Michigan workers are often worried about their wages and making sure their employer is adhering to the law when paying them. Hourly workers tend to be the most vulnerable to employer wrongdoing, but this kind of thing can happen to anyone regardless of their income and what type of work they do.
Most people are aware of the minimum wage laws in the state, but they do not understand the scope of the laws and the extent of their protections. One concern that could arise is whether employers can randomly change or reduce an employee’s wages. Knowing the law is key.
Employers must adhere to certain rules with changing wages
Employees must understand that, generally, an employer can change a wage agreement whenever they decide to do so. This is independent of what the wages were previously and whether the employee agrees. Still, the law does protect employees in several ways.
Under Michigan laws, employers must inform employees of any wage change before the changes go into effect or the employee works any hours under the new wage. For example, if an employer reduces someone’s wages for whatever reason, the worker cannot simply see less money in their paycheck and not know it was going to happen. Employers must tell them in advance.
The minimum wage in the state – currently $10.10 per hour – is not impacted by wage changes because employers are not allowed to go below that amount. Even with that, if an employee is making much more than that, the employer can still reduce it to $10.10.
Employees whose wages are reduced may have legal recourse
Many times, employees are unaware of an employer lowering their wages until they see it in their pay. That can be a violation. In other cases, an employer might cut wages to retaliate against a worker for engaging in protected activities, which is also unlawful.
This is an area of employment law that can be confusing, and many employees may be afraid that complaining will cost them their job or lead to other problems. However, if an employer is violating wage laws, there are legal resources to hold them accountable.