Tag Archives: Jason shinn

The Buzz About Michigan Marijuana Legalization and the Workplace

“Smoke ’em if you got ’em.” Recreational marijuana is officially legal today in Michigan. However, there are a host of budding issues that employers and employees must address with this legalization. For background, Michigan voted in November to legalize recreational use of marijuana by adults who are 21 or older. About ten years earlier, Michigan … Continue Reading

WeWorks Settles Investigation of Overbroad Noncompete Restrictions

The office share company WeWork Cos. reached a settlement with attorneys general of New York and Illinois over requiring most employees to sign over-broad noncompete agreements. The Wall Street Journal, by Eliot Brown, reported that WeWork previously required most employees, including baristas and receptionists, to sign agreements barring them from working at similar businesses for … Continue Reading

FTC Considers Restricting Noncompete Agreements

Will the playing field be leveled between employers and employees when it comes to non-compete agreements? Perhaps if anything comes out of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) hearings held last 9/13 and 9/14, which focused on how the agency’s competition and consumer protection approaches are working. One area of focus is whether enforcement practices need to … Continue Reading

Two Metro Detroit Employers Settle with DOL Over FLSA Violations

Two Metro-Detroit employers have recently agreed to settle wage and hour violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) involving overtime compensation and misclassification issues. Specifically, Belle Tire agreed to pay over $340,000.00 for violations under the FLSA. Payments will be made to employees in approximately hundred stores in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. According to … Continue Reading

Michigan Employer Did not Violate Family Medical Leave Act by Investigating Employee Conduct

Often when an employee exercises rights under federal or Michigan laws, any subsequent discipline becomes the first domino in a subsequent retaliation claim. But a recent appeal from a Michigan federal district court shows that does not have to be. Specifically, in Groening v. Glen Lake Cmty. Schools, the plaintiff, a school superintendent, claimed that she … Continue Reading

Michigan Municipalities Barred from Regulating Salary History Questions in Job Interviews

Michigan municipalities won’t be able to enact local legislation championed as one way to eliminate the wage gap between men and women under a bill heading to Gov. Rick Snyder. Specifically, legislation (SB No. 353) restricts municipalities from regulating what information employers must request, require or exclude during job interviews passed the Republican-controlled House on … Continue Reading

Learning From a Trade Secret Misappropriation Suit Against Former Employees

A trade secret misappropriation lawsuit was filed on March 3, 2018 (Bankers Life and Casualty Co. v Knox) against two former employees. The suit, among other issues, raises two points important to individuals looking to start a new business and for business owners interested in protecting their company’s competitive interests. The plaintiff, Bankers Life, provides seniors … Continue Reading

If Only Losing Pounds Were as easy as Losing a Weight Discrimination Lawsuit

Companies employing individuals in Michigan are often surprised to learn Michigan law specifically prohibits weight discrimination. Specifically, Michigan’s anti-discrimination statute, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA), prohibits an employer from failing or refusing to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate against an individual in employment because of weight. MCL 37.2202(1)(a). But employees still must meet their … Continue Reading

Learning from this Company’s Mistake: Don’t Mishandle Employment Agreements

An interview with a successful CEO offers business owners a chance to learn from a costly mistake involving employment agreements. This mistake could have doomed her company before it became a billion-dollar business. Specifically, Therese Tucker is the CEO of BlackLine, which provides automated finance and accounting software. She also founded BlackLine and brought it public. … Continue Reading

Untangling Confusion about FLSA Exemptions for Highly Compensated Employees

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an interesting Fair Labor Standards Act decision. The case focused on who is and is not exempt from overtime requirements. And the result – as the court noted – is likely to be counter-intuitive to many employers. Case Background – FLSA and Highly Compensated Employees The case, … Continue Reading

Geography Increasingly Complicates Resolution of Non-compete Disputes

On January 8, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider an appeal from a former Stryker Corp. sales representative. The appeal arose from a case involving a non-compete agreement between a Louisiana employee and a Michigan employer. The non-compete agreement contained a forum-selection clause stating that any dispute arising out of the agreement must … Continue Reading

Before Accepting a new Position, are you Required to Sign a Non-compete Agreement?

A former employee recently sued MedMar Inc. and its related companies. The suit, Greenswag v MedMar Inc., pending in the Cook County Circuit Court, alleges the defendants made misrepresentations about the employment opportunity to induce him to sign a non-compete restriction. I haven’t reviewed the complaint, but these sorts of claims are often unsuccessful. This is … Continue Reading

Michigan’s Minimum Wage Increases January 1, 2018

Michigan is one of 18 states where employees will receive an increase in paychecks beginning January 1. Specifically, Michigan’s minimum wage will increase $0.35, raising the minimum wage to $9.25. This is the last increase under the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act, which passed back in May 2014. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wage increase will directly … Continue Reading

Weak Links in Trade Secret and Computer Fraud Litigation

A company’s Federal Trade Secret Claim and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim were recently dismissed by a Michigan federal district judge. The dismissal was avoidable. But it also offers several key lessons for employers and employees when it comes to protecting and using confidential information. The Trade Secret and Computer Fraud Litigation The case, … Continue Reading

When it Comes to Enforcing a Noncompete Agreement is Timing Everything?

A recent noncompete case from Minnesota offers a cautionary tale for employers and cause for celebration for employees. The case, Safety Center, Inc. v. Stier, (11/6/17), involved an employer that ran a treatment center for special-needs sex offenders. The employer sought to enforce its noncompete agreement against a former program director (Stier). The noncompete agreement … Continue Reading

Changes to the Michigan Business Court

Amendments to the Michigan Business Court Statute go into effect today, October 11, 2017. These amendments primarily focus on clarifying the cases that are to be assigned to business courts. Also, the statute was amended to clarify a Business Court’s jurisdiction to hear business disputes involving equitable or declaratory relief. The amendment now clarifies that … Continue Reading

Court Blocks LinkedIn From Restricting Access to User Profiles

A Federal Judge recently blocked LinkedIn from restricting another company from using data from LinkedIn’s website. The suit involves Linkedin and hiQ Labs, Inc. The suit also has significant ramifications for job-seekers and employers. See LinkedIn Profiles Used to Alert Employers Which Employees are Job-Hunting. hiQ Labs Business Depends Upon Access to LinkedIn Profiles hiQ Lab offers data … Continue Reading

Proposed Legislation To Improve and Expand Michigan Business Courts

Proposed legislation would revise Michigan’s business courts. It would provide several revisions, including a change that will be important concerning non-compete disputes. Michigan experimented with creating a “business court” docket in 2011 in Macomb County Circuit Court. The experiment expanded into Kent County in March 2012 and Oakland County in July 2012. Then in 2013, Michigan … Continue Reading

Uber’s Autonomous Vehicle Program Continues but Without its Key Engineer

On Monday, May 15, 2017, Uber Technologies, Inc. narrowly sidestepped what could have been a complete shutdown of its autonomous vehicle program. Specifically, a federal district court judge declined to issue a temporary injunction against Uber and its self-driving car program. A copy of the order is available here, Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies, Inc. (5-15-2107). … Continue Reading
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