• Posts by Deborah Brouwer

    Deborah Brouwer is managing partner of Nemeth Bonnette Brouwer and brings a wealth of diverse legal experiences and practical wisdom to her client engagements. After twenty years as in-house counsel at the UAW Legal Services Plan ...

Today, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) released updated COVID-19 Emergency Rules that effectively eliminated the requirement for most employers to implement entrance screening, mask mandates, and social distancing requirements in the workplace. The new rules contain two key provisions:

As of this afternoon, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 has passed both houses of the U.S. Congress and now moves to President Biden’s desk. Among several economic and healthcare related appropriations, the Act addresses employee leave related to COVID-19. Under the Act, the leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) are extended on a voluntary basis through September 30, 2021.

Last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its Compliance Manual on Religious Discrimination, which addresses Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition against religious discrimination in the workplace.

In a departure from historical precedent, where courts upheld agreements requiring employees to bring claims against their employers more quickly than otherwise required by law, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee) has now prohibited such shortened limitation periods in discrimination lawsuits brought under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (also referred to as Title VII).

Nemeth Law, P.C. partner, Deborah Brouwer, offers suggestions for holiday parties and best practices to keep everyone safe.

Summer is here. Is your workplace prepared to handle the seasonal changes in dress codes? Whether you opt for guidelines or specific rules, Nemeth Law attorney Deborah Brouwer offers tips to help employers navigate often touchy dress code issues in the summer season.

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).

Pokémon Go, the smartphone app, made its debut mere weeks ago but already has exploded across the nation (and world). Some estimates say that downloads for Pokémon Go have already surpassed the total number of daily active Twitter users. With that number of users, one inevitable question is how employee use of this game could impact workplaces. Here are some issues for employers to consider.

This morning the U.S. Department of Labor issued new federal overtime regulations extending overtime pay eligibility to 4.2 million more employees across the country, including over 100,000 employees in Michigan. The White House claims that this expansion will increase wages by $12 billion dollars over the next 10 years. 

A recent joint-study conducted by Rutgers and Syracuse University has made headlines with its conclusion that some employers may express less interest in candidates who openly disclose a disability in a cover letter responding to a job opening. The researchers sent out over 6,000 fake resumes and cover letters responding to job openings across the country, and found that employers were 26% less likely to contact candidates who disclosed a disability. Employers should take note of this study and use it as an opportunity to ensure their hiring processes are compliant with state and federal disability non-discrimination laws.

On Friday, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its semi-annual regulatory agenda, which provides updates on the agency’s rulemaking efforts including OSHA rule changes and rules impacting federal contractors and subcontractors. The most notable items in the agenda, though, are new deadlines for the DOL’s final rule revising the FLSA’s “white collar” overtime exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees, and a new release date for the controversial “persuader” rule.

President Obama’s recent approval of the federal budget on November 2, 2015 enacted a provision that will increase Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) civil penalties by as much as 75-80% over current amounts starting next year. This has the potential to significantly impact some employers, especially those in construction and manufacturing.

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Woman-owned and led, Nemeth Bonnette Brouwer has exclusively represented management in the prevention, resolution, and litigation of labor and employment disputes for more than 30 years.

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