Definition of Gender Discrimination Expanded

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (the Federal Appeals Court which includes Michigan) recently reviewed the firing of a male funeral home director transitioning to female. Ms. Stephens was fired after she advised the funeral home owner, Mr. Rost, that she was intending to live as a woman including utilizing a female name, dressing in women’s clothing and using the women’s restroom. Litigation was filed against the funeral home by […]

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Law Enforcement Body-Worn Camera Privacy Act

On July 13, 2017 Michigan Gov. Rick Synder signed into law Public Act 85 of 2017. The Act, which has been labeled as the “Law Enforcement Body-Worn Camera Privacy Act,” pertains to recordings created by law enforcement officers wearing a video recording device during their police activities. Although it is estimated that less than 10% of law enforcement agencies in the State of Michigan have officers equipped with “body cameras,” […]

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A Few Common Reminders of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows an eligible employee to take an unpaid, job-protected leave for a specified family and medical reason with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.  A few of the common points of FMLA that may be forgotten by the employer are outlined below. Can the employer have communications with the employee […]

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Grant Obtains Dismissals on behalf of Judge and Prosecutor

Greg Grant, an attorney in our Traverse City office, recently obtained dismissals on behalf of a Northern Michigan judge and prosecutor in two separate civil rights cases. In both cases, the courts awarded his clients all of their attorney fees and costs. Mr. Grant aggressively defends judges, attorneys, and municipalities as a regular part of his practice. Greg Grant focuses his practice on municipal law, employment and labor law, insurance defense, […]

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Sixth Circuit Reinforces the Importance of Protecting the Identities of Confidential Informants

In Nelson v. City of Madison Heights, et al., while conducting a narcotics investigation at a motel police walked by the room of Shelly Hilliard (“Hilliard”) and spotted a bag of marijuana through the window. After obtaining her consent to enter the room, police found the bag of marijuana. In order to avoid arrest, Hilliard offered to call her drug dealer and order drugs from him. Hilliard signed a confidential […]

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New Law Expands Protections for Municipalities in Premises Liability Lawsuits

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recently signed into law an amendment to the Governmental Liability for Negligence Act. MCL 691.1402a. This statute describes the extent of municipal duties and liability in claims relating to sidewalk maintenance. Municipalities are required to maintain sidewalks in reasonable repair and are not liable for the failure to maintain sidewalks unless a plaintiff proves the municipality knew, or should have known, of the defective sidewalk more […]

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Grant Obtains a No Cause of Action Verdict in Federal Court

Greg Grant of the Traverse City office recently obtained a no cause of action verdict in an excessive force trial in federal court.  Mr. Grant represented four corrections officers whom the plaintiff alleged used excessive force against him while he was inmate in a Michigan county jail.  Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that he was maced twice and tasered twice while locked in his cell. The evidence at trial demonstrated that […]

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Court of Appeals Reaffirms Public Bodies are Under No Obligation to Monitor FOIA Requests Once Denied

In Whittaker v Oakland County Sherriff, unpublished decision of the Court of Appeals dated Nov. 22, 2016 (Docket No. 329545), plaintiff filed suit alleging violation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). On July 27, 2014, officers suspected plaintiff was driving under the influence and pulled him over. On August 20, 2014, prior to charges being filed, plaintiff submitted a FOIA request to defendant seeking all reports, audiotapes, videotapes, laboratory […]

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Physical Disabilities in a Virtual World

Businesses and public entities who routinely utilize their website to conduct business should be aware that there has been a steady increase in the number of lawsuits filed by disabled customers who cannot access websites.  The complaints have ranged from websites that could not be navigated without a mouse, websites disabling or otherwise making it difficult for accessibility software on the site visitor’s own computer to make full use of […]

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Municipal Immunity under the Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted, in part, “to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families…in a manner that accommodates the legitimate interests of employers…” 29 USC 2601(b). The Act entitles eligible employees to take leave: (A) Because of the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and in order to care for such son or daughter. (B) Because of the placement of […]

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