Tag Archives: Michigan employment attorney

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

Age Discrimination Suit Because Job Posting Asked for “No More Than ‘X’ Years of Experience”

If your company’s job postings seek applicants with a cap on the years of experience then you may also be advertising for an age discrimination lawsuit. At least that is a take away from a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision involving a suit under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The case, Kleber … 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

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

Ex-Worker Sued for Accessing Former Employer’s Google Drive Account

A former employee’s accessing a Google Drive he set up for his employer may result in a violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). This case also serves as a reminder to carefully evaluate how your company uses any third-party services like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Background … Continue Reading

Detroit Casino Sued for Violating Americans with Disabilities Act

Detroit’s Greektown casino was sued on October 3, 2016, by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by denying a reasonable accommodation to and then firing an employee because of his disability. The former employee, Michael Lepine, was a pit manager for Greektown Casino. The lawsuit … Continue Reading

Corporate Religious Beliefs – A New Defense in Employment Discrimination Claims?

The tension between employment discrimination and religious freedom recently played out in a Michigan federal district court case. In that case, EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, the employer’s religious freedom won out over the rights of a transgender employee. Specifically, the judge ruled that a metro Detroit funeral home did not discriminate … Continue Reading

Religious Discrimination Guidance Issued by the EEOC

Employers should be aware of the recent guidance on federal protections for religious discrimination issued as a result of the interagency effort between the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  (EEOC). Specifically, the EEOC released on 7/22/2016 its religious discrimination guidance, which focuses on younger employees and explaining how the laws protect … Continue Reading

NLRB Makes Gambling with Your Company’s Employee Handbook a Risky Bet

Employers are once again put on notice that missteps in drafting employee handbooks and other HR policies will be targeted as unfair labor practices where they come within an area code of compromising employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This time, a California casino was found to have interfered with workers’ labor … Continue Reading

Emails Become an Expensive Sideshow in Employment Discrimination Lawsuits

A recent employment discrimination lawsuit underscores the importance employers must place on preserving and producing electronic evidence. As explained below, the employer lost an opportunity to avoid significant costs associated with searching and recovering emails. Specifically, in Wagoner v. Lewis Gale Med. (7/13/16), the plaintiff sued his former employer Lewis Gale Medical Center LLC for … Continue Reading

What is Your Company’s Mindset in Conducting Employee Investigations?

I recently watched an excellent TED Talk by Julia Galef, that should be a “must read” for every HR professional who is tasked with the responsibility of conducting employee investigations. As explained below, applying the points made by Ms. Galef can improve your company’s response to allegations of discrimination or workplace misconduct, as well as … Continue Reading

New Guidance for Employers on When Leave is an ADA Accommodation

In non-North Carolina bathroom news, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued this past week a resource document concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). More specifically, this document addresses the use of employer-provided leave as an accommodation under the ADA. The intent of the EEOC’s resource document is to provide general information to employers and employees … Continue Reading

Can an Employer’s Religious Belief Defeat a Discriminatory Firing?

Can an employer’s religious beliefs defeat an otherwise discriminatory termination? Employers in Michigan may soon have much-needed guidance on this issue based on an employment discrimination case filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in Federal District Court in Michigan. Specifically, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. … Continue Reading

NLRB Agenda Continues to Focus on Non-Union Employee Rights

A recent decision of the National Labor Relations Board provides employers with a reason to carefully evaluate disciplining employees who make negative comments about their company’s products. Specifically, on 3/25/2016, the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed an NLRB decision that a Jimmy John’s franchisee violated the employee rights of six employees when it fired them. The illegal terminations arose … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Fact Sheet to Help Small Businesses Comply with Federal Employment Laws

To help small businesses comply with their employment law obligations, the Small Business Task Force, established by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), recently issued a new simplified, one-page fact sheet. The fact sheet is focused on assisting small business owners to understand their responsibilities under federal anti-discrimination employment laws. The EEOC’s fact sheet, “Preventing … Continue Reading

Did Meeting the FLSA Administrative Exemption Get Easier?

Michigan employers recently received a favorable Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) ruling. This decision also provides guidance when it comes to evaluating whether particular categories of employees may be administratively exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements. Procedural Background Leading up to the FLSA Ruling The decision arose out of the case Lutz v. Huntington Bancshares, Inc., … Continue Reading

Michigan Supreme Court Rejects Expansion of Whistleblower Protection of Employees

Remember the movie Minority Report starring Tom Cruise? The premise of that movie was that in the future a special police task force (the “pre-crime division”) could identify wrongdoers who would go on to commit crimes and charge them before those unlawful acts actually occurred. A similar science fiction plot recently made its way to … Continue Reading

Job Applicant’s Lawsuit under Fair Credit Reporting Act Barred by Statute of Limitations

Employers in Michigan and surrounding states conducting background reports on job applicants received a favorable decision from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals when it comes to limiting liability for claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The decision was issued on February 18, 2016, in the case Rocheleau v. Elder Living Constr., LLC … Continue Reading

Religious Accommodations in the Workplace and Chinese New Year

Today marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year, which is also known as the Spring Festival. Traditionally and especially in China, this celebration last 15 days. This festival is also a celebration that involves both cultural and religious elements. For this reason, it is an excellent backdrop for discussing an employer’s obligations on accommodating religious … Continue Reading

“Reasonable Accommodations” and “Undue Hardship” Defenses – It Comes Down to Money

A recent case involving the Americans with Disabilities Act offers employers an opportunity to consider two frequent issues under this statute: What is a reasonable accommodation and what must an employer show to establish an “undue hardship” defense to providing such an accommodation. The case, Searls v. Johns Hopkins Hosp. (1-21-16), resulted in the U.S. … Continue Reading
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