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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Attorney Joins Livonia Office

We are pleased to announce that Jennifer A. Richards has joined our Firm as an attorney in our Livonia office. She focuses her practice on municipal law, insurance defense, law enforcement defense, and litigation and appeals. Ms. Richards writes briefs for submission to all levels of state and federal courts, arguing cases in all levels of state and federal courts of appeals, and performing research for all areas of law […]

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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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Litigation: How to be Better Prepared

Under the American legal system, there is no realm of human activity that fails to spawn litigation. The financial cost of a potential judgment is easily recognized. Less understood is the cost of time, energy, and resources (financial and human) of the litigation process itself. Even the defendant who avoids judgment by “winning” his case will still have expended resources that the law generally affords no avenue to recover. The […]

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E-Verify: Understanding Responsibilities and Rights

E-Verify is a federal program that employers use to verify a new employee’s employment eligibility in the United States. The use of E-Verify has grown exponentially in the last few years and its use only continues to increase. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, just over 1,000 employers were enrolled in E-Verify in 2001, and by 2015, over 688,000 employers were enrolled. A contributing factor to this […]

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Public Act 152: Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

In 2011, the Governor signed into law PA 152 of 2011, known as the Publicly Funded Health Insurance Contributions Act, which caps the amount of money public employers, such as colleges, cities, townships and villages can pay towards employee health care. The law provides employers with two options for cost sharing. The default option is a monetary “hard” cap based on an employee’s marital and family status. Employees would be […]

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Court Rules Mental Health Commitment Constitutional – Case Dismissed

Attorney Kali Lester recently received a dismissal in Federal Court where the plaintiff alleged a local police department had an unconstitutional policy for mental health commitments. The policy permits officers to rely on statements from witnesses to evaluate an individual’s mental condition. The plaintiff argued that Michigan’s Mental Health Code requires officers to personally observe the individual exhibiting dangerous behavior before seizing the individual for the purpose of a mental […]

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Public and Private Employers Subject to 50 Employee Threshold Under the FMLA: Does Unconditional Language in Employee Manual Create a Jury Question?

Both private and public employers are subject to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from their employment if they meet certain statutory requirements (employed for at least 12 months, and worked 1250 hours within the preceding 12 months). The FMLA defines a “covered employer” as being “any person engaged in commerce or in any industry or activity […]

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The Failure of Public Act 222: Sewer Backup Legislation

In 2001 the State of Michigan enacted Public Act 222 (MCL 691.1416 seq.) to provide a statutory exception to governmental immunity for sanitary sewer backups onto real property. Prior to Act 222, the legal theory used by plaintiffs to recover for sewer backup events was the Trespass-Nuisance exception. That common law action carried strict liability for property damages upon a simple showing that sewage or water in a basement came […]

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