Sommers Schwartz is a powerhouse litigation firm that has recovered more than one billion dollars for our clients. When your future is on the line, our team will fight for you.

Clients say it best

I couldn’t have asked for better representation and counsel...


We can tackle some of the most complex matters in the litigation world.


Year after year, our team delivers unmatched results for our clients.

Detroit Unpaid Wages & Overtime Lawyer

Detroit workers should know their rights and the wage and overtime pay regulations in place to protect them. Wage theft and equal pay violations can happen in any organization, affecting blue-collar employees and others in hourly or managerial jobs. 

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes youth employment standards, minimum wage, record keeping, and overtime pay requirements for private sector, nonprofit, and federal, state, and local government employees. Michigan law also protects Detroit employees with similar rules but provides a higher minimum wage than federal law. However, companies often try to short employees by not paying them for extra time or manipulating accounting protocols.

The Detroit employment attorneys at Sommers Schwartz are fierce advocates for hard-working employees victimized by wage theft, and we hold companies accountable. If your employer has engaged in wage theft by purposely or negligently withholding your pay or engaging in unlawful pay practices, an experienced employment attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve, and you are entitled to pursue a claim against them. With more than 40 years of experience, our firm is passionate about protecting Detroit employees’ rights. 

Michigan Minimum Wage & Overtime Pay

The current Michigan minimum wage for non-tipped employees is $10.10 per hour. Tipped employees must be paid at least $3.84 per hour, and their employers must make up the difference if they fall short of the Michigan minimum wage. Employers may pay workers aged 16 and 17 at least $8.59 per hour. Unlike some other major US cities, Detroit does not have a minimum wage higher than the rest of the state.

The FLSA has an overtime exemption for salaried employees earning at least $684 per week. This means their employers need not pay them extra for working more than 40 hours a week.

These overtime pay exemptions apply to executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales workers, along with certain computer professionals and highly compensated employees. This seems straightforward, but many companies incorrectly classify employees as exempt and not subject to overtime when they are actually entitled to overtime pay.

How the Equal Pay Act Applies to Unpaid Wages & Overtime

The Equal Pay Act (EPA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on gender for salary and benefits. This means female employees should receive pay equal to their male counterparts doing comparable work under similar conditions (and vice versa). 

Employers trying to get around this law by misguiding their employees with unpaid hours or inaccurate records can face severe consequences if they are found liable for such violations. 

Under the EPA, an employer cannot: 

  • Reduce wages and the living standards of employees.
  • Allow unfair competition.
  • Prevent the maximum use of available labor resources.
  • Burden the free flow of goods in commerce.
  • Cause labor disputes that would disrupt business.

Equal work for both sexes must have similar effort, skill, responsibility, establishment, and conditions, defined below.

  • Effort: The amount of energy implemented through either mental or physical efforts needed for the role.
  • Skill: Includes an individual’s education, training, ability, and experience required to perform the job.
  • Responsibility: The degree of personal accountability for the tasks at hand.
  • Establishment: Employees execute work tasks at the exact physical location. 
  • Conditions: The physical environment, such as temperature and office spaces, must remain the same for all workers.

Are Blue-Collared Workers Entitled to Overtime Pay?

According to the U.S. Wage and Hour Division, laborers and other “blue-collar” workers who perform repetitive operations are entitled to overtime pay. Repetitive actions involving physical skill, hands, and energy are included. Non-exempt blue-collar employees usually gain the skills and knowledge required through physical work and on-the-job training.

Non-management employees covered by FLSA protections include mechanics, carpenters, ironworkers, craftsmen, electricians, plumbers, operating engineers, construction workers, and laborers entitled to minimum wage and overtime premium pay.

If you believe you were not paid for the total hours worked, or have faced unfair pay and discrimination, contact the Sommers Schwartz team today. We will fight for your rights. 

A Trusted Authority

Our attorneys have been featured on local and national media outlets, including:


A Client’s Gratitude

Thank you, Andy Dragovic and Annette DeCoste, for your professionalism and dedication to me and my malpractice claim. Andy’s confident and caring personality assured me that I chose the right firm to help me fight and get through one of the most difficult times of my life.

A Client With a Wrongful Death Case

My family and I would like to thank Matt Turner, Mickey McCullough, Janice Koehler, and your entire law firm for your dedication to my wife’s wrongful death case. We realize that we had the best law firm to successfully help us. We appreciate the obviously hard work and the efforts…

Praise for Albert Asciutto

Shout out to Albert Asciutto for being a fantastic attorney & walking me through the entire process of fighting for my wages! He made the process quick and easy. In the end we won the case!! Thank you again for taking my case on, you are awesome! I would absolutely…

Praise for Jesse Young and Alana Karbal

Alana Karbal and Jesse Young did an excellent job fighting a giant for my wages. They pushed me to get what they needed from me and were amazing at communicating with me at all times. I won my arbitration and was so excited when I got more than what I…

Praise for Wage & Overtime Pay Attorney Jesse Young

Jesse Young worked an employment case for me that ended with almost 700 people getting their unpaid wages back. He and his team are incredible. From the first communication to the last, they never missed a single beat – consistent and clear communication, quickly replying to my communication, and always making…

A Client’s Gratitude for Tad Roumayah

Tad, I want to express my sincere gratitude for your unrelenting advocacy on my behalf throughout this process. It’s a shame that this sort of thing is still happening to new moms in 2023 and at an institution that prides itself on diversity, equity, and inclusion, no less. Knowing there…

Comments about Matthew Curtis from an Appreciative Client

Your efforts have changed my life, Matt. I’m forever grateful. My wife has tons of upcoming medical expenses, and we had both been working hard to make ends meet. I can’t thank you and your staff enough.

Praise for Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller and Matthew Curtis

I am writing to express my sincere gratitude for your hard work and dedication in handling my case. I appreciate your professionalism, your compassion, and your perseverance throughout this challenging process. You have gone above and beyond to protect my rights, to defend my interests, and to secure a favorable…

Our Clients Say It Best

70 5-star reviews on Google