State and federal laws have been put in place to protect workers from discrimination and to set certain standards for pay and hours worked. If you are concerned about matters such as whether you should be paid overtime or whether you may recover damages after being sexually harassed, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney to understand your rights and how you can poursue them.
The Traverse City employment lawyers at Neumann Law Group are immediately available to evaluate your claim and offer our advice and representation. We handle all types of employment lawsuits, ranging from race discrimination to wrongful termination to sexual harassment and more.State and Federal Employment Laws in Michigan
Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of certain protected characteristics. However, there are differences between state and federal law, and it is important to understand these distinctions.
The primary anti-discrimination federal law is Title VII, which prohibits employers from making employment decisions on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, or sex. Another important federal law is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits age discrimination, but it protects only workers who are at least 40 years old. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities.
The Michigan Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, height, weight, or familial or marital status. Unlike federal laws, it applies to all employers, rather than just those with a certain number of employees. Accordingly, workers who work for smaller companies still have protection against discrimination in Michigan.
However, different damages are available in federal and state courts. For example, punitive damages are not available under ELCRA, but they are available under Title VII and the ADA. These damages are capped depending on the size of the employer. Our employment attorneys can help Traverse City and Grand Rapids workers determine which laws protect them and how to maximize any potential damages award.Wage and Hour Claims in Michigan
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets certain standards for how wages are paid around the country, including minimum wage and overtime. However, Michigan has a minimum wage that is more generous than the federal minimum wage, and most employers will need to pay the more generous wage. Different rules apply to tipped workers. Michigan labor laws require overtime to be paid to nonexempt employees at 1 1/2 times the employee's regular rate when more than 40 hours are worked in a workweek. Michigan does not require your employer to give you a break—even a lunch break—if you are 18 years old or older.
You have a right to file suit to collect any unpaid wages that you are owed by your employer. Often, there are penalties that will also be applied when an employer has violated minimum wage or overtime laws. For example, you may request liquidated damages for employer violations of minimum wage and overtime laws. In some cases, a class action lawsuit against an employer may be appropriate.Are You Interested in Learning More About Your Rights as an Employee?
As an employee, you should be able to go to your workplace, be paid fair wages, and be judged on your work performance, rather than your personal characteristics. You may be able to file a lawsuit if you are subject to unlawful discrimination on the job or not paid overtime to which you are entitled. Our Traverse City and Grand Rapids employment attorneys may be able to assist you. Our firm also represents workers in Ann Arbor, Flint, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Detroit, Wyoming, Saginaw, Muskegon, Midland, Holland, Warren, and Petoskey, as well as areas throughout the Upper Peninsula. Contact Neumann Law Group at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up a free appointment with a sexual harassment lawyer or seek assistance with another employment claim.