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Showing 7 posts in Michigan Employment Issues.

Michigan Supreme Court Disavows And Clarifies Whistleblower Motivation

On May 1, 2013, the Michigan Supreme Court held that whistleblower motivation is irrelevant to the issue of whether a whistleblower engaged in protected activity and proof of the whistleblower’s specific motivation is not a prerequisite to a Michigan Whistleblower Protection Act (“WPA”) claim.  Through that holding in the decision of Whitman v. City of Burton, 493 Mich. 303, 321 (2013), the Supreme Court clarified and disavowed Shallal v. Catholic Social Services, 455 Mich. 604 (1997).  “To the extent that Shallal has been interpreted to mandate a specific motive, any language to that effect is disavowed as dicta unrelated to the essential holding of the case regarding the causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse employment decision.”  Id.  Read More ›

Summer Hiring Season: Making Sure Your Business Complies With Youth Employment Laws

As the warmer weather draws near, many businesses will consider hiring high school students or other youths to meet their seasonal staffing demands.  Youth workers are beneficial because they are typically paid lower wages, they can work flexible hours, and they have no expectation of permanent employment. 

But there are legal restrictions on the type of work that minors can perform, as well as restrictions on their work hours.  These restrictions, which vary by age group, are set forth in the regulations to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and in various state-specific laws.  Additionally, some states, including Michigan, require employers to keep a work permit, signed by a school official, on record for any minor that they employ  Read More ›

Through The Looking Glass: Sixth Circuit Overturns Proposal 2’s Prohibition On Affirmative Action in Michigan Universities.

Last Thursday, by an 8-7 vote (with two judges not participating), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decided Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. University of Michigan, finding a provision of the Michigan Constitution to be, well, unconstitutional. That provision was known, a few years ago, as “Proposal 2” and, at the risk of oversimplification, Proposal 2 banned the use race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting. Read More ›

Michigan’s Medicinal Marijuana Act Confirmed Not To Create Protection For Employees

On September 19, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued its much-anticipated opinion in Casias v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., affirming that Michigan’s Medicinal Marijuana Act (MMMA) does not protect employees from termination for using marijuana in violation of a drug-free workplace policy. That opinion resolves many open questions for employers contending with a less than artfully drafted statute. Read More ›

Pending Legislation Threatens to Reshape Michigan Law Regarding Noncompete Agreements

Employers wishing to enter into noncompete agreements with their employees frequently attempt to issue those agreements after the employment relationship begins. Often, the desire to have such an agreement arises from a change in the employee’s status with the organization—after all, the employee that has worked his or her way up through the ranks may not have been privy to information that would make a noncompete important at the time they were hired. As employees become entrusted with more and more responsibility, however, careful employers may wish to prevent the employee from using that information for the benefit of a competitor. Although Michigan law permits issuance of a noncompete agreement to current employees for exactly that reason, pending legislation may end that practice. Read More ›

Sixth Circuit Issues Valuable Reminder of the Importance of Contractually Shortened Limitations Periods

Employers constantly are on the lookout for strategies to employ that reduce the risk of potential litigation arising from the workplace.  In a recent decision, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals served an important reminder of the importance of contractually shortened limitations periods as one simple step that employers can take to cut off potential employment claims. Read More ›

The Social Security Number Privacy Act Is Still A Trap For Unwary Employers

In an effort to combat the growing problem of identity theft, the Michigan legislature enacted the Social Security Privacy Act (SSNPA) in 2005. Though most Michigan employers took steps to comply with SSNPA when it was enacted, since then there has been very little discussion of the Act’s requirements. Employers should, however, review their policies and training to ensure that they continue to comply the law.   Read More ›