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"Two-Part Interview" Involves Two Hours of Unpaid Work? - Michigan

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  • "Two-Part Interview" Involves Two Hours of Unpaid Work? - Michigan

    I was recently hired at a fast food restaurant, and after being interviewed, given a uniform, filing my paperwork, and being sent to orientation, I showed up for my first day as scheduled. My manager informed me that I wouldn't be paid for two of the four hours I was scheduled, because they were part of the interview process. I spent most of those two hours cleaning tables, floors, dishes, etc. Even if I didn't, Michigan doesn't have a training wage law that I'm aware of. Is it legal to bring me in for two hours of work and not pay me?

  • #2

    Lectures, Meetings and Training Programs: Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs and similar activities need not be counted as working time only if four criteria are met, namely: it is outside normal hours, it is voluntary, not job related, and no other work is concurrently performed.

    There are laws where certain employees can be paid less than min. wage but they have to be paid something if they worked.

    Mi. does have training wage laws for certain employees to be pd. less than min. wage.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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    • #3
      Probably not legal. If we are talking federal law only (FLSA), then you must be paid at least minimum wage (averaged over the workweek) for all time actually spent working. Example. Bob is hired this week and does pretty much what you just said. He is physcially at work for 4 hours but only actually works for 3.5 hours. Assuming those 3.5 hours are the entire workweek, then FLSA says Bob must be paid at least $25.38 (3.5 hrs times $7.25/hr) for those hours. FLSA does not say each and every hour must be paid at least $7.25/hr, but rather looks at the average over the workweek. It generally does not say time spent not working, such as filing in a job application, must be paid.

      Your state is not my state. MI may or may not have additional laws, but someone else will have to address that.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


      • #4
        Thanks! Is there a standard or perticularly effective way to approach an employer with this sort of claim? When I first questioned my manager she told me it was company policy and there was nothing I could do, and it seems silly to attempt legal action over two hours of pay. Am I just SOL on those hours unless I try to go to court?


        • #5
          Yup, you're SOL unless you file a claim.


          • #6
            If this is a chain, then approach someone higher up in the organization. Perhaps a general or regional manager or HR department. Chances are good in the fast food industry that your manager doesn't have much more experience than you do and often just means they have been there more than a few months.
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