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Jim Hermon is the Leader of Dykema's Labor and Employment Practice Group. He provides full-circle employment counsel, helping clients manage employer-employee relationships at all levels and meet their state and federal regulatory and statutory obligations. Jim advises on all aspects of the workplace, from onboarding and handbooks to internal investigations and litigation, to exits and severance agreements, always with an eye on the client’s business objectives.

In an open commission meeting on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted 3-to-2 to ban nearly all non-compete agreements between employers and workers (broadly defined to include employees, independent contractors, and others, whether paid or unpaid). The effective date of the final rule could be on or about August 23, 2024, depending on the success of legal challenges, which have already commenced. Continue Reading Federal Trade Commission Approves Final Rule Banning Nearly All Worker Non-Competes

On April 17, 2024, the United States Supreme Court delivered a pivotal ruling in Muldrow v. City of St. Louis, fundamentally reshaping the landscape of Title VII litigation. This landmark decision dismantled the longstanding requirement, upheld by several Circuit Courts, requiring plaintiffs to demonstrate “significant harm” to seek recourse for alleged discriminatory acts by their employers. In doing so, the Court obliterated a barrier to litigation, enabling employees to challenge any job action, regardless of its magnitude, if perceived to stem from discriminatory motives as long as it inflicts some injury, no matter how slight. This development underscores the need for employers to exercise heightened vigilance lack any semblance of discriminatory intent.Continue Reading Supreme Court Issues Landmark Decision Rejecting “Significant Harm” Requirement in Title VII Cases – Opening the Door to More Employment Discrimination Claims

On August 30, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor announced its proposed new regulations on who can be treated as exempt from overtime pay. These proposals have been in the pipeline for nearly two years, with many in the business community anxious about what to expect. Some of that anxiety was somewhat undeserved, but some fears have been realized.Continue Reading DOL Proposes New White Collar Exemption Regulations – Legal Issues Abound!

The United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in Groff v. DeJoy, clarifying its earlier opinion in Trans World Airlines v. Hardison, 432 U.S. 63 (1977) that described an employer’s obligation to an employee seeking an accommodation based upon their religious beliefs. The Plaintiff in the case, Gerald Groff, worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a rural carrier associate, covering for full-time workers who were absent. Groff was a long-time Evangelical Christian who, for religious reasons, believes that Sundays should be devoted exclusively to worship and rest, not secular labor, and could therefore not work on Sundays.Continue Reading Religious Accommodation Standard Under Title VII Reformed by U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Groff v. DeJoy

Employers in Michigan can breathe a sigh of relief in the wake of today’s opinion from the Michigan Court of Appeals ruling that the Michigan Legislature acted appropriately when it followed an “amend and adopt” strategy. Prior to that ruling, Michigan employers were faced with a February 20, 2023 deadline by which they would have to offer employees onerous earned sick time, as well as a higher minimum wage, as a result of an initiative that was adopted in 2018. The initiative-led legislation was amended by the legislature in a lame-duck session that resulted in a paid leave law and a minimum wage that were much less hostile to employers.Continue Reading Court of Claims Reversed; Earned Sick Time Act and Original IWOWA Will Not Go Into Effect On February 20, 2023

On Thursday, July 28, 2022, the Michigan Supreme Court issued its opinion in Rouch World, LLC v. Department of Civil Rights, finding in a 5-2 decision that Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (“ELCRA”) protects against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. While so holding, the Court overturned precedent set nearly 30 years ago by the Michigan Court of Appeals in Barbour v. Department of Social Services. That court had relied upon then analogous federal precedent in holding that the same statute did not extend protection on the basis of sexual orientation, as “sex” in the context of ELCRA meant only “gender discrimination, not discrimination based on sexual orientation.”
Continue Reading Michigan Supreme Court Recognizes Protection Under State Law Against Discrimination Based on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

As infections during the worldwide COVID pandemic have waxed and waned, and as vaccinations and new treatments for COVID infection have been introduced, employers have begun to see a substantial increase in the number of employees that have returned to work. That, in turn, has caused many employers to re-evaluate their COVID testing protocols to determine who may return to the office and when.
Continue Reading EEOC Limits Permissible Workplace COVID Testing In Its Most Recent Guidance

On January 13, 2022, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion on the application for stay filed in National Federal of Independent Business v. Department of Labor. In that opinion, a six-member majority of the Court ruled that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had exceeded its authority in issuing an emergency technical standard requiring the vaccination of employees of larger employers.
Continue Reading Off Again: United States Supreme Court Blocks OSHA COVID-19 ETS

Late Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an Order and Opinion lifting the stay that previously had been entered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit which had prevented the OSHA COVID-19 emergency technical standard (the “ETS”) that applied to employers with 100 or more employees from going into effect. This reversal puts many employers in the position of having to immediately restart compliance efforts that may have been paused during the pendency of the stay.
Continue Reading On Again; Sixth Circuit Lifts Stay on OSHA COVID-19 ETS

Nearly two months after President Biden unveiled his COVID-19 Action Plan, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that requires all employers with at least 100 employees to establish, implement, and enforce a written policy mandating that each employee either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing and wear face coverings indoors. OSHA clarifies that the ETS is meant to strongly encourage employers to stipulate that its employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but includes a narrow testing and face covering exception—at least for now.

Continue Reading OSHA Releases Highly Anticipated Vaccine Mandate ETS