Michigan Labor Laws

Michigan Labor Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

It’s essential for employers and employees working in the state of Michigan to have a solid understanding of Michigan labor laws.

  • Are you unsure about your rights regarding minimum wage rates and fringe benefits?
  • Do you need clarity on what constitutes a condition of employment in Michigan?
  • Wondering how collective bargaining agreements affect your work hours and pay?

When it comes to employment law in Michigan, understanding the nuances can be pivotal.

Our expertise in this domain ensures accurate guidance on prevailing wage rates, recordkeeping obligations, and more.

This article is for:

  • Employees in Michigan seeking clarity on their rights and entitlements.
  • Employers in Detroit or elsewhere in Michigan needing to ensure compliance with state labor laws.
  • Individuals involved in collective bargaining negotiations or navigating fringe benefit packages.

Whether you’re an experienced worker or just starting in the job market, grappling with employment regulations can be daunting.

We’ve been there, and we understand the confusion it can cause.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on Michigan labor laws.

Michigan Wage Laws

Minimum Wage

The Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (IWOWA) sets Michigan’s minimum wage at $10.33 per hour.

This applies to employers with at least two employees aged 16 or older.

Employers can pay tipped employees a minimum of $3.93 per hour if tips bring their earnings up to at least the regular minimum wage.

Youth Minimum Wage

Under IWOWA, employers may pay a training wage of 85% of the minimum wage to newly hired workers aged 16 to 19 for the first 90 days of employment.

Michigan Payment Laws

Pay Frequency

Michigan law mandates that employers must pay wages at least twice per month, except for certain professional employees.

Final Paychecks

When an employee is terminated, employers must provide their final paycheck on the next regularly scheduled payday, in accordance with state law.


Employers can only make deductions from wages if they are permitted by law (e.g., taxes) or authorized in writing by the employee.

Unpaid Wages

Employees have the right to pursue legal action to recover unpaid wages, including potential overtime pay.

Michigan Overtime Laws

Federal and State Laws

Michigan employers must adhere to overtime regulations outlined in both the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act.

Overtime Rate

In general, non-exempt employees must receive pay at 1.5 times their regular pay rate for all hours worked beyond 40 in a single workweek.


Some employees, often those in managerial or professional roles, may be classified as exempt from overtime pay regulations.

Michigan Break Laws

Meal Breaks

Michigan law does not require employers to provide meal breaks to employees who are 18 or older. However, employers must completely relieve employees from duties if they choose to offer unpaid break periods.

Rest Periods for Minors

Minors are legally entitled to a 30-minute rest period for every five consecutive hours of work in Michigan.

Michigan Leave Requirements

Paid Sick Leave

Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide paid sick leave benefits. Eligible employees can accrue up to 40 hours of sick leave annually, which can be used for various health and safety reasons.

Family and Medical Leave

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for qualifying reasons such as the birth of a child, personal or family medical issues, or care of certain military service members.

Other Leave Rights

Michigan law may provide additional leave rights for reasons such as jury duty leave, voting leave, and domestic violence leave. Check specific details for eligibility.

Child Labor Laws In Michigan

Age Restrictions

Michigan’s Youth Employment Standards Act (YESA) sets minimum age limits for work and restrictions on occupations that minors can hold. Generally, minors under 16 cannot work during school hours, and there are further limits on the number of hours they may work.

Hazardous Occupations

YESA prohibits minors from engaging in certain occupations deemed hazardous.

Work Permits

Minors seeking employment in Michigan may be required to obtain work permits.

Michigan Hiring Laws


The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in Michigan on the basis of factors such as race, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, and more. This covers all stages of employment, including hiring.

Background Checks

Michigan employers can conduct background checks but must comply with relevant state and federal laws, including ensuring they are non-discriminatory in nature.

Employment Eligibility

Employers are legally required to verify the employment eligibility of new hires through the federal I-9 system.

Michigan Termination Laws


Michigan is considered an employment-at-will state. This means employers can terminate an employee for any reason or for no reason, as long as the termination is not discriminatory or retaliatory.

Exceptions to Employment-at-Will

There are a few exceptions, including protection against termination for reasons like whistleblowing as per the Whistleblowers’ Protection Act or exercising legal rights.

Written Contracts

Employment contracts can modify at-will employment by outlining specific terms and conditions for termination.

Occupational Safety In Michigan

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA)

MIOSHA is the state agency that oversees workplace safety and health regulations within Michigan.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers have a general duty to provide employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards that could cause death or serious physical harm. They must also comply with specific OSHA standards for their industries.

Employee Rights

Employees have several rights under MIOSHA regulations, including the right to refuse unsafe work, request inspections, and be informed of workplace hazards.

Important Notes on Michigan Labor Laws

Federal vs. State Law

Where there are overlapping federal and state regulations (like minimum wage or overtime laws), employers must generally follow the law that is most beneficial to the employee.

Industry-Specific Regulations

Various industries may have additional Michigan labor laws and regulations that go beyond the general rules outlined here.

Local Ordinances

Some cities or municipalities in Michigan may have their own labor ordinances, such as minimum wage laws or sick leave mandates, that go further than the state level.

Changes to the Law

State and federal labor laws can change over time. It’s important to consult the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity or a legal professional for the most up-to-date information.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This blog post provides a general overview of Michigan labor laws but does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations. Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in Michigan, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation. By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

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