Acho Gives Keynote Address at Alma Mater’s Basketball Tip-Off Gala

acho-tip-off-dinnerJim Acho, a partner in our Livonia office, was recently asked to be the keynote speaker at the University of Saint Francis (USF) Men’s Basketball Tip-Off Gala and Auction.  Acho, a graduate from the University of Saint Francis, played for the basketball team from 1990 to 1993 and was the co-captain of the team in 1992 and 1993.

During his speech, Acho shared humorous stories about his time at USF and gave an inspiring and uplifting message to the current men’s basketball team players, coaches and fans.  Please click here to listen to his speech.

Mr. Acho focuses his practice on sports and entertainment law, labor and employment law, law enforcement defense and plaintiff’s personal injury.  He may be reached at (734) 261-2400 or jacho@cmda-law.com.

Protecting Your Family in an Auto Accident

Bob Blamer 2016When you buy insurance for your automobile, you want to protect those in your car as much as a known person in another vehicle if someone is seriously injured.  Michigan no-fault insurance companies are doing what they can to reduce coverage for your loved ones, even though you are paying for full insurance protection.  Some insurance companies are employing a step-down auto insurance clause, which is a provision that applies when one family member pursues a compensation claim against another family member arising out an automobile crash.

The purpose of the step-down clause is to reduce the liability coverage to the state-required minimum if a family member is at fault for a crash and another family member is injured.  For example: you and your spouse are traveling in your vehicle and you lose control of your vehicle by negligence.  You have liability insurance in the amount of $300,000.  Under the step-down clause, the liability coverage is reduced to the state-minimum of $20,000 for your spouse.

Many families don’t find out about the step-down clause in their policy until it is too late.  Michigan no-fault insurance companies that have step-down clauses should be avoided.   Some of the companies using such clauses include Progressive, Farm Bureau, Geico and Grange, just to name a few.

Talk to your agent about your policy.  These step-down provisions are hard to find in the policy, and you should make specific inquiry to your agent to see if your policy has such a provision.  If it does, adjust your policy to ensure adequate protection is provided to protect your loved ones.

Robert L. Blamer is a partner is our Livonia office where he concentrates his practice on plaintiff’s personal injury and litigation.  He assists clients with many types of negligence actions, workers’ compensation claims, and social security disability claims.  He has handled, resolved and taken to trial many cases with tremendous success not only in Michigan but throughout the country.  His trial experience includes automobile negligence, complex professional negligence, products liability and complicated plane crash matters.  Mr. Blamer may be reached at (734) 261-2400 or rblamer@cmda-law.com.

Changes in Overtime Rules for Michigan Employers

Chris Schultz 2016The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has changed the overtime rules for certain salaried workers, which will be applicable to Michigan employers.  The changes are to be implemented on December 1, 2016.  Michigan business owners need to start planning now in order to avoid scrambling in November. 

Many Michigan closely held businesses classify salaried employees as being exempt from the overtime rules as a means of controlling payroll costs.  An exempt employee is an employee who is, 1) paid a salary; 2) the salary is equal to the minimum amount (see discussion below); and 3) their job duties primarily involve executive, administrative or professional duties or outside sales. 

Number 2 above is what has been changed with the new FLSA overtime rules.  Prior to December salaried employees are exempt from paid overtime if their annual salaries are a minimum of $23,660.  Effective in December, the annual salary must be $47,476 or more or $913 per week.  

Michigan employers will be required to comply with these rules.  Michigan small businesses already have to comply with the Affordable Care Act, and increased state minimum wages, and this change could cost employers more.  For business planning purposes, the employer needs to review the pay and the hours worked by their exempt employees.  After this analysis, if there are exempt salaried employees who are not paid the minimum annual salary, the employer can, 1) increase the salary of its exempt employees to the new level; 2) reclassify exempt employees to hourly employees and then restrict their overtime hours and overtime pay; or 3) start counting and controlling the hours exempt salaried exempt employees work.

Note that these change do not impact hourly employees who will still be paid 1.5 hourly rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in any single week. 

Christopher G. Schultz is a partner in our Livonia office where he concentrates his practice on representing businesses in many areas of the law. Additionally, he assists clients with estate and elder law planning. He may be reached at (734) 261-2400 or cschultz@cmda-law.com.