Labor and Economic Opportunity
The Payment of Wages and Fringe Benefits Act covers most Michigan employers and employees. An employee who believes that his or her employer has violated this act may file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division. A complaint alleging non-payment of wages or fringe benefits must be filed within 12 months of the alleged violation.
A complaint alleging discharge or wage reduction as a result of filing a wage or fringe benefit complaint or asserting a right provided by the Payment of Wages and Fringe Benefits Act must be filed within 30 days of the discharge or date wages were reduced.
The time required to complete an investigation depends upon the number of cases under investigation, the complexity of the claim, and cooperation of the employer and employee. Employers are required to provide records and other relevant information. Employees may be asked to assist in the resolution of their claims by providing personal copies of fringe benefit policies, employment contracts, a personal record of hours worked, sales or customer identification if commissions are claimed and other relevant information. Employers and employees may also be asked to attend a meeting to clarify facts and negotiate a settlement of the complaint.
If a claim cannot be informally resolved, the Wage and Hour Division will issue a written determination from which the employee or employer may appeal. A hearing before an administrative law judge will be scheduled. The employer and employee are expected to attend the administrative hearing to give testimony regarding the claim. The hearings officer will affirm, modify, or rescind the determination. That decision can be appealed to circuit court.
Each year the Wage and Hour Division receives over 5,000 claims and collects more than $2.0 million in wages and fringe benefits owed to Michigan workers. The Wage and Hour Division does not guarantee payment of wages and fringe benefits earned. Collection depends upon the employer's financial ability to pay, business closure, bankruptcy filing, or location of money and assets. There is no charge for filing a complaint.