Are we illegally being denied overtime pay?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Are we illegally being denied overtime pay?

I work at a convenience store/gas station in Michigan. Our store’s owner has several other stores, restaurants and properties as well. When I work more than 40 hours a week, the extra hours are paid to me in the form of a second check written from another of his stores. I presume this is to avoid paying overtime. Also, while some shifts are 12 hours long, we aren’t allowed to take formal breaks or lunch/dinner times. Is this legal?

Asked on June 22, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) Overtime: an employer owning multiple stores or business cannot get around the overtime requirements by attributing some of your hours to a different location. If you are working for the same person, all the work you do for him is added together to determine overtime. So when you work more than 40 hours a week, you must be paid overtime for all time past 40 hours. He can choose to pay from a different account if it's more convenient for him for some reason--the law doesn't care about the name/account number on the paycheck. But you must get overtime (time-and-a-half) when you work more than 40 hours per week.
If you are not being paid overtime, contact your state department of labor to file an overtime complaint.
2) Many states require lunch/meal breaks and sometimes other breaks, too--but Michigan does not. Your employer does not need to provide you any breaks, including meal breaks.

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