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The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law

06 Dec Michigan Paid Sick Time and Minimum Wage Laws Amended

The Earned Sick Time Act ballot initiative, enacted into law by the Michigan legislature in September, is amended and on its way to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk. Changes were pre-negotiated with the governor’s team, so his signature is expected. Likewise, the minimum wage ballot initiative enacted into law by the Michigan legislature is also amended and expected to be signed by the governor.   The paid sick leave law, now known as the Paid Medical Leave Act, was substantially amended to make it workable for both employers…

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05 Dec Michigan Employer Action Steps for Recreational Marijuana

Recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan as of December 6, 2018, which means that clear communication and managing employee expectations is critical right now. Those employers who have attended our programming on this issue or contacted us in the ramp up to this change have taken three action steps: Decide whether to modify existing workplace drug polices to accommodate marijuana.When medical marijuana was legalized, most employers continued their policy to disqualify an employee from work for a confirmed positive marijuana test result, and most will…

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10 Sep Paid Sick Leave And Minimum Wage: What’s Next For Michigan Employers

On September 5, 2018, Michigan’s Republican majority legislature adopted ballot proposals concerning minimum wage and paid sick leave. With that step, legislators removed both proposals from the November general election ballot.   This means legislators retain the ability to amend either law with a simple majority vote instead of the three-fourths vote required to amend a ballot initiative if it were passed by voters in November. The Michigan legislature can amend either or both laws before their March 2019 effective dates – either during the…

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03 Jul Establishing Direct Threat: How to Leverage the “Individualized Assessment”

Successfully asserting the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) direct threat affirmative defense is difficult.  It is disfavored because of the fear that well-intentioned concerns of injury will otherwise result in qualified disabled individuals being excluded from work.  A recent federal trial court decision, involving an operator at an ExxonMobil chemical plant shows how an employer can establish a direct threat disqualification in the face of conflicting medical opinions. The case is Spencer-Martin v ExxonMobil Corp., M.D. La., No. 16-789 (June 15, 2018).   The ADA’s…

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27 Mar Will You Agree to an Inclusion Rider?

  During the March 4 Academy Awards, actor Frances McDormand introduced a national audience to the diversity-focused contract provision known as an “inclusion rider.” It requires producers to set inclusion goals for on-screen and off-screen talent from under-represented groups. Such goals are intended to “reflect the world in which we actually live.” In a given production, such a rider might establish a goal that the cast be 50% female, 40% under-represented ethnic groups, 20% people with disabilities and 5% LGBT.   Employers large and small…

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