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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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With the presidential election fast-approaching, employers may be wondering whether their employees are entitled to take time off of work to cast a ballot. Even though employees may be voting in a national election, the answer is determined by state law. A majority of states have laws providing for some form of paid or unpaid "voter leave." Michigan, however, is not one of these states. In other words, there is no law in Michigan that requires an employer to allow its employees to leave during the day to vote. Read More ›

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Red state? Blue State? While a few states recognize presidential Election Day as a partial holiday of sorts with paid-time off to vote, Michigan is not among them. Nick Huguelet, an attorney with Nemeth Law, offers employers some do’s and don’ts  guidelines on how to handle voter leave and election related issues in the workplace this election season. 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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