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Earlier this month, a Florida Appeals Court overruled a lower court decision finding that a former Uber driver was eligible for unemployment benefits. The Appeals Court deemed the Uber driver an independent contractor, making him ineligible for unemployment. Meanwhile, back in Michigan, a new law that goes into effect on March 21, 2017 will take the issue out of Michigan Courts, at least for ridesharing companies. Nemeth Law founder Patricia Nemeth explains that the Michigan Limousine, Taxicab and Transportation Network Company Act defines drivers in these gig economy networks as independent contractors, assuming select criteria are met. Read More ›

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It’s Valentine’s season, and that impacts the workplace, too. Nemeth Law management-side labor and employment attorney Anne Widlak looks at the less-than-lovely aspects of office romance. What to do? “No dating” policies are ill advised, hard to enforce and can have negative ramifications on culture.  Implementing a fraternization policy, which sets guidelines for office romance, especially supervisor/employee relationships, is an effective approach.  Be careful the policy doesn’t limit the employees’ ability to discuss non-romantic issues, though…Anne Widlak tells you why. Read More ›

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In what appears to be the first appellate court directly ruling on this issue, a Florida state appeals court ruled last week that Uber drivers are independent contractors and not employees. Read More ›

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A recent Michigan Court of Appeals case emphasizes the importance for employers in carefully drafting arbitration agreements, to ensure that clear notice is provided to an employee that he or she is waiving the right to litigate statutory discrimination claims in court. In the case, Shaya v. City of Hamtramck, plaintiff Steve Shaya was employed by the City of Hamtramck as its Director of Public Services under a written employment agreement. Shaya was later terminated by the City, based on allegations of malfeasance in the performance of his duties. Shaya sued in state court, alleging ethnicity discrimination in violation of Michigan’s Civil Rights Act (CRA) and its Whistleblowers’ Protection Act (WPA). Read More ›

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Now that the election is over and President-elect Trump will take office, employers may be wondering how they will be affected. Who Trump will nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court, what legislation will be passed by Congress, and what regulatory rollbacks will occur are currently all up in the air. One way he can make an immediate impact from day one is through Executive Orders (EOs). Executive Orders have long been used by Presidents to manage operations within the federal government. President Obama used them to make sweeping changes in requirements for federal contractors. President-elect Trump has indicated that reversing many of Obama’s Executive Orders will be among his first acts. Read More ›

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On November 16, 2016, a federal court in Texas issued an order permanently prohibiting the Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its new “Persuader Rule.” The DOL’s Persuader Rule interprets a provision of the federal Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) that requires employers and consultants hired to assist in communicating and advising employees of their rights and the law during a union campaign, to report their business relationship. Read More ›

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Fast food giant McDonald’s recently agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle a lawsuit for wage and hour violations allegedly committed by one of its California franchisees. The federal lawsuit, filed in 2014 by franchisee employees, alleged that McDonald’s was liable as a joint employer under California law. Read More ›

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Barely two months before the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) new overtime regulations become effective on December 1, 2016, Michigan and 20 other states are collectively challenging their constitutionality and legality. The lawsuit, along with a similar lawsuit filed by 56 local, regional and national business groups, seeks a court order holding that the regulations are unlawful and unenforceable.

Bills have also been introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate that would delay the December 1 effective date by 6 months. Read More ›

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Is it back to school or back to work for private college and university teaching assistants, research assistants and fellows? An historic August 23rd ruling by the NLRB said, in essence, these categories are employees first and students second. The case stems from a Columbia University group that sought to unionize. The NLRB’s decision, which overturns a decision from Brown University ten years ago, means if this category pursues and obtains union recognition, they can engage in collective bargaining activities and even go on strike. Nemeth Law attorney Kellen Myers offers highlights of the decision and a word of caution for Michigan’s more than 30 private colleges and universities. Read More ›

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Remember the I-9 forms you are supposed to have your employees sign within three days of their start date? If you haven’t been taking them seriously, now’s the time to do so. Effective August 1, 2016 the minimum penalty per violation increased from $110 to $216 and the maximum penalty soared to $2,056 from $1,100 per violation. It’s a rapid way to adjust for inflation! The financial penalty increase presents a strong reason to conduct an internal I-9 form audit; Nemeth Law founder Patricia Nemeth explains. Read More ›

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