Can you sue an employer that has paid you less than min. wage?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Clarkston, MI

I was a tipped employee at a slow resturaunt so sometimes I made enough tips to cover min wage sometimes I made little to no tips. The employer claims that if you make less than min. wage they have to cover the difference. Instead of paying those min. wage hours they took them off my check. I was still under min. wage on my check stubs so they threatened to have the district manager come in and look up all my credit card slips and was also threatened the manager would make me let them count my tips at the end of every shift. I have several check stubs that serve as proof.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Marc Aaron Asch

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . I am a Michigan licensed attorney that has represented workers in minimum wage violation cases in federal court.
    The answer is yes - you can sue an employer that has paid less than the minimum wage in state or federal court. You can also file a wage complaint with the Michigan Wage & Hour Division. Here is the link to the form:
    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/WH43_Employme...
    Here is info from the United States Dept. of Labor on wages for tipped employees:
    http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs15....
    Michigan waitresses have additional minimum wage rights beyond what federal law provides for. The current Michigan minimum wage is $7.40 per hour.
    You indicate that your employer kept inaccurate records of your hours worked so as to avoid paying you for all hours. That is unlawful. M.C.L. 408.391.
    Information you provide also raises a question about whether your employer retaliated against you for insisting on your right to the minimum wage. It is unlawful for an employer to fire or discriminate against a worker because the worker complained about violation of the minimum wage. Additional information is available here:
    http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs77a...
    The minimum wage laws are complex and have many exceptions. There are also time limits to make a complaint and if you miss these deadlines you will lose your rights. I encourage you to consult with a Michigan licensed attorney that has experience with wage and hour law. The minimum wage laws allow for "attorneys fees." That means that if a lawyer thinks you have a strong case, they may represent you for free and seek payment for their time from the employer who violated your rights.
    This answer is for general informational purposes only. I hope it was responsive to your question and I wish you the best in resolving this matter. My contact info is on my profile. You are welcome to contact me if you have additional questions.

  2. James M. Osak

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . Just file a complaint on this yahoo at the
    MI State - Dept. of Labor: Wage Division.
    LET THEM SORT THIS OUT.

    THIS ANSWER IS PURELY FOR ACADEMIC DISCUSSION ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ANY TYPE OF LEGAL ADVICE OR LEGAL... more
  3. Barbi L Feldman

    Contributor Level 9

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . First, I am not an attorney in your state so you will need to check on your local laws. For federal law however, even tipped employees have to make minimum wage. So after calculating your tips and hourly rate, if you are not making minimum wage, the employer MUST bring you up to minimum wage.

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