Showing 6 posts from 2017.

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On July 26, 2017, the White House announced transgender individuals would no longer be allowed to serve in the military and provided guidance to the U.S. Department of Defense (“DOD”) consistent with that announcement.  On August 25, 2017, President Trump sent a memo to the DOD with further instructions that the DOD should stop allowing transgender individuals to enlist.  The ACLU along with pro bono law firms have challenged these actions.  On August 28, 2017, lawsuits were filed alleging violations of the United States Constitution by failing to provide the transgender community with equal protection of the laws and by treating them more harshly than other individuals.  Read More ›

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Michigan’s public sector bargaining law, the Public Employment Relations Act (PERA), MCL 423.201 et seq., has long recognized the right of a union to “prescribe its own rules with respect to the . . . retention of membership.” A right-to-work amendment to that law (2012 PA 349) provides that a public employee cannot be forced to “remain a member of a labor organization or bargaining representative or otherwise affiliate with or financially support a labor organization or bargaining representative.” In light of these provisions, can a union limit membership revocation to a one month window period each year? Is this a lawful union rule relating to the retention of union membership? Or, is it an unlawful attempt to force a public employee to remain a member and pay dues? Read More ›

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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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