Protecting Migrant Workers From Wage Theft

Missing one paycheck or even an hour of work can threaten a migrant worker’s stability and basic needs, like food, shelter, healthcare, and transportation.

Migrant Legal Aid uses its mobile outreach and education program to empower workers to know their rights, recognize wage theft, and consult with us for any concerns or legal work required to protect them. We use state and federal laws that protect wages to help ensure wage theft is remedied and we use class and collective actions to address legal needs of groups of workers.

State and federal minimum wage laws apply to all workers, even those who are paid by the piece rate (“por contrato,” as our clients say). Reviewing the pay they received against the hours they worked in the first step to identifying wage theft.

If you believe you have not been paid properly for your work, or are being paid less than minimum wage, contact Migrant Legal Aid for help.

What Is the Minimum Wage in Michigan?

As of January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Michigan is $9.87 per hour, and the Adverse Effect Wage Rate, or AEWR (which applies to temporary agricultural workers working in the United States on an H-2A visa) is $15.37 per hour.

The Public Act 337 of 2018 established annual increases of the minimum wage. However, the increase in minimum hourly wage does not take effect if the unemployment rate for Michigan is 8.5% or greater throughout the prior year.

wage theft

What Wage and Hour Laws Apply to Migrant Workers in Michigan?

Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act grants individuals the right to a minimum wage and overtime pay, and it sets record-keeping and youth employment standards. These standards apply for all workers, even those who earn their wages by piece rate, as migrant farmworkers often do.

Migrant and Seasonal Agriculture Worker Protection Act

Along with job site condition requirements, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act requires that migrant and seasonal farmworkers be given the terms and conditions of their work in writing.

Other Labor Laws

In addition to the above legislation, there are many other federal and state labor and wage laws that may apply to your situation. The team at Migrant Legal Aid can identify and use many of these laws to help protect migrant and seasonal farmworkers from wage theft.

Understand and Protect Your Rights With Migrant Legal Aid

If you believe you have not been paid properly for your work, or are being paid less than minimum wage, don’t wait to contact Migrant Legal Aid for help.

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