional exemptions under the FLSA apply to these and other types of workers:

  • Police officers
  • Emergency medical technicians
  • Fire fighters
  • Paramedics
  • Park rangers
  • Investigators
  • Correction officers
  • Hazardous materials workers

Our Flint employment attorneys are available to discuss your potential claim in a free and confidential consultation. There is no obligation and no risk to you if you meet with us.

Learn more about your legal options today: (800) 762-8623

What Can You Do If Your Employment Rights Are Violated?

There are some important first steps you can take after any type of employment rights violation to help create an official record of the incident:

  • Carefully date and document any incidents
  • Note details about conversations and how you addressed the problem
  • Follow your employee handbook for reporting an incident
  • Attempt to resolve through proper channels at work
  • If any physical assault occurs, you should contact the authorities at 9-1-1 immediately

Our firm is available to take your call 24/7: (800) 762-8623

Important Filing Steps and Deadlines

If you have experienced an act of discrimination at work and you have unsuccessfully attempted to resolve it according to your employer’s handbook or policy, then we recommend that you contact an attorney immediately for legal help.

Deadline for Filing a Claim

In Michigan, discrimination and harassment complaints are handled through the Department of Civil Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You have just 180 days from the date of the incident to file a claim, so it is important that you contact an attorney immediately if your intent is to file a complaint.

The FLSA handles all complaints for minimum wage disputes and overtime issues, and you must file your complaint within two years from the date of the incident. In situations where multiple or willful violations have occurred, you may be granted up to an extra year beyond the filing deadline. However, it is best to speak to an attorney to clarify what deadline may apply in your situation.

To better assist you, your attorney will need you to provide additional information, which could include the type of work you do, your income and when you are paid.

At Jay Trucks and Associates, we are prepared to help you pursue your employment rights claim against your employer if we find that you have a valid case.

Contact our firm to learn how we may be able to help: (800) 762-8623

Compensation for Employment Law Violations

Compensation for employment law violations is not always financial. You may be able to seek reinstatement to a job, or a promotion you did not receive because you would not submit to sexual harassment. There are also different forms of financial compensation that may be available:

  • Wages lost due to discrimination
  • Attorney fees
  • Expenses related to a new job search
  • Reimbursement of benefits lost, such as commissions or bonuses, vacation time, retirement benefits and future lost income

Liquidated Damages

For those who pursue a complaint for unpaid wages through the FLSA, there are some instances where liquidated damages may be awarded. This is in addition to compensation for court costs, attorney fees and unpaid wages. Liquidated damages are usually equal to the amount of a victim’s unpaid wages.

Caps on Damages

There are caps on the amount of compensatory and punitive damages that may be recovered in employment claims, according to federal law. Currently, these maximum allowed limits are for employers with:

  • 15-100 employed workers: $50,000
  • 101-200 employed workers: $100,000
  • 201-500 employed workers: $200,000
  • Over 500 employed workers: $300,000

Contact One of Our Flint Employment Lawyers Today

When workers suffer acts of discrimination, sexual harassment or wage infringements or other employment rights violations in a professional environment, they may feel like they have no options to protect themselves or their job.

At Jay Trucks and Associates, we have been advocating for residents in Michigan, and we are committed to helping victims hold their employers financially accountable for these and other violations.

We provide a free, confidential legal consultation so we can assess whether you may have a valid case. It is also an opportunity to ask your questions about employment rights claims. There is no financial risk, because you pay us no money up front for us to represent you. We do not get paid our fees unless we first achieve a successful verdict or settlement on your behalf.

No upfront fees: (800) 762-8623

In the state of Michigan, employees are protected by laws prohibiting discrimination, sexual harassment, failure to pay minimum wage or overtime, retaliation against whistleblowers and denying leave for family or medical reasons.

If any of your rights as an employee were infringed or denied, our Clare employment lawyers may be able to help you hold your employer accountable and pursue compensation that may be available. Our firm has been advocating for Michigan residents for more than three decades and we have recovered millions in compensation on their behalf.

An initial consultation with one our licensed attorneys is free of charge. This is an opportunity to learn more about how we may be able to help you, along with learning about the benefits of hiring an experienced attorney.

No Upfront Fees. Ph: (800) 762-8623.

Do I Have a Case Against My Employer?

We need to know what happened to determine if your rights were violated and decide if you may have a valid claim. There are many violations that may cause workers to file claims against their employers:

Have Some Questions? Call (800) 762-8623.

Are Any Employees in Michigan Exempt from Employment Laws?

Under Michigan employment law, employers are not required to pay overtime or minimum wages to employees in bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacities.

Executive Exemption

Executive employees are exempt from overtime requirements if they:

Administrative Exemption

An administrative employee is exempt if he or she meets the pay threshold for an executive exemption and:

Professional Exemption

In addition to meeting the pay threshold of an administrative or executive exemption, the following criteria must be met:

Employers are required to apply the federal or state law that is most beneficial to the employee when it comes to overtime exemptions and other wage issues.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) also has a long list of exemptions for people who do a variety of jobs, such as:

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

Forms of Workplace Discrimination

There are several laws prohibiting various kinds of discrimination in the workplace, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National origin

There are many examples of discrimination that violate the civil rights act, including any of the following actions if they are done because of the characteristics listed above:

  • Firing or terminating employment
  • Not hiring
  • Not promoting
  • Modifying compensation
  • Changing the terms or conditions of employment
  • Not providing a reasonable accommodation for someone’s disability or religious beliefs
  • Discriminatory language in advertisements for a job
  • Denying benefits to an employee

Sexual Harassment

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act also prohibits sexual harassment, which is a form of discrimination based on sex. Generally, sexual harassment claims fall under one of two categories:

Sexual comments, unwelcome physical advances, exposure of genitals, jokes, sexual innuendo, displays of pornographic materials, being told sexual conduct is part of the job, sexual assault, and offensive or degrading comments could all be forms of sexual harassment.

However, you generally need to show more than one incident of harassment for your claim to have a chance of success. That is why it is important for employees to document their experiences to help build a strong case.

There are separate laws prohibiting discrimination based on your age or disability. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 says men and women cannot be paid differently for doing the same work that requires equal skill, effort and responsibility. There are exceptions for seniority, merit or payment based on quantity or quality of production.

Our Clare employment lawyers are ready to meet with you to discuss your situation. The consultation is free and there is no obligation, so there is no risk in calling us. (800) 762-8623

Causes for Wage and Hour Disputes

These disputes involve failure to pay minimum wage or overtime to eligible workers. Employers often misclassify workers as exempt from overtime or minimum wage. These employees then work overtime and are not paid at the required overtime rate of one and a half times their regular pay rate.

For example, this might happen to servers at restaurants who do work before or after their shifts end, such as cleaning or housekeeping type tasks, possibly making them eligible for minimum wage – even though workers who get a minimum of $30 in tips each month are only required to be paid a wage of $2.13 per hour.

Some employees are misclassified as independent contractors so employers can avoid paying minimum wage or overtime. However, if your employer says you are an independent contractor and is setting your schedule, directing your work, and providing supplies and equipment to help you complete your work, you may have been misclassified.

Simply having the word “manager” in your title does not mean you are exempt from overtime. Your job must fit one of the exemptions under the law.

As of January 1, 2020, the minimum wage in Michigan is $9.65. That means non-exempt employees must be paid a minimum of $9.65 per hour, even though the federal minimum wage is less: $7.25 per hour.

Overtime must be paid to employees who work more than 40 hours in a week, in accordance with Michigan Compiled Laws Section 408.414a. Employers are prohibited from averaging the number of hours worked over two weeks to attempt to deny overtime. If you worked overtime hours one week and none the next, you would still be owed overtime for that first week.

It is important to discuss your situation with an experienced Clare employment attorney, as these laws can be confusing, and you probably cannot rely on your employer to give you the correct information.

Schedule a free consultation. Phone: (800) 762-8623

Laws That May Apply to Your Case

There are many laws governing employees in the workplace, such as:

Our employer lawyers in Clare have extensive knowledge of these laws and how they may apply to your situation. This includes knowledge of how to pursue a claim against an employer that violated your rights.

What to do if Your Rights Were Violated?

It is important to notify your employer about discrimination or harassment. Follow the policy laid out in the employee handbook. It is possible you may be able to resolve the situation this way, but at the very least it will provide documentation of your complaints, which may be valuable evidence if we file a claim on your behalf.

You should also take notes on your experiences, as you may forget details later. Note instances of harassment or discrimination, including the date and time and how you addressed it.

If reporting the problem does not resolve it, you should consider contacting our Clare employment lawyers to discuss filing a claim.

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) handle discrimination complaints. However, you have just 180 days from the date of the harassment or discrimination to file a complaint on the federal or state level, so contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

If you have been denied minimum wage or overtime pay, you can file an FLSA complaint. You have two years from the date of the violation to file a complaint. However, you get an extra year to file a claim for repeated or willful violations of the law.

You will need several pieces of information to file your complaint, such as the type of work you did, how you were paid and when you were paid.

Our attorneys can manage the complaint process, including helping to gather information to make a strong argument in your favor.

Limitations on Damages in Employment Law Claims

In an unpaid wage claim filed under the FLSA, you may be eligible for liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees and court costs, in addition to payment of the wages you did not receive. Liquidated damages are often equal to the amount of unpaid wages. Attorneys’ fees are the costs your attorney incurred for investigating and pursuing your claim on your behalf.

In a discrimination complaint with the EEOC, much of the compensation you can pursue may not be monetary. For example, you may pursue reinstatement to your previous position or a promotion you were denied due to harassment. In some claims, the employer may be required to make changes to how it handles sexual harassment.

However, you may also be able to pursue financial compensation, such as:

  • Earnings you lost because of discrimination
  • Attorney fees
  • Bonuses, commissions, vacation days, retirement benefits, or increases in pay you did not receive
  • Cost to find a new job
  • Future lost wages if you are unable to be reinstated to your old position

There are specific limits on compensatory and punitive damages in these claims, according to federal law:

  • $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

Liquidated damages may be available in claims over age or sex discrimination, which are meant to punish malicious or reckless acts of discrimination.

Call a Clare Employment Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Victims of workplace harassment, discrimination or wage violations may not know where to turn for help. They know their rights have been violated but may be unsure of how to fight back.

Calling a licensed attorney can be an important step to take at this time. The attorneys at Jay Trucks and Associates know your rights as an employee and how to take action to attempt to hold employers accountable for engaging in or allowing violations of your rights to take place.

You can contact us anytime to schedule a free initial consultation to learn how we may be able to assist you.

Our office is located at 600 Pine Street in Clare, just down the street from Clare City Hall.

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

Throughout the U.S. and Michigan state, employment laws provide employees certain rights, including the right not be discriminated against and to be free from harassment. If any of your rights have been violated by your employer, we recommend contacting a lawyer to discuss your legal options.

I am very impressed with the efforts and success of this firm. I will continue to recommend this firm to others in need of legal advice and assistance.
– D.T

The Traverse City employment attorneys at Jay Trucks & Associates offer a risk-free, no-obligation consultation to review your situation. This way there is no risk to you in contacting us. Our firm has been fighting for victim’s rights for over three decades, collecting millions in compensation for our clients.

Let us protect your best interests. There are no upfront fees for our services. We only get paid if we are successful in obtaining compensation for you through a settlement or verdict.

We are standing by to take your call. (800) 762-8623.

How Do I Know If I Have a Case?

Our legal team needs to learn more about what happened to see whether your rights were violated by your employer. There are several violations that could cause an employee to take legal action against his or her employer. These including the following:

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

Types of Exempt Employees in Michigan

In accordance with Michigan employment law, employers do not have to pay overtime or minimum wages to employees working in administrative, executive or professional positions if those positions fit certain criteria.

Administrative Employee Exemption

Administrative employees are exempt if they:

Executive Employee Exemption

An executive employee can be exempt from overtime requirement if he or she:

Professional Employee Exemption

Learned professional employees are exempt if they:

For exemptions related to overtime and wages, Michigan employers must apply the appropriate federal or state law. On the federal level, this could include the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Common Examples of Workplace Discrimination

Certain laws prohibit workplace discrimination. This includes Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion and national origin.

Examples of this type of discrimination include the following:

  • Firing or terminating an employee
  • Failing to hire a qualified worker
  • Failing to promote a worker
  • Changing the terms or conditions in an employment contract
  • Modifying wages or pay
  • Denying an employee benefits
  • Failure to provide reasonable accommodations for a disabled or religious employee

Sexual Harassment

Another type of discrimination prohibited by the Act is sexual harassment. These claims typically fall into one of two categories: quid pro quo or hostile work environment.

Need legal help? Contact a Traverse City employment attorney from our firm to schedule a free consultation. (800) 762-8623.

Why Wage and Hour Disputes Happen

Michigan employment laws and the federal FLSA set the rules for minimum wage and overtime pay. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour while Michigan’s current minimum wage is $9.65. No state minimum wage can be lower than the federal minimum wage, which means that non-exempt employees must be paid a minimum of $9.65 per hour.

If you work more than 40 hours per week, your employer must pay you overtime. Employers cannot average the number of hours worked over a two-week period to try and deny you overtime pay. For instance, if an employee works overtime hours for one week, but none the next week, he or she is still owed overtime for that initial week.

Applying Specific Employment Laws to Your Case

Employment laws can be complex. Reach out to Jay Trucks & Associates to get the answers you need.  Our lawyers are well-versed in the following laws:

Are There Limits to What I Can Recover?

For unpaid wages claims filed under the FLSA, you may be able to pursue back pay as well as liquidated damages, lawyer fees and court costs.

For discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC, you may be eligible for earnings lost, lawyer fees, costs required to find a new job and future loss of wages if you were not able to return to your previous position. However, much of the compensation you could pursue is not necessarily monetary. This could include reinstatement to your previous position or obtaining a promotion you were denied.

The EEOC also places a limit on the amount of compensatory and punitive damages you can recover for employment discrimination. These limits vary based on the size of the employer:

What You Can Do If Your Rights Were Violated

If your rights have been violated, it is important that you notify your employer as soon as possible. Discrimination or harassment should not be taken lightly. Both the EEOC and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights handle complaints of employment discrimination.

You have 180 calendar days from the date the discrimination took place to file a charge. This deadline can be extended to 300 calendar days if a local or state agency decides to enforce a local or state law prohibiting the same type of employment discrimination.

Our Traverse City employment lawyers are prepared to explain your legal rights. Should you have a case and decide to move forward, we are ready to guide you throughout the entire legal process.

Reach Out to a Traverse City Employment Lawyer to Get Started

Have you suffered discrimination or harassment in the workplace?

As an employee, you may be able to take legal action against your employer under federal or state law. You may be eligible to recover compensation for the damages you have suffered. Jay Trucks & Associates has been advocating for victim’s rights for more than 30 years and our attorneys have recovered more than $500 million in compensation on behalf of your clients.

Our consultations are completely free, confidential and come with no risk or obligations. We work on contingency, so there are no upfront fees. You only pay us if we help you obtain a recovery.

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