Health care workers are essential employees in the Detroit area and in these uncertain times are considered by many to be true heroes. However, it is important that health care workers who often work multiple long shifts every week understand when they should receive overtime pay under U.S. wage and hour laws.

Payment for hours worked

Workers in Michigan are entitled to be paid for hours worked. Depending on the circumstances, under federal law this may include the following:

  • Pre/post shift duties
  • Travel time during scheduled work hours from one worksite to another worksite
  • Work meetings and training

However, it is important to note that meal and sleep time may be excluded from hours worked under certain circumstances.

Overtime pay

Non-exempt employees, under federal law, are owed time and one-half of their regular pay (which cannot go below the minimum wage), if they work more than 40 hours in a seven-day work week. Regular pay includes non-discretionary bonuses and shift differentials, in addition to normal compensation. Depending on the circumstances, employers do not have to pay certain salaried managerial and professional employees overtime pay under federal law.

Health care workers can seek help if wrongfully denied overtime pay

If a health care worker in Michigan believes they were wrongfully denied overtime pay, they may want to take action to protect their rights. Taking on your employer in such situations can be intimidating, and people may be afraid they will lose their job if they speak up. However, workers cannot be retaliated against for protecting their rights under federal law. Because wage and hour claims can be complicated, it can help to seek legal advice from a qualified attorney, which this post does not provide.