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How can employees complain about wages and fringe benefits in MI?

Michigan employees need to know that they have the right not just to be paid for their work, but to also receive fringe benefits. If they do not receive one, the other, or both, they can seek their compensation through legal means. Under state law, the Payment of Wages and Fringe Benefits Act is in place for the majority of employers and employees. When an employee believes that a violation has taken place, the worker has the right to lodge a complaint with the Wage and Hour Program.

If an employee chooses to file a complaint, they must do so within one year of when the violation is believed to have taken place. If a complaint alleges that a dismissal or a reduction in wages resulted from the worker trying to assert their workplace rights, it must be filed within 30 days of the date of discharge or the day in which the wages were subject to reduction.

An investigation and the time it takes to be completed can vary based on a multitude of factors. There could be a vast number of cases that are under investigation and that can influence how long resolution takes. Some cases are more complicated than others and both the employee and employer's cooperation can go a long way toward achieving a timely resolution. The employers will be asked to take part in the investigation by providing information such as the policies for fringe benefits, contracts for employment, records for when the complaining employee was working and other information. There could be a meeting held for the parties to try to clarify information and make an attempt at a settlement.

When there is not settlement, the Wage and Hour Program will come to a determination. Either side can appeal this decision. With employment-related disputes and the failure to pay wages or fringe benefits, it can be a difficult time for the employee. Before moving forward with a complaint, it can be beneficial and wise to speak to an attorney experienced in employment law, to get guidance about the case.

Source: Michigan.gov, "Filing a complaint for Non-payment of Wages or Fringe Benefits," accessed on April 5, 2016

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