Ask The Lawyer By: Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq.


QUESTION: A few weeks ago I took a Monday off as a paid personal day, and then worked four ten-hour days to make up for the work I had missed. I thought I’d get some over time, since I worked over my regular schedule all week, but the boss says no.

ANSWER: Both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and Michigan’s Workforce Opportunity Act require employers to pay hourly workers 1 ½ times their hourly wage for any hours over 40 in a seven-day work week. Paid time off does not count towards your hours worked under either law.

Because you only worked 40 hours in a work week, you are probably not entitled to any overtime pay.

Michigan law does have a couple of exceptions to the rule. For example, people working for state-run hospitals or institutions that are “primarily engaged in the care of the sick, the aged, or the mentally ill or developmentally disabled” and who also live on the premises can be paid overtime for working more than 8 hours in a single day if they are also subject to a written agreement establishing a work period of 14 consecutive days. But, the exceptions are few and far between.

California is more generous with its overtime. Workers there must get overtime for any work in excess of 8 hours a workday or 40 hours in a work week.

At least you had a paid personal day to take off – currently neither Michigan law nor federal law requires employers to give hourly workers any paid time off.

The lawyers at GWINN LEGAL PLLC are experienced attorneys and are happy to answer your questions. Give us a call for a free initial telephone consultation about your legal needs. For consideration of your questions in our web column, please submit your inquiry on the “Contact Us” page of our website at

Information provided on “Ask the Lawyer” is current as of the date of publication. Laws and their interpretation are subject to change. The material provided through “Ask the Lawyer” is informational only; it should not be considered legal advice. Submitting a question to “Ask the Lawyer” does not create an attorney-client relationship between the person submitting the question and GWINN LEGAL PLLC. To view previous columns, please visit our website.

By: Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
901 Wilshire Drive, Suite 550
Troy, MI 48084
(248) 247-3300
(248) 247-3310 facsimile

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