Employment & Labor Law

Checking Social Media of Job Applicants

You hear and read stories about companies that require job applicants to reveal their social media accounts, including passwords. These companies believe that by viewing an applicant’s social media activity they can get a better handle on his or her ability to be a productive employee.

Honestly, your background screening company shouldn’t have any reason to provide social media checks. The reasons why are very basic, and should make you think about this potentially risky practice.

Stagnant Wages: What the Data Show

Wages have grown over the past few years at rates similar to historical trends. The frequently repeated claim that wages are “stagnant” is at odds with six measures of wages and compensation, which indicate that hourly and weekly real wages (wages adjusted for price inflation) have grown between 1 percent and 2 percent per year since the beginning of 2013. Rather than engaging in fruitless attempts to raise wages directly, policymakers can benefit workers by removing laws and regulations that have artificially increased the prices of consumer goods.

Three-Factor Test for Non-Compete Agreements

Non-compete agreements come in all shapes and sizes, and the reasons why an employer may want to consider non-competes is equally diverse.

The bottom line is that a carefully crafted non-compete agreement can provide employers with a useful tool to protect its competitive position in the market place, especially in an increasingly mobile age where employees are more willing to test the barriers of non-compete agreements.

Michigan courts recognize and enforce non-competes, provided they are:

You’re At-Will – You’re Fired

True or False: Human resource employees sit in their office and drink coffee/soda tracking their NCAA brackets all day, since their job is simple in an at-will employment state?  

True or False: Since Michigan is an “at-will” employment state, whenever you terminate an employee, just tell the employee that he/she is “at-will” and all your potential legal issues magically disappear.

Hopefully you answered “false” to both questions, because otherwise it becomes a very expensive proposition for you and your organization.  

Politicians Don’t Guide the Economy, You Do

Economic growth starts with the individual, not the state

MLive columnist Rick Haglund is skeptical about the state’s choices of favored industries, noting that much of the Michigan Business Development Program subsidies go to manufacturers. “[D]eluded by the recent resurgence of manufacturing jobs, state policymakers are doubling down on promoting Michigan as a state that makes things,” he writes.

However, everyone should be skeptical of the idea that the state can lead economic growth at all.

Effects of Same-Sex Marriage Rulings on Employee Benefits

On June 26, 2013 in United States v. Windsor, the United States Supreme Court opined that certain portions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) - the act barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages - were unconstitutional. Consequently, same sex couples with a valid state marriage license are generally considered spouses under the new law.

Background Check Risks-Beware!

There seem to be a growing number of laws and individual state/county/city restrictions being placed on employers who want to build safe and reliable workforces via a program of background checks.  On top of this, employers are being sued left and right because they aren’t conducting background checks in compliance with federal and local laws.

Here are 3 very important items to keep in mind: