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Wage and Hour Law


In the past several years, the number of wage-hour cases filed in federal and state courts has skyrocketed, even as the number of other types of employment cases filed has declined. The penalties assessed against employers, including unpaid wages, double damages and attorneys’ fees, has also risen dramatically. Given this increased threat of litigation, the high price it brings and ongoing changes in federal and state laws and regulations, wage and hour compliance has become a crucial issue for Michigan employers.

For more information, please contact either your Varnum attorney, Beth Skaggs at 616/336-6620 or, or Joe Vogan at 616/336-6666 or

Wage and Hour Compliance

By providing employers with proactive advice and recommendations, Varnum’s wage and hour attorneys offer clients the tools they need to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in order to avoid costly lawsuits. We counsel clients on how to avoid wage-hour liability through a wide range of methods, including:

  • Comprehensive wage-hour audits
  • Drafting appropriate policies on time recording and recordkeeping
  • Verifying that overtime is properly recorded and calculated correctly
  • Determining which activities must be counted as "hours worked" under the law
  • Reviewing job descriptions and duties to determine which employees are exempt from overtime pay
  • Determining appropriate classification of independent contractors
  • Litigation threat assessments


If litigation cannot be avoided, we have extensive experience representing employers in both single-plaintiff cases and large wage-hour class and collective action lawsuits. Varnum’s wage and hour attorneys have successfully represented clients in cases alleging failure to pay the minimum wage, failure to pay for overtime, failure to pay for "donning and doffing" time, failure to pay for off-the-clock work, retaliation for wage-hour complaints and improper classification of employees as exempt or as independent contractors.

Our clients are from such diverse industries as:

  • Retail
  • Food processing
  • Health care
  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Manufacturing
  • Trucking
  • Technical education
  • Internet services

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