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Employer duties per Payment of Wages and Fringe Benefits Act

Michigan's Payment of Wages and Fringe Benefits Act of 1978 provides employees in the state with a certain set of rights in matters related to wage and hour laws. In addition to those rights, there are certain responsibilities that all employers in Michigan must fulfill in order to be in compliance with the act. Those responsibilities mainly pertain to recordkeeping and making statutory deductions.

There are certain employer-centric clauses in the act, which, under certain circumstances, are major factors in a dispute and subsequent remedies related to wage and hour laws in the state. Those clauses are:

First, an employer must maintain all records pertaining to an employee's demographic details, classification and pay rate. Additionally, that employer must also maintain records of the number of hours an employee works in a particular pay period, the total wages paid for that period as well as a list of itemized fringe benefits awarded to the employee. Those records must be complete for at least the previous three years.

If required, an employer must be able to supply that data or other details pertaining to the Wage and Hour Program in Michigan, in order to conduct any sort if investigation or proceeding. An employer, however, is entitled to make deductions from an employee's wages or fringe benefits if there are instances of legitimate overpayments due to mathematical errors. Detailed guidelines pertaining to this are available with the Wage and Hour Program.

An employer may be subject to civil penalties and interest, which cannot be more than $1,000 for every lapse in recordkeeping, if, upon conclusion of an investigation or proceeding, it is proved that the employer either did not maintain or did not submit information that was needed by the Wage and Hour Program.

Despite the clear guidelines, violations of employee rights do still occur. For those who feel their employee right have been violated, it may be wise to seek professional guidance in order to understand how a complaint can be filed for a violation of the Payment of Wages and Fringe Benefits Act. The employee should be aware that a complaint must be filed within 12 months in order for the court to consider it seriously.

Source: Michigan.gov, "An Overview of the Payment of Wages and Fringe," accessed on Jan. 15, 2015

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