Tag Archives: michigan employment lawyer

Documenting Employee Performance Issues and Teeth Cleaning – Not Fun, But Necessary

For many employers, investigating and documenting poor employee performance issues is about as fun as going to the dentist. But a recent Michigan Court of Appeals decision illustrates the importance of both because it often becomes a critical defense against claims that the employee was disciplined or terminated for unlawful or discriminatory reasons. Worker’s Compensation … 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

Jim Leyland – A Great Baseball Manager, but a Bad Example for Managing Your Company’s HR

Jim Leyland, the now former manager for the Detroit Tigers, officially announced his resignation today. Under his tenure, which lasted eight seasons, Mr. Leyland took the Tigers to two World Series and had an overall record of 700-597. An example in “what not to do” in managing a company’s human resources. Mr. Leyland’s tenure with … Continue Reading

The U.S. Government Shutdown’s Impact on Employers and Employees

I felt like I was watching a New Year’s Eve special last night with all the countdowns to midnight. Unfortunately (or fortunately) there was no Ryan Secrest,no ball dropping, and no confetti. Instead, the count down was for when the government would “officially” shutdown.  Regardless of who you believe should be blamed (I’ll start with … Continue Reading

Employment Agreement Shortening Time for Bringing FLSA and Equal Pay Act Claims Invalidated by Court

On August 6, 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (the federal jurisdiction that includes Michigan) ruled that provisions in employment agreements that shorten the statute of limitations period in which employees are permitted to file claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Equal Pay Act (EPA) are invalid. Specifically, in Boaz v … Continue Reading

Michigan Supreme Court Rejects Heightened Standard in Whistleblower Protection Claims

Back on March 21, 2013, this blog critically discussed a Michigan Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) claim, Furhr v Trinity Health Corp., (2013), where the Court of Appeals reversed a jury verdict in favor of a former employee who had filed a lawsuit against her employer. Procedurally, reversing a jury verdict is not normally expected. But what … Continue Reading

Are Inconsistent Performance Reviews and Inefficient Termination Process Putting Your Company at Risk?

In a rare decision favorable to Michigan whistlblower plaintiffs, the Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s decision to dismiss a whistleblower case against an employer. But the real lesson that employers and their HR professionals should take from the decision is that timely decision making in the termination process is critical, as well as … Continue Reading

Proposed Michigan Bill to Prohibit Pay Discrimination – A Problem that Continues

A proposed amendment to Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act was introduced this week. The primary sponsor for this bill is State Representative Gretchen Driskell. This amendment is part of a package of bills intended to promote pay equity in Michigan. For more information about the other bills in this package follow this link. As to the motivation … Continue Reading

Not a Good Mix – Fishing Expeditions, Social Media, and Employment Discrimination

For many, sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and other social media-related websites is a daily routine. But what happens to that routine when a person becomes involved in litigation? This is a question that almost always has to be answered in the context of employment discrimination lawsuits.   The answer to this question, however, … Continue Reading

Lawsuits and Superheros – A Little More Fantasy Could Improve the Legal System

I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a comic book geek. And while Spider Man was not my favorite superhero, a favorite quote of mine is associated with him: “With great power comes great responsibility.”  While making the leap from superhero to lawyer probably requires some superhuman power, no extraordinary effort is needed in making … Continue Reading

Beginning a Racist Request with “please” does not make it any less Racist or Discriminatory Even if Asked for the Benefit of an Employer’s Customer

Is An Employer Liable for Harassment by non-employees? This question was inspired by a recent discrimination lawsuit (PDF) filed by a Michigan nurse against her employer, Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan. The lawsuit claims the employer agreed to a man’s request that no African-Americans care for his newborn baby. While most parents of newborns would be more … Continue Reading

An Employer’s Cheat-Sheet to Michigan’s Primary Employment Discrimination Statute

Employment discrimination under Michigan or federal law can be a very complex and nuanced. The following is an overview of important points employers need to be aware of under Michigan’s employment discrimination statute: Employment Discrimination Under Michigan Law  For Michigan employers the primary state statute that prohibits workplace discrimination is Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act … Continue Reading

Proposed Michigan Social Media Law Banning Employer Access to Employee Passwords – Not Something to “Like”

Proposed Michigan Social Media legislation is back in the headlines. Specifically, Chris Gautz of Crain’s Detroit Business reported that Michigan Senate House Bill 5523, (sponsored by Rep. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton), was approved unanimously by the House in September and is now sitting on the Senate floor.  This bill would “outlaw” employers from requiring employees and … Continue Reading

Management Lessons from the NFL: Avoiding Monday Morning Quarterbacking of Your Termination Decisions

Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal recently wrote an article, Management Secrets of the NFL, which offered a number of points relative to running a business.  One point that stood out related to hiring and firing decisions. Specifically, the article noted that 12 of the 32 NFL teams have hired a new coach since the … Continue Reading

Survey Answers Questions About Improving Employee Relations: Add Meaning

The Detroit Free Press released its fifth annual Top Workplaces to Work finalists of Metro Detroit employers. Congratulations to all the 2012 finalists. One point that jumps out from the results of the employee surveys submitted (my understanding is that these surveys are submitted anonymously) is the critical value employees placed on cultivating a meaningful … Continue Reading

Understanding Family Medical Leave Act Claims – One Statute, Two Possible Claims

Companies understandably find employment law to be simultaneously chaotic, complicated, and confusing. And this state of affair certainly applies to the Family Medical Leave Act, (FMLA). This is especially true when it comes to the two distinct type of claims that may be brought under the FMLA and the consequences each type of FMLA claim … Continue Reading
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