What are the wage laws in MI concerning waiting periods at work?

I have a management team that constantly fails to show up for work on time leaving me to sit out in the parking lot alone. This has been going on for months but two days ago I had to wait for an hour and a half past the scheduled start time before one of my managers finally answered my repeated phone calls and text messages wondering where they were at. Then a day later the same thing happened. I am not a manager so I do not have keys to the store to get in and I’ve been told I can’t leave the parking lot without hearing from a manager first that it is ok to go home. If Im not there when they show up I could be considered no show, no call and disciplined.

What are my rights in this? How long do I realistically have to sit in the parking lot alone and wait before I can leave without worrying about being fired? By law do they have to pay me for my time spent waiting for a manager to show up at the scheduled time they were supposed to come in?

Thank you

Asked on May 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you are an hourly employee, then so long as you show up to work at your scheduled time, you need to be paid from that time on, no matter how late your manager arrives. That having been said, you must stay during work hours; you cannot leave simply because your manager is late (but remember you are getting paid for this time). If your employer refuses to pay you for this wait time, then you can file a complaint with your state's department of labor and/or consult an employment law attorney (sometimes simply having a letter sent on a lawyer's letterhead head works ).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The bad news is, you can't leave during work hours, even if you can't actually work because the manager is late, if your employer says you can't leave--you'll have to wait in the parking lot. The good news is, if you are an hourly employee, if you show up when the employer tells you to, then you have to be paid from that time forward. So say you should be there at 8 am. If you voluntarily show up at 7:45, they don't need to pay you yet; but starting at 8, you have to be paid, even if the manager does not show up until 9:30. If they won't pay you voluntarily, you could contact the state department of labor to file a wage and hour complaint.

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