Chamber News & Blog

February 18, 2015
Article type: Blog

Did you know that properly using a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways you can save energy and money in your business? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, businesses can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling bills by simply turning their programmable...

February 18, 2015
Article type: Blog

Under current law, Michigan taxpayers who want to utilize Michigan’s Court of Claims for tax disputes face a significant barrier to entry: Michigan requires taxpayers to “pay-to-play” the amount they dispute in order to enter this venue. This presents not only a barrier to entry for...

February 17, 2015
Article type: Blog

The term “layoff” is often misunderstood by employers. Other than a brief reference in the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act that a “layoff” exceeding six months is covered by the Act, the term and the concept have no independent legal significance. It is not a process or...

February 16, 2015
Article type: Blog

The debate over whether to increase the Health Insurance Claims (HICA) Tax is back, just months after legislation was signed into law to reduce the rate from 1% on all paid health insurance claims to 0.75%. 

Governor Snyder, in his budget unveiling last Wednesday,...

February 16, 2015
Article type: Blog

Governor Snyder’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal includes nearly $36 million in new investments for skilled trades training, enhanced educational opportunities and college and career planning. Combined with existing programs, the Governor’s proposed budget would include more than $...

February 16, 2015
Article type: Blog

Progressive advocacy groups and unions are calling for legislation to require businesses in Michigan to offer paid sick leave to employees – and, assuming the legislation will not gain traction in the Republican-controlled Legislature, they are already hinting that they may work to...

February 16, 2015
Article type: Blog

Legislation being pushed by the Michigan Chamber to reform Michigan’s wage garnishment system is on the move in the Michigan House.

The wage garnishment process is a growing issue for many Michigan employers and can be time intensive and costly. For a one-time $6...

February 16, 2015
Article type: Blog

The Michigan House Tax Policy Committee last week overwhelmingly approved two bills to stop the Michigan Department of Treasury from illegally taxing software services. House Bills...

February 16, 2015
Article type: Blog

The debate over whether to increase the Health Insurance Claims (HICA) Tax is back, just months after legislation was signed into law to reduce the rate from 1% on all paid health insurance claims to 0.75%. 

Governor Snyder, in his budget unveiling last Wednesday,...

February 13, 2015
Article type: Blog

EMV, also referred to as “smart” or “chip” cards, is an important issue this year for any company or organization that accepts payment cards.

On October 1, 2015, liability will shift away from card issuers to any entity that accepts card payments and has not upgraded their equipment to...

February 11, 2015
Article type: Blog

Most New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by Valentine’s Day. In fact, only about 8% of people achieve their resolutions each year. Right now the gyms are crowded, the stores are out of kale and everyone is miserable. Why do they fail? Mainly because people set unrealistic goals and the initial...

February 10, 2015
Article type: Blog

I get calls every day from sophisticated human resources representatives who secretly confess they are looking for opportunities to terminate, rather than accommodate, employees who have hit the employment law protected characteristic “trifecta.” You know who I am talking about, right? This...

February 6, 2015
Article type: Blog

Each employer who normally employed at least 20 full-time or full-time-equivalent employees during the prior calendar year must offer continued health insurance coverage, as mandated by the Consolidated Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), following the occurrence of a “qualifying event”, if the...

February 5, 2015
Article type: Blog

This year, the United States became the largest global producer of oil and natural gas, surpassing countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia, and experts predict production will grow by more than 40 percent by 2040. That’s good news for Michigan job providers and working families --...

February 4, 2015
Article type: Blog

The new exemption is complicated and even counterintuitive.

First, the exemption applies only if more than 50% of the personal property (measured by cost) at your location is used either for industrial processing or in direct integrated support of that processing.

Second, even if...

February 4, 2015
Article type: News

The Michigan Chamber today announced its legislative priorities for 2015-2016. These priorities were developed by the Chamber’s policy advisory committees with input from over 500 business leaders from across the state and were unanimously approved on January 27, 2015 by the Michigan...

February 3, 2015
Article type: Blog

Your CDL drivers are under growing government scrutiny these days. Now more than ever the feds are keeping tabs on them, and your company, to ensure that safe drivers and equipment are on the road. The bottom line is that safer roads benefit everyone in many ways.

But don’t forget your...

January 29, 2015
Article type: Blog

A negative employee cannot be allowed to create an unpleasant work environment for everyone else. We all like to think that we work with adults who can conduct themselves in a mature, professional manner; however, the reality is that being an adult doesn’t mean we always act like one!

...

January 28, 2015
Article type: Blog

For many employers, dealing with employee absenteeism is the legal equivalent of navigating the Bermuda Triangle. That is because when an employee is unable or unwilling to work due to a physical or mental condition, his employer must address and comply with three major employment laws – the...

January 27, 2015
Article type: Blog

Tuition assistance is an employer-provided employee benefit that is a win-win for your workplace. In a tuition assistance program, an employer pays all or part of an employee's cost to attend college or university classes. Tuition assistance helps employers build employee loyalty and longevity....

January 21, 2015
Article type: News

Jim Holcomb, Senior Vice President for Business Advocacy & General Counsel for the Michigan Chamber, appeared on The Frank Beckmann Show today to provide the Chamber's reactions to Governor Snyder's 6th State of the State Address. The Michigan Chamber sponsored this special broadcast by WJR...

January 21, 2015
Article type: Blog

Bob Thomas, Executive Director of the...

January 15, 2015
Article type: Blog

If you have been thinking for a while about the possibility of selling your business, 2015 could be the year for you.

The Great Recession is in the distant past for most businesses which means that business sellers no longer have to make excuses about one or more poor years in the 2008 to...

January 14, 2015
Article type: Blog

It's easy for small businesses to be energy-conscious and save money at the same time. We've all received emails with signatures that ask, "Do you really need to print this email?" If you do have to, an easy, cost-efficient solution could be to print using both sides of the page.

Shelling...

January 13, 2015
Article type: Blog

If you’ve ever hired a dud, you might be the problem. A 2013 Gallup report showed a trend the respected polling organization has measured for years: most employees are “not engaged.” In the most recent report, it was 63%. The “actively disengaged” (those who would sabotage their organizations)...