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Last month, Michigan became the 10th state, and the first in the Midwest, to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The new statue, which became effective on December 6, 2018, is known as the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (“the Act”). Part of the Act’s stated intent is to decriminalize the personal possession and cultivation of marijuana by adults 21 years of age or older. The Act, among other things, allows individuals age…
Employers generally understand their obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as a number of state and local laws. A recent federal court case reminds employers that they may choose among reasonable accommodations and that as long as the selected reasonable accommodation is effective, they are not required to provide the specific reasonable accommodation requested by the employee.…
For-profit employers occasionally bring on unpaid interns to work at the company. The question employers must ask is whether an unpaid intern is actually an employee and, therefore, entitled to be paid minimum wage and overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  If an intern is not an employee under the FLSA, no compensation is required. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has clarified the factors it will consider in determining whether…
Employers must tread carefully when communicating with employees during union organizing campaigns. A seemingly innocuous question can violate the National Labor Relations Act’s (NLRA) prohibition on employers soliciting grievances during a union organizational campaign and accompanying the solicitation with a promise, express or implied, to remedy such grievances.  However, it is not always clear what type of question or statement constitutes soliciting or promising to remedy grievances.…
Employers facing Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge investigations may find themselves on the receiving end of overly broad, unduly burdensome and/or irrelevant information requests from the EEOC. If an employer refuses to comply with the requests, the EEOC has the authority to issue a subpoena.  However, the agency’s subpoena power is not without limitations. A recent case decided by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals  (covering Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Utah)…
As most employers know, it is unlawful to ask an employment or promotion candidate questions which reflect bias based on race, color, age, gender, religion, or any other protected status. For example, a candidate cannot be asked about their race, age/date of birth, religion, marital status, pregnancy, children, or plans for a family. Hiring decisions cannot be based on stereotypes or assumptions about a person’s protected status. Employers and all hiring managers should be aware…
In the midst of all the media coverage surrounding transgender bathroom policies, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has recently put employers on notice of its position that denying an employee access to a restroom corresponding to the employee’s gender identity is sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights act of 1964. This recently released information provides employers with helpful insight into what policies and practices the EEOC will be looking…
In a recent press release announcing new guidance for applicants and employees infected with HIV, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) noted that in 2014 alone, it resolved over 200 charges of discrimination based on HIV status, and recovered over $825,000 for job applicants and employees with HIV allegedly denied employment and reasonable accommodation as required under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC issued two publications on December 1, 2015, explaining the rights…
As experienced investigators know, an investigation into allegations of harassment, discrimination or other misconduct may lead to a so-called “he said/she said” scenario, possibly leaving the investigator in a quandary as to the investigation’s outcome. This situation may indeed lead to a determination that the allegations are unsubstantiated. However, an investigator should not shy away from making credibility determinations when possible, even when it is one person’s word against another.…
Your intentions may be pure, but your actions during or after union organizing activity could lead to your company running afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act) according to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB has recently emphasized this message in yet another 2-1 decision ruling that a nursing home employer’s attempt to restore a harmonious workplace environment in posting a memorandum and workplace violence policy, following a union election and…