What can I do if my employer documents and pays me for 40 hours a week when I work 50-55?

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What can I do if my employer documents and pays me for 40 hours a week when I work 50-55?

I started working for this company with an hourly wage about a year ago. Then 5 months ago I moved here from out of state and got put under salary. Late last month they took me off salary and put me under hourly. Even though I work 50+ hours a week they pay me the same as I was getting under salary. They just put 40 hours at a specific hourly wage for every week. Is this legal? Would it be legal for them to lower my hourly wage without reason if I were to say something about it? Hypothetically, if I documented my hours and quit in a few months could I get them to pay me for all the unpaid hours?

Asked on January 10, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If you  are an hourly employee, you must be paid for all hours worked. There is no legal justification for only paying you for 40 hours if you work 50 - 55, and doing so is a violation of labor laws.

2) If you are an hourly employee, you must be paid overtime (time-and-a-half) for all hours worked in a workweek past 40; failure to do so is another violation of labor law.

3) You could sue your employer, either now, while still employed or after leaving, for all unpaid hours, plus overtime. The law may even given you additional compensation (e.g. double damages) and/or lawyer fees; also, the law makes it illegal to take action against you for bringing a wage-and-hour complaint.

From what you write, you may wish to consult now with an employment law attorney to explore your options and possible recovery.


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