Google Glass: Use of wearable technology in the workplace creates the need for updated workplace policies

Wearable technology is becoming more and more present in our technologically-based society. Google Glass is “smart eyewear” featuring a small computer built into a pair of glasses. Google Glass functions much like a smartphone, but users see a visual display in their line of vision and operate the device with voice commands. The glasses provide a hands-free way to be fully connected to technology at all times. After being in […]

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EEOC Releases Guidelines for Religious Dress and Grooming in the Workplace

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination. On March 6, 2014, the EEOC released a “Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace: Rights and Responsibilities” guideline that all employers, managers, and supervisors should review.  The EEOC reports that it received 3,721 charges alleging religious discrimination in 2013, more than double the 1,709 charges received in 1997. The EEOC cites the following examples […]

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Employee or Independent Contractor? UIA Adopts 20-Factor Test

Hiring workers can involve liability for homeowners and businesses alike, even if the workers hired are only part-time or temporary.  An employer should be careful when deciding to classify a worker as an employee versus an independent contractor.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) imposes severe penalties upon businesses and homeowners if a worker is misclassified as an independent contractor, rather than an employee. Effective January 1, 2013, Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) […]

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Return to Work Issues under the Family Medical Leave Act

Issue: An employee has provided a Return to Work Authorization Form from their physician following approved leave pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  FMLA requires the employee to return to their original position. Question: Can the employer require the employee to take additional medical and/or work functionality tests before reinstating the employee to their original position? as a condition of restoring employees whose need for leave under the […]

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Good News for Private Sector Businesses

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has finally classified a longstanding dispute over whether certain “charge nurses” can be considered “supervisory” and therefore excluded from coverage under the NLRA. This case may also serve to clarify the status of other managerial employees. The NLRB determined that nurses, who serve permanently as charge nurses “on every shift they work” must be considered “supervisors.” Even though these nurses do not have employees […]

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Employers Need To Be Mindful of Anti-Retaliation Policy

Recently, CMDA attorneys Ronald Acho and son James Acho successfully disposed of a case that garnered some local publicity. A police officer sued a local municipality for retaliatory discharge, when the municipal police department discharged the officer from his employment, based on performance. The officer had filed some inter-departmental complaints and felt that his termination was in retaliation by the police department for filing the complaints. Thankfully, we were able […]

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Employer’s Right to View E-Mails vs. Employee’s Right of Privacy

With more and more workers relying on e-mail and other forms of electronic communication, there is a natural tendency to occasionally use the company e-mail for personal matters. In earlier issues of On Law, we summarized the employer’s right to view e-mails vs. the employee’s right of privacy. The rule has been: provided the employer provides the employee with notice that an employee’s e-mail at the office does not have […]

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An Employer Roadmap to Getting through the State of Michigan Unemployment Compensation Maze

Whether you are a small, medium or large sized business owner or human resources professional, working your way through the State of Michigan unemployment process can be daunting at best. The fact that the state recently shortened the name of its agency from the Michigan Employment Security Commission to the less unwieldy Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has done nothing to simplify the process of dealing with former employees who apply […]

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