BLOG: AN EMPLOYER’S OBLIGATIONS UNDER IWOWA
On March 29, 2019 the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (IWOWA) MCL 408.931 et seq was enacted. It is the legislature’s attempt to increase and enhance the minimum wage in Michigan and protect workers’ rights to overtime. In passing the law, the legislature made it clear that IWOWA would supersede any previous statutes inconsistent or in conflict with the act. MCL 408.945.
DUTIES OF EMPLOYERS
An employer shall:
a. furnish each employee with
i. a statement of the hours worked by the employee
ii. the wages paid to the employee
iii. the deductions made each pay period.
b. furnish the commissioner, upon demand, a sworn statement of the wage information.
c. keep a copy of this act and regulations and orders promulgated under this act posted in a conspicuous place in the workplace that is accessible to employees.
The commissioner shall furnish copies of this act and the regulations and orders to employers without charge.
WORKERS’ RIGHTS AND REMEDIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF IWOWA
A worker has 3 years to bring a claim against an employer.
The worker may recover the difference between the amount paid and the amount owed.
They may recover an identically equal additional amount as liquidated damages.
They may also be awarded attorney fees and litigation costs associated with the case.
The commission may also investigate the claim and bring a civil action on behalf of workers against employers who refuse to come into voluntary compliance with the law.
The employer is also subject to a $ 1,000.00 fine.
An employer that consistently discharges employees within 10 weeks of employment in an attempt to avoid paying minimum wages is guilty of a misdemeanor
An employer that operates a massage establishment that violates the act is guilty of a misdemeanor.