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Marvin Winans sued for wage violations

Federal and state wage and hour laws help assure that workers receive their legally-entitled wages and that improper deductions are not made. In a recently-filed federal lawsuit, a housekeeper sued Grammy-winning Rev. Marvin Williams and his Perfecting Church for employment law violations by requiring her to give 10 percent of her salary to the church and donate money for birthday gifts for supervisors and managers.

Perfecting Church employed her as a housekeeper from March 2012 through Jan. 2017. She was a member and employee of the church.

Winans is the founder and president of Perfecting Church. It owns at least 90 commercial and residential properties in Detroit and employs 40 workers to clean and maintain them.

According to the lawsuit, Winans demanded that the housekeeper donate ten percent of her annual $18,00 salary to the church at a meeting. When she said that she did not have this money, Winans suggested that he deduct this donation directly from her bi-weekly pay. She refused and complained about the job threats for her refusal to donate birthday money.

She claimed that her employers repeatedly asked her to give $10 to $25 for birthday presents for managers. They offered to deduct these gift contributions from her paycheck.

Her suit also contained other wage violations allegations. She charged that the church improperly withheld overtime pay by manipulating the time clock records. The church's tardiness policy contained a schedule which, for example, docked 15 minutes of pay if an employee arrived one to 15 minutes late.

Her 18-page lawsuit was filed earlier this month in the U.S. District Court. She also claimed civil rights law violations because employees who, unlike her, were not members of the church did not have to tithe.

Victims of workplace discrimination and wage and hour violations should seek legal representation to protect their legal rights. They can assure that workers can pursue compensation, damages and other relief under federal and Michigan law.

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