Many employers in Michigan do not want to pay overtime wages. They may need extra work from their employees, but they are hesitant to pay time and a half because it can put such a strain on their operating budget. An employee who normally makes $20 an hour would make $30 an hour for overtime, and that can really add up when overtime happens consistently or when many employees are involved.
Instead, your employer may offer to give you comp time, which means that you get to take paid time off instead of being paid time and a half for those overtime hours. If you work overtime on Friday, for instance, they may just tell you to come in late the next Monday. Can they do this?
You must be given the right amount of time
To start with, yes, this is legal in many cases. Comp time can be used by employers who have such an agreement with their employees.
But the problem is that many employers will attempt to give the same amount of time off as the overtime hours worked. What they need to do is give an hour and a half off, which is paid at the normal rate, for each hour of overtime. This way, the employee is still “earning” time and a half for working extra. They are just taking it as additional personal time off, rather than additional financial compensation. But you still deserve time and a half either way.
Has your employer violated wage and hour laws?
You may find yourself wondering if your employer is breaking wage and hour laws if they are not paying you the correct amount or if they are not giving you the right amount of comp time. Some employers honestly don’t know how it works, while others may be trying to pay less than they owe. Either way, you need to know about your legal options if you find yourself in this position.