Tag Archives: Michigan employment attorney

Reversal Against Employer in Overtime Pay Lawsuit Highlights Dangers of Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors

At a time when companies are increasingly using “independent contractors” rather than W-2 employees, the risks and liabilities for misclassification have never been higher. And it just got harder for Michigan and other Midwest employers who are accused of improperly classifying their workforce after a 3/26/2015 ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Specifically, … Continue Reading

A New Day for Pregnant Employee Workplace Accommodations – Understanding the New Framework

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court issued the much anticipated opinion in a pregnancy discrimination claim, Young v . United Parcel Service. For context, the claim in Young v UPS arose under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The PDA was added to Title VII (the gold-standard in terms of civil rights law prohibiting workplace discrimination) to … Continue Reading

Employee Manuals Need Spring Cleaning Thanks to the NLRB

Thanks to the National Labor Relations Board (the NLRB), companies need to add employee manuals to the list of things that need spring cleaning. Specifically, the NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel issued a 3/18/2015 report full of examples of how your company’s employee manual likely violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). For background, any … Continue Reading

When Does an Employer Have Notice of an Employee’s Need for Religious Accommodation?

As an employment law nerd, I often get giddy when there is a meaty employment law issue being addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court (hopefully Justice Ginsburg took it easy on the sauce prior to oral arguments). But today I’m especially giddy because the Supremes are hearing arguments in the case captioned EEOC v. Abercrombie & … Continue Reading

To Be or Not to Be … An Employee – Second Circuit Expected to Answer Question of When an Intern is an Employee

Is an intern an employee? This question is expected to be answered in the coming weeks – at least for employers in the Second Circuit. Specifically, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Court is expected to answer this question after it reviews two earlier conflicting opinions in two separate cases filed that were … Continue Reading

Proposed Michigan Bill Would Make it Easier for Individuals to Clear Convictions from Records

Michigan’s Senate Judiciary committee is scheduled to consider a bill tomorrow that would make it easier for individuals previously convicted of certain crimes to have their records expunged. Specifically, Michigan House Bill 4186 would allow individuals convicted of a single felony or a couple of misdemeanors to apply to have them removed from their record.  Notably, … Continue Reading

Drilling Home the Difference Between an Independent Contractor and Employee

A common question that business owners raise involves the use of employees versus independent contractors. The use and classification of an individual as an employee or independent contractor is one of the more complicated employment law issues that business owners will deal with and resolving such issues will depend upon circumstances. Consider one test, the economic … Continue Reading

Michigan Court Cuts Down Non-Compete Agreement

Abraham Lincoln once noted that if he had six hours to chop down a tree, he would spend the first four sharpening the axe. For employers, that sort of up-front attention to details is especially important when it comes to non-compete agreements. Otherwise, as a recent Michigan Court of Appeals illustrates, the only thing likely to … Continue Reading

Should My Business Use an Arbitration Agreement for Employment Disputes?

A frequent question that employers have when it comes to employment contracts and policies is whether the company should use an arbitration procedure for resolving disputes. While there is not a “right or wrong” answer to this question, I tend to recommend employers reconsider using arbitration for resolving employment disputes. Two important factors for recommending … Continue Reading

Discrimination Lawsuits Aren’t Rorschach Tests – They Should Not Be Subject to Interpretation

The Michigan Court of Appeals sent a strong message that employment lawsuits should not be analogous to a Rorschach test, i.e., subject to interpretation. Instead, there are certain fundamental pleading requirements that must be alleged in order to state a claim; Failing to follow these requirements may result in a dismissal of the claim. The decision … Continue Reading

Is Your Non-compete Agreement Enforceable? Not Without a “Reasonable Competitive Interest”

“Sticking feathers up your butt, does not make you a chicken.“ Tyler Durden, Fight Club Under Michigan law, one required element for having an enforceable non-compete agreement is a “reasonable competitive business interest.” But, like the chicken quote, business owners can’t expect to just stick the phrase “reasonable competitive business interest” into an employee agreement … Continue Reading

Employer’s Social Media Policy Found Not To Violate Employees’ Rights

A recent social media case involving the NLRB should be cause for celebration for employers. Specifically, in Landry’s Inc., Case No. 32-CA-118213 (June 26, 2014), an NLRB administrative law judge (ALJ) had found a social media policy concerning its subsidiary, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurants, Inc., did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Initially, … Continue Reading

Corporations can Hold Religious Objections in order to Opt Out of covering Contraceptives for Women.

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court decided this morning that corporations can hold religious objections that permit them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women. Incredibly, this decision is the first time that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious … Continue Reading

What Steps Can Your Business Take to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Trade Secret Theft?

Trade secret theft continues to be a major concern (or it should be) for businesses. And the numbers back up this conclusion; In an article by  by Will Yakowicz, appearing in Inc., “How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Trade Secret Theft,” it’s noted that: Criminal theft of corporate trade secrets is reaching epidemic levels, experts say … … Continue Reading

Governor Snyder & Business Leaders Support Amending Michigan Law to Prohibit Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said Thursday, May 29, 2014 that he would like to see Michigan lawmakers amend the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include language about sexual orientation and gender identity before the end of the year. These statements were made in an interview with Crain’s Detroit Business, as reported by Chris Gautz. Currently Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil … Continue Reading

Michigan Employers Must Consider Telecommuting as a Reasonable Accommodation

Under a recent federal court ruling, Michigan employers must be prepared to consider telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for an employee under a 4/22/2014 court ruling.   Specifically, Jane Harris was terminated from her position as a resale steel buyer at Ford Motor Co. This termination occurred shortly after she asked to telecommute … Continue Reading

Employee Terminations: Delaying the Inevitable is Inevitably Bad for the Company

Employee terminations are an unfortunate reality of every business. But that doesn’t mean employers and their managers are good at carrying out terminations.  Take for example a response Sir James Dyson (yes, the vacuum guy was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2006) gave when he responded to Bloomberg Businessweek’s “Ask a Billionaire” feature that … Continue Reading

Pornography in the Workplace – One Employer’s Response that You Don’t Want to Follow

One employment law topic that never seems to go away is pornography in the workplace. When the issue invariably arises, I remember my first attorney job out of law school. I began working at a medium-sized law firm. One partner I frequently worked with was a brilliant, chain-smoking, gruff, old white-collar defense and First Amendment … Continue Reading

Has the Michigan Department of Civil Rights Changed its Discrimination Investigation Process?

This may be premature speculation, but it appears the Michigan Department of Civil Rights – the agency responsible for handling charges of discrimination against Michigan employers – has slightly revised its claims handling procedures. Employment Discrimination Claims and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights Specifically, an employee or job applicant may file a complaint with … Continue Reading

Employee Owned Tablets and Technology Devices: Managing the Risks and Rewards Starts with BYOD Policy

With Christmas quickly approaching, employers should expect that their employees will be enjoying new technology devices entering the new year. And this means employers should expect new employment law compliance issues and technology risks for their companies.  Bring Your Own Devices and Employment Law Compliance Issues Employee owned devices create a minefield for employers when … Continue Reading

Playbook for Addressing Age Discrimination under Michigan and Federal Law

The NFL’s Arizona Cardinals have been one of the surprising success stories this season. One of the reasons for the team’s success is the commitment it made to an older (ancient by NFL standards) coaching staff. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal (Kevin Clark), The Cardinals’ Secret: Elderly Coaches, highlights the Cardinal organization’s deliberate … Continue Reading
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