Marko Law Firm

Frustrated Former Employees Ask: Where’s My Money?


Nobody likes talking about that horrible job that they could no longer handle or maybe they were even fired. You know that one job that made you go down memory lane to see which wrong decision led you to that point? The one you showed up for one morning and before the clock rang noon, you rushed out the door and never came back. Yeah, that job. Been there.

But did you ever receive that final paycheck? No? That is why today we will be discussing a state law that governs Michigan employers, the Wage & Fringe Benefits Act, and what you can do if that ever happens to you.

Are you entitled to your final paycheck?

Under Michigan’s Wage & Fringe Benefits Act, you are still entitled to your back wages and earned commissions when you leave an employer. Whether you were fired or quit–it doesn’t matter. Employers are required to pay you. That is one of the primary purposes of the Act. Seems rather straightforward right? You work. They pay.

As a general rule, an employer must pay you for all of your hard work “as soon as that amount can be reasonably determined.” This often means that you should receive your final paycheck by your next regularly scheduled pay period.

Do you get your Commissions? When?

But what if you’re in sales? Well, Michigan has a separate law known as the Sales Representative Commission Act that provides for when commissions are due.

All of your sale commissions are due within 45 days after you left your job. If you are entitled to commissions after you are gone, then the employer has 45 days after the commissions were due.

What if you’re a hand harvester or work under a contract?

Hand harvester: Similarly, you should receive your final paycheck as soon as the amount can be reasonably determined. However, there may be difference in the time you receive your final paycheck, depending on whether you quit or were terminated. In most cases,

  • Quit: No later than 3 days after you quit your job
  • Termination: Within one working day from the date of your termination

Under contract: If you were terminated or quit your job while still under a contract, you may be entitled to an estimated paycheck for final wages from your former employer. But if the amount of wages cannot be estimated, you should still receive a final paycheck once the contract has ended.

How do you get your money back?

When an employer intentionally fails to pay you, things can get pretty ugly. If you were never paid from that last boss of yours, you may be entitled to more than just your back wages. You can file a free complaint with the Wage & Hour Program of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Here’s the website:,4601,7-154-11407_32352-39617–,00.html

Employment law can be very complicated. If you have a back wage issue, an attorney can help you file a complaint for your money as soon as possible. The attorneys at Ernst & Marko Law have helped many former employees get their money back that has been long overdue.  Often times, attorneys can get you additional compensation, such as attorney fees, penalties, and costs


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