On March 21, 2023, and along party lines, the Michigan Legislature advanced a bill to the Governor’s desk to repeal the state’s 2013 right-to-work. The Governor signed the bill on March 23, 2023. The new law is expected to go into effect in April 2024.
New Federal Protections for Pregnant Workers
Where previous protections offered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 fell short, employees were left to make hard choices between quitting their jobs or working in a position that did not fully accommodate their medical needs while pregnant or after giving birth. Although some state laws fill those needs, many states do not provide any protection. During 2022, two important protections were signed into law by President Joe Biden: the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act. The new protections put in place by these acts ensure that pregnant employees will not suffer because of their pregnancy, but instead be provided the proper and necessary time off and accommodations after giving birth.…
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What Employers Need to Know Now! The Top Legal Changes and Issues for 2023!
Dykema attorneys Robert Boonin and Sean Darke will be presenting the above entitled webinar for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce on January 18, 2023. They will address how the legal landscape for employers has changed since the pandemic, the 2020 election, and 2022 mid-term elections, which may surprise many employers and which may require major changes to their approaches to employment relations. The webinar, which will have interactive Q&A, will highlight the biggest developments and provide participants guidance on how to reduce their liability going forward, and to otherwise avoid unwittingly stepping on a legal land mines triggering significant liability.
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Employers Face Uncertainty After SCOTUS Abortion Rights Decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
The U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, No. 19-1392 (June 24, 2022), overruling Roe v. Wade, raised more questions than answers for U.S. employers. As a result of Dobbs, abortion is no longer a constitutionally protected right in the United States. As such, each state is left to determine how to legislate with regard to abortion. …
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Michigan Supreme Court Recognizes Protection Under State Law Against Discrimination Based on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation
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.”…
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See No Evil, Hear No Evil: Chicago Ordinance Requires New Sexual Harassment and Bystander Training
Chicago has adopted a first-of-its-kind ordinance that requires employers doing business in the City to provide separate “bystander” sexual harassment training to their employees. The ordinance seeks to combat workplace misconduct in Chicago and may serve as a model for other municipalities seeking to expand worker protections. …
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In a Big Win for California Employers, SCOTUS Limits the Reach of the Golden State’s Private Attorneys General Act of 2004
On Wednesday, June 15, 2022, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion that severely limits California’s right to enlist employees as private attorneys general to enforce California labor law by allowing employers to use mandatory arbitration provisions to defeat such representative claims. …
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Telecommuting – The Reality of Employee Expectations
Telecommuting is not a new phenomenon. Whether on a full-time, part-time or sporadic basis, telecommuting has been voluntarily offered by employers, and in some cases, required as an accommodation for an employee with a disability for many years. And of course, for many employers telecommuting became a necessity during the pandemic. As employers are returning to more traditional work arrangements, however, many are faced with employees who wish to continue working from home. The push to normalize remote work is not, however, limited to employees. Many employers are taking the initiative to make this option more permanent as well in an effort to attract and retain talent.
Whether the impetus is employee or employer driven (or both) employers should review their policies and practices to avoid risks associated with telecommuting. Remote work, like other flexible work options, should be governed by a formal policy that addresses legal issues that can arise with a remote workforce including the following: …
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Remote Work as a Reasonable Accommodation
Many employees are being asked to return to the office this Summer due to perceptions, true or untrue, about waning COVID infections. As a result, a number of employees are asking to remain remote or telework because they have found a better work-life balance during the pandemic. Before denying these requests due to the “team building” experience of all working in one location, employers should be aware of potential Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) pitfalls.
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