10 Tips for helping you to avoid liability for unlawful employment discrimination:
In a significant win for employers, the United States Supreme Court recently invalidated a judicial inference that union retiree health insurance benefits are vested for life in the absence of specific language to the contrary. The Supreme Court’s unanimous opinion in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, issued on January 26, 2015, gives employers more freedom to alter, reduce, or eliminate retiree insurance benefits for employees who were represented by a union before they retired.
A Michigan Legislator is attempting to stop employers from enforcing reasonable non-competition agreements against most individuals.
Federal law requires that the release/authorization an applicant signs to permit background checks must be on its own separate page…not a few sentences at the bottom of a job application.
Also, there cannot be any indemnification or hold harmless statements on the release/authorization. You can have those statements on a separate document, but they cannot appear on the release/authorization in any way.
Many Michigan employers, unbeknownst to them, employ individuals with medical marihuana cards in their purse or wallet. And while Michigan’s medical marihuana law prohibits the use of marihuana at work or an employee working while under its influence, many Michigan employers have not defined for employees how medical marihuana use relates to the application of its workplace drug policies and testing procedures.
The hiring process is one by which an employer needs to do all that it can to ensure that it is securing good, productive, and safe employees in a manner that is legal. Some tips:
Discipline, terminations and layoffs can be a traumatic experience.
In December 2012, Governor Snyder signed the Michigan Internet Privacy Protection Act (IPPA) into law. The IPPA prohibits schools and employers from asking employees/students to allow the company/school access to their personal social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and Gmail. The IPPA contains an exception for investigations that are necessary to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The IPPA applies to both private and public employers, as well as their respective agents and employees.
Almost all employers have employees labeled as exempt salaried employees who are not entitled to overtime for hours worked over 40 in a work week. Many challenges to exempt status arise from claims of misclassification – employees who claim that they are not performing exempt duties. Employers must take care to ensure that employees designated as exempt salary are indeed performing exempt duties and are not misclassified. Equally important, employers must also ensure that their exempt salaried employees are properly paid a salary as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Federal and state laws provide protection to creditors and employees, but impose significant expense and risk upon employers even for minor or unintentional errors. Don’t assume most garnishments are small and present little risk; some garnishments can be remarkably large.
In the past few years, I have seen default judgments starting at $500 against Michigan employers for mishandling a garnishment – one was for $596,000! These judgments resulted from simple oversight – failing to file and serve the completed garnishee disclosure form within 14 days.