Federal and State Courts Dismiss Lawsuits Against Community College

Recently, two separate courts agreed with CMDA that the lawsuits two former community college instructors filed against the college should be dismissed. The underlying facts showed that two full-time instructors were involved in a series of conflict resolution sessions where both parties were advised to be civil and follow the rules of the college. The evidence also showed that when one of the full-time instructors was going up for tenure, […]

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Cautionary Tale – Employee’s Profanity Laced Facebook Post is Protected Activity in a Recent Federal Court Decision

On April 21, 2017, the Second Circuit Court of appeals in NLRB v. Pier Sixty, LLC, 855 F.3d 115 (2nd Cir. 2017), upheld the National Labor Relations Board’s conclusion that a terminated employee’s profanity based comments about his supervisor on Facebook were not so egregious as to exceed protection under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or Act). Pier Sixty operates a catering company in New York City.  In 2011, […]

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Sixth Circuit Holds Dismissal of Firefighter’s Retaliation Complaint

On June 22, 2016, the Sixth District Court of Appeals unanimously issued a decision and order affirming the United States District Court’s dismissal of a firefighter’s two count retaliation complaint against a local municipality, four former and current Trustees, and the Fire Chief. Plaintiff, who is of Asian descent, submitted an application for the vacant Fire Chief position to the township Board of Trustees. During an open board meeting on […]

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Department of Education and Transgender Facilities

May 13, 2016 the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague” letter to all schools in the country receiving money from the federal government directing that “when a school provides sex-segregated activities and facilities, transgender students must be allowed to participate in such activities and access such facilities consistent with their gender identity.” Gender identity refers to an individual’s internal sense of gender.  […]

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Attorneys give Presentation to Police Chiefs on Garrity Protection

Elizabeth Rae-O’Donnell and Sue Bartos, both attorneys in our Livonia office, recently gave a presentation to police chiefs on Garrity Protection.  The Garrity principle is an important tool to provide officers the necessary protection while still enabling departments to conduct thorough and complete internal investigations. In Garrity v. New Jersey, the Supreme Court held that officers are not required to sacrifice their right against self-incrimination in order to retain their […]

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Should Michigan Employers “Ban the Box” and Remove the Criminal Conviction Question from Applications?

On November 2, 2015, President Barack Obama announced a new executive order to “Ban the Box,” which is a check off on federal job applications that requires job applicants to disclose their criminal conviction history on the face of the application. This initial disclosure often causes employers to eliminate applicants before ever considering their qualifications. Background investigations will still occur, but at the federal level, agencies will delay inquiries into […]

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Attorneys Attend Salute to the Justice System Event

Several CMDA attorneys attended the 4th Annual Salute to the Justice System held on October 29. This year’s Honoree was Melvin L. Larsen, Co-Author of the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act, Former Member of the Michigan House of Representatives and Former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. Mr. Larsen is pictured here with Elizabeth Rae-O’Donnell, an attorney in our Livonia office.

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Attorneys Win Case for Local Municipality: Plaintiff Sought $1,020,000 in Damages, Awarded $0

In a case recently won by Linda Davis Friedland and Elizabeth Rae O’Donnell, a firefighter sued a local municipality, five former and current Trustees, and the Fire Chief, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA).  Plaintiff sought $1,020,000.00 in damages and was awarded nothing. Plaintiff, who is of Asian descent and a part-time firefighter with the municipality’s fire department, submitted […]

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EEOC Bans Discrimination against Sexual Orientation in the Workplace

On July 16, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that all job discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This historic 3-2 decision does what Congress and most courts so far have refused to do: ban discrimination against gays in the workplace. Until now, only a handful of states and municipalities have done […]

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Gov. Snyder Signs Law to Bar Municipal Wage, Employment Rules

On June 30, 2015, Governor Rick Snyder signed HB 4052 into law which stops local governments from adopting, administering or enforcing future ordinances or policies that require local businesses to pay wages, fringe benefits or leave time that exceed State or Federal requirements. The bill will take effect on September 28, 2015. Currently, Michigan’s minimum wage is $8.15 per hour which will rise to $8.50 per hour on January 1, […]

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