What Are My Rights as an Employee in Michigan?

As an employee in Michigan, you have certain rights that protect you in the workplace. Just Right Law understands that figuring out what these rights are can feel overwhelming, especially if you are in a challenging situation with your employer. We want to empower you with the knowledge to advocate for yourself and to know when to seek legal guidance.

State Protections

First and foremost, you have the right to a safe and healthy work environment. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) enforces standards to ensure employers provide a workplace free from recognized hazards. If you believe your workplace is unsafe, you can file a complaint with MIOSHA, and they will investigate the situation. Remember, your employer cannot retaliate against you for reporting safety concerns.

You also have the right to fair compensation. Michigan’s minimum wage is $10.33 per hour, with some exceptions for tipped employees and minors. If you work over 40 hours in a work week, you are entitled to overtime pay at 1.5 times your regular hourly rate. Your employer must pay you for all hours worked and cannot withhold pay or force you to work off the clock.

Discrimination and harassment are unacceptable in the work environment. The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of Michigan prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, color, national origin, weight, height, age, familial status, sex, religion, disability, or marital status. This protection encompasses every facet of employment, including recruitment, termination, advancement, and pay. Should you encounter discrimination or harassment at your workplace, it’s essential to record the occurrences and bring them to the attention of your HR department or supervisor. If the problem persists, it may be necessary to seek legal advice to uphold your rights.

Federal Protections

Apart from state regulations, Michigan employees are safeguarded by federal laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you’ve been with your employer for a minimum of 12 months and they have at least 50 employees, you might qualify for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons under FMLA. The ADA mandates that employers must offer reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, provided these accommodations do not excessively burden the employer.

If you face a difficult situation at work, remember you have rights and options. Document any incidents of mistreatment, discrimination, or harassment. Follow your employer’s internal reporting procedures but know that you can seek external help. Government agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights investigate and enforce employment laws.

How We Can Help

At Just Right Law, we know that standing up for your rights can be daunting. You may fear retaliation or worry about the impact of your actions on your career. However, you deserve to work in a safe, fair, and respectful environment. If you believe your employer violated your rights, our compassionate and experienced attorneys are here to listen and provide guidance.

If you need legal assistance, do not hesitate to contact Just Right Law. You can reach us by phone at (248) 519-2313 or contact us online. We are committed to fighting for the rights of employees and ensuring that every worker is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.