Michigan Employment Law Advisor

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“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 voters approved the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. To help cut through the haze of confusion surrounding Michigan’s law,…
Two bills are being fast-tracked through a Michigan lame-duck legislative session that would fundamentally alter the State’s legal system regarding awarding attorney fees to a prevailing party. Specifically, the two bills were introduced on November 8, 2018, and are: SB 1182 Civil procedure; costs and fees; attorney fees; require the award to the prevailing party. Amends 1961 PA 236 9MCL 600.101 – 600.9947) by adding sec. 2443; and SB 1183 Civil procedure; costs…
Are Michigan employers at risk of being sued for violating rights of individuals who are authorized medical marijuana users? A case from Connecticut under that state’s law suggest the answer may be yes. Specifically, a Connecticut federal court found an employer guilty of employment discrimination after it refused to hire a medical marijuana user. The employer, SSC Niantic Operating Company LLC, offered the plaintiff a job contingent on her passing a pre-employment drug test. The…
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 a year after leaving WeWork. The WSJ further reported that as part of the settlement, WeWork agreed to release 800…
At the beginning of 2018, we advised our business clients to expect sexual harassment claims to increase. This advice was in response to various high profile sexual harassment claims and the #MeToo Movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace. Consistent with these predictions, it was reported on 9/17/2018 by Chris Opfer for Bloomberg’s Human Resources Report (subscription required) that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saw an increase in sexual harassment claims this year…
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 be expanded or the law requires changes concerning non-compete restrictions. Specifically, in advance of the FTC hearings, Federal Trade Commissioner…
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will sign an executive order “banning the box” on state job applications. This order applies only to State Agencies and does not extend to private sector employers. NPR reported on 9/7/2018 that the order goes into effect on October 1, 2018, and will prevent state departments from using an application check box to ask job seekers if they’ve been convicted of a felony. A criminal history review could still happen later…
On July 2, 2018, we defended against a motion for a preliminary injunction on behalf of our clients. Our clients were sued for allegedly breaching their non-compete agreements with their former employer and related claims. As is often the case in non-compete litigation, numerous factual and legal issues were up for grabs when it came to obtaining injunctive relief. See What Happens When a Noncompete Agreement is Violated? A Blueprint for Noncompete Litigation. And…
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 the Department of Labor Department (DOL), this settlement arose out of a DOL investigation, which concluded that Belle Tire “failed…
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 v. CareFusion Corp. involved a 58-year-old attorney who alleged he was denied a chance to interview for a job because…