Job Advice in Michigan,is This Legal What My Employer Has Done?

Updated on May 17, 2010
C.M. asks from Grand Rapids, MI
12 answers

I work at Holiday Inn Express in Grand Rapids. They have cut my hours back to 2-3 days a week,unless it really busy. I work in the laundry department. I have been there the longest of all the laundry employees. They have given me the reason to be that I do not fold the laundry correctly. I wonder if they can legally do this and if it might be a violation of my civil rights. I have tried researching it on the Michigan website,but haven't found anything that relates.

Are there people on Mamapedia that might know about this.

(Edit) I was hired at the laundry supervisor,but that was taken away from me without any kind of notice. I was not told about it at all until about a month later. I was hired for full time,at least that is the impression I got from the owner of the hotel when I was interviewed. I do make more money per hour then the other employees,that might be the real reason. They will probably not fire me since they don't want to pay the unemployment I am in Michigan,which is an "at will" state. I have never gotten any evaluations in the eight months I have been there. I think that the owner does what he wants to. They also take out a half an hour of time and pay if you work for more then five hours and don't punch out for a lunch of 30 minutes.
There is no union.

thank you


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So What Happened?

I was fired on Friday, 5/28/10. I have filed for unemployment and am actively looking for another job. I am looking for a cleaning or cleaning supervisor position, but will take just about anything at this point.

Thank you for your answers and support.


Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

You can always call The Department of Labor with any questions, or look online. Just go to

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answers from Chicago on

I do not know Michigan law, but know law a bit. I would guess they probably pay you more than anyone else there and are trying to find a way to cut you/your hours to save money. It is unfortuately happening in so many areas. Since you have been there the longest of all employees I am sure you were folding the laundry correctly before or did they just notice? Do you have a union? Call them. Look up the state website for labor laws. I do not know if it is a violation of your civil rights there or not, it is just violating the right of being a human with a job-an all too sad story these days.

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answers from Kansas City on

i think that stephanie said it really well. as far as i know if you are part time to begin with they probably have a right. if you were full time, maybe a different story. check it out.



answers from Indianapolis on

Having worked for Marriott in college, I know that American workers know their labor rights much less than people who immigrate here.

My sister was managing the Housekeeping department of a large property outside Washington, D.C, and when low occupancy required fewer employees and fewer hours, her staff staged a sit in to get their 32 hours/week.

Virginia is a work-at-will state, too. As is Indiana where, I currently reside, and that means that employers often don't need any cause and are protected by the law.

Your best bet right now is to contact a Labor Attorney and the state's Department of Labor to see what your rights are.
My industry is going through a major restructuring. People are getting laid off by the tens of thousands. I was one who was laid off last year (having a baby and cancer did not protect me from being laid off).

Good luck!



answers from Cincinnati on

If you read the papers you signed when you first started they are basically a contract between you and the employer stating what your job title is, your responsibilities are, your hours and your pay. Typically this paper or one of these papers also states that the employer has the right to make changes at will to any of the above.
In many places you have to clock out for lunch after 5 or 6 hours. That is labor laws. They are required to give you a half hour lunch break after that amount of time. If they won't let you work through that then I would definitely be making sure I get a half hour break.
If you are the longest employer and you have only been there 8 months that leads to some questions all on it's own. Why is the turn over rate so high? Are they not training correctly? Or are they having trouble staying afloat?



answers from Sacramento on

I know this does not help that much, but in California when I was cut from 40 hours per week to 24 I was told by an attorney there is nothing that I can do about it. That the employer can do whatever it wants to in that realm/scope of employment.



answers from Las Vegas on

I am not sure of the laws, but I believe as long as they are paying you for the hours you work, they are okay. The 30 minutes should be for a given break and that is probably law. They must give you your breaks after working so many hours. Are they giving you 15 minute breaks in those 5 hours as well?

I stand corrected, unless you are under the age of 18! Take a look.,1607,7-154-27673_32352-117...



answers from Charlotte on



answers from Kansas City on

If saying you are not folding the laundry right is just some sort of ruse, you might have a legal problem with them. But how would you prove it? Does your immediate superviser agree that you aren't folding it right?

I'm not an attorney and I don't live in your state. But it sounds to me like they have every right as an employer to decide who gets part-time and who gets full-time hours.



answers from Detroit on

Are you an "At Will Employee." You should consult your personnel policies and procedures manual to see what you are required to do if you have a grievance. If you are an At will employee and can be fired without cause, it is likely that the personnel policies may address lay offs and reduced hours as well. In the short term, you may want to make sure that you are doing an excellent job folding the laundry and any other tasks that might be assigned to you. When individuals have seniority experience, it is expected that that individual knows the ropes and expectations of the company. It is perceived that the Senior individual will make sure that the other employees do a good job by the example that they set. I don 't know if someone with less senior status is complaining that they are folding the clothes the same way you are or just telling that you aren't doing it correctly. You haven't really said anything here that sounds like you have a legal remedy. You haven't stated that you have been discriminated against based on age, race, gender, or religion. I haven't heard anything here that sounds like a civil rights violation. Does the company conduct performance evaluations? If so, where is your performance rankings/evaluations falling? You also did not mention if you are part of a Union. If so, you may want to seek advice from the union steward and check the union contract agreement for the grievance process there as well. I hope this information helps.

God Bless,



answers from Kalamazoo on

They can doc your pay and hours at any time. It happened to my husband and me and my brother in law in the last year because companies are suffering. I'm glad they reduced my pay instead of laying me off! Companies are required by law to have the employees take scheduled breaks after so many hours. You should be punching out for lunch. As far as the evaluations go, there is nothing required by law. If you don't like your job, find a new one.



answers from Gainesville on

Were you full time before hand ? Has everyones hours been cut or just yours? Are you bumping heads with someone who works there ? Remember, you are there the longest, you are probably getting paid the most, and when they cut hours it would be more profitable to cut someones hours that makes a lot more money, however not right it is. It sounds to me like someones being a jerk, and you should bring it up to hotel management. If they give you the run around, don't even mention it to them but write corporate and let them know what's going on, go on up as high as you have to to get an answer. Don't be afraid to put the heat on, sounds like they are being unfair. The whole " not knowing how to fold right " is a ridiculous excuse, they could have come up with something better. If you were unable to do your job they wouldnt keep you at all.

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