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Detroit Employment Law Blog

Payment schedule violations and a wage claim in Michigan

In Michigan, the law requires that employers pay their employees their wages at specific times. When the wages and any unpaid overtime are not provided to the employee in a timely manner, it could be the basis for a wage claim. Understanding how the law views these issues is important when determining whether a violation has occurred.

Apart from employers who have their employees harvesting crops by hand, Michigan employers are required to pay employees at a certain time. These times must be: on or prior to the first day of each calendar month, the wages for the first 15 days of the previous month; on or prior to the 15th day of every calendar month if the wages were earned during the previous calendar month from the 16th day through the final day of the month.

Employment contracts and territorial realignment in sales

Michigan residents who make their living in sales know the stress they will face when trying to meet their quotas. In many cases, the amount they are paid is contingent on achieving certain sales goals, and it is in their contract that they must reach these numbers. An employment agreement can be complicated and if there are changes made to the terms that the person believed he or she was working under, it can negatively affect their ability to earn a living. One issue that can arise has to do with territory realignment.

A person who is in sales might not be able to adapt to the territory realignment due to a variety of factors. These can include demographics, a lack of comfort, difficulty in handling a different template and for many other reasons. It can lead to the repeated failure of making sales quota and spark the fear of losing one's job. Sales representatives need to understand that they have certain rights under the law. One reason that there might be a territorial realignment is due to discrimination on the part of the employer.

Race discrimination alleged by former law enforcement officer

There is a misplaced belief that in Michigan and across the United States that various forms of discrimination are in the past, and all people will be treated equally based on the work they do. Unfortunately, it is not the case. People are still confronted with numerous forms of workplace discrimination. This can be race discrimination, discrimination based on gender, age, sexual orientation and much more. Those who are subjected to this treatment might not even be aware that they may in certain circumstances be able to seek compensation through a legal filing. Knowing what is legal and illegal and how to move forward with a case is key to achieving justice.

A former law enforcement officer has filed a federal case alleging that the department she worked for retaliated against her and she was discriminated against due to the fact that she was an African-American female. According to her case, she was subjected to violations of her constitutional and civil rights during her time working for the police force from January to December of 2015. She says she was told that she either had to resign or she would be fired and blacklisted. She claims that she was confronted with a variety of comments about her race, was punished more severely than other workers and was given tasks that were of greater difficulty than those given her white coworkers.

Understanding unemployment compensation in misconduct cases

In Michigan, when a worker is dismissed from his or her job, there will likely be an expectation that unemployment benefits will be provided. However, there might be an attempt on the part of some employers to withhold unemployment compensation if the dismissal was due to some form of misconduct by the employees. Understanding how to appeal in this type of circumstance can be the difference between receiving the benefits or being denied.

When there is misconduct, the employer bears the burden of proof. It must be shown that the former employee took part in misconduct and the misconduct took place in connection with the job. When there is an unemployment compensation case, the state has issued a definition of misconduct. It means that there was a willful or wanton disregard on the part of the worker to adhere to the interests of the employer. There can also be an allegation of negligence that is so significant that it is an implication of disregarding the interest of the employer.

Woman alleges wrongful termination and discrimination

There are certain facets of employment law in Michigan that employees and employers must be aware of to avoid an accusation of wrongful termination. It is not unusual for employers to dismiss an employee for no viable reason and do so as a form of retaliation. What many former employees are not aware of is that they may have the right to pursue compensation if they are able to prove that the dismissal was not due to a legal reason and was instead an unlawful retaliatory act. To understand whether a case falls into this category, it is important to get legal advice.

A former employee of a resort community has filed a lawsuit alleging that she lost her job because she reported several violations. Included were various forms of discrimination, the mismanagement of money donated to the community and emotional distress having been inflicted. The former executive director was the main focus of these allegations. He retired in October of 2015 after approximately five years on the job. The plaintiff, 71, claims that the incidents occurred while she was a part-time worker as the director of development between July of 2012 and November of 2014.

Employment discrimination and pre-employment inquiries

Violations of the rights of employees in Michigan and across the U.S. is often viewed through the microscope of people who are already employed, have lost their job or are engaged in some form of dispute about their employment. However, the law covers a wide variety of issues including what employers are allowed to ask prospective employees who are applying for a particular job. Employment discrimination can extend to the recruitment, inquiries, gathering of information and judgment of qualifications. Those who believe their employee rights have been violated have the right to seek compensation in a legal filing.

With pre-employment inquiries, it is against the law for an employer to ask questions that will gather information about the religion, age, sex, national origin, disability, height, weight and color of a prospective employee. This can be the foundation for religious discrimination, racial discrimination or other forms of employment discrimination. For the job description, the employers are encouraged to have a detailed list of what the job entails and the requirements for employees to complete it. Certain pieces of information that are illegal to ask beforehand might be necessary once the job is given to an applicant. This can include marital status.

The effect of lateness on hourly pay in Michigan

Some employers in Michigan that compensate their employees via hourly pay might take liberties on compensating those employees if they happen to come to work late or commit other workplace violations. Understanding what employers can and cannot do in terms of docking an employee who arrives and punches in on the time clock late is important, because in some circumstances these violations could form the basis to pursue a wage claim. An employee cannot have his or her wages docked as discipline for lateness. All wages that the employee is due should be paid.

When time records are calculated, they must be done to the nearest one-tenth of an hour which comes to six minutes. There could be a finer method of measurement. The employer must make certain that the employee is doing work when they clock in. There are deductions that can be made based on a collective bargaining agreement if the situation is applicable, but apart from that, the employer cannot deduct wages in an indirect or direct manner without the employee consenting to it. There cannot be any intimidation tactics or fear for dismissal if the employee chooses not to allow for the deduction.

Union found to have violated employment law in Michigan

Michigan employees who are part of a union will have the right to believe that their interests are being protected by their union representation. However, there are certain times at which the union is mistreating the same workers its mandated is to protect. It can be a difficult circumstance for employees to understand the various aspects of employment law, especially when the retaliation might be coming from an entity that is meant to help them. In such cases when there is a belief that something illegal is occurring from the union perspective, having legal help is key.

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that a union that represents Michigan workers violated the law. According to the ruling, the president of the Michigan State Employees Association (MSEA) committed several violations in its actions. The union is basically a union within another union known as the Central Office Staff Association (COSA). Employees at the central office had been subjected to wrongful termination and it was the decision on the part of the NLRB -- on a two-to-one basis -- that these workers receive back pay, benefits and seniority that had been lost. The initial decision against the union came via an administrative law judge three years ago. When the union appealed, the decision was even more pronounced against COSA.

How unemployment compensation can stop in Michigan

Employees who lose their jobs in Michigan may be under the impression that they will receive unemployment compensation. However, there are certain rules in the state that dictate the providing of benefits. It is important for workers who have lost their jobs and are expecting to receive unemployment to understand what can stop the benefits. The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) will accrue the necessary information to make a decision.

There are numerous reasons why an employee might be disqualified from receiving benefits. For example, quitting by one's own volition without a good reason that can be attributable to the employer or retiring voluntarily may lead to a disqualification. An employee may also be disqualified if he or she was dismissed for misconduct that was linked to the work, dismissed due to being intoxicated at work, was placed on suspension for disciplinary reasons, was laid off for misconduct, was dismissed because of absence due to being imprisoned or convicted, was dismissed for discipline due to taking part in a wildcat strike or was dismissed for theft.

Suspended flight attendant files religious discrimination lawsuit

Employees in Michigan come from various places and have a wide range of beliefs. When they are working, they have the right to exercise their beliefs without having to worry about their employee rights being violated by employer protestation or biases. However, it is a reality that certain instances of workplace discrimination sometimes occur. Those who are facing it might not know their rights or where to turn for help in protecting them. This is when consulting an attorney about religious discrimination may be beneficial.

For example, a flight attendant who happens to be a Muslim garnered headlines in the summer of 2015 when her airline suspended her because she refused to serve alcohol, as her religion prohibits her to do. In 2013, she was hired by the airline. She had also converted to Islam and, at the time, was not aware that she was prohibited from serving alcohol as one of the religion's tenets. Because of that, she worked the situation out with her supervisor in a way that she did not have to serve alcohol. This arrangement was successful.