Michigan News & Analysis

  • Revised FFCRA regs narrow healthcare provider exemption, ease advance notice rules

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently revised its Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid leave rules in response to a New York federal court decision that struck down portions of the original rule released in April. The FFCRA, a stimulus measure enacted by Congress in March, provides eligible workers with up to two weeks of paid leave, subject to caps, for certain coronavirus-related absences and up to an additional 10 weeks of paid leave to care for children who are at home because of school or daycare closures. The rule updates were scheduled to go into effect September 16.

  • Gee whiz! Ohio high court allows direct-observation urine collection

    Four employees who were watched while urinating under a workplace drug screening policy didn't have claims for invasion of privacy, the Ohio Supreme Court recently ruled in a 4-3 decision.

  • As weather cools down, WARN Act lawsuits likely to heat up

    The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect employers with no clear end in sight. While the prospect of a functioning vaccine may have to wait for a while, a spike in Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act litigation may be on the horizon.

  • Superintendent's request for auditors to 'follow the money' leads to $400K verdict

    High-stakes audits. Threats of violence. $400,000 paydays. While each of those events could be ripped from the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster, they're actually events streaming from a school district in Harvey, Illinois. Read on to learn why one administrator's comments were found to be protected speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and then decide who should play her in the movie to follow.

  • Employee's 'shocking' Facebook posts on racial injustice may be protected

    Ahead of a particularly divisive presidential election and in a year filled with extreme racial tensions, many people are flocking to social media as an outlet for their opinions. The platform allows them to voice opinions they may not otherwise vocalize in person. Public employers must be particularly mindful of how they respond to employees' off-the-job social media posts. As the 6th Circuit recently explained, a post's shocking or offensive nature doesn't necessarily remove it from the protections granted under the First Amendment. The following decision relates to public employers and not private employers.

  • GrubHub delivery drivers rerouted by arbitration agreement

    The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) was enacted in 1925 to counter American courts' general hostility toward the enforcement of private arbitration agreements and foster a liberal federal policy favoring arbitration. One exception: The FAA exempts from its coverage "contracts of employment of seamen, railroad employees, or any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce." A recent decision by the 7th Circuit addressed the contours of the exemption.

  • Ready for office holiday celebration? Remember to party 2020 style

    The holiday season is upon us, but it just doesn't seem so festive this year. Many employees are still isolated as they work from home. Essential workers are in the workplace but worried about the risks they face by being there. A big party to relieve the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic certainly would be wel-come—but difficult in the era of social distancing. Difficult doesn't mean impossible, however. Here are some ideas.

  • 10th Circuit ruling shows Bostock case's impact on Title VII litigation

    In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, which extended federal statutory protections to the LGBTQ community, many have wondered how the decision might affect other employment litigation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A recent decision by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals suggests that, following Bostock, courts may begin to recognize new claims or even reconsider previous limitations on Title VII's scope.

  • Chemist's associational discrimination claim fails to bond

    One of the unusual features of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is that it includes a provision prohibiting discrimination "because of the known disability of an individual with whom [the employee] is known to have a relationship or association." A recent decision by the 7th Circuit (which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin employers) examined the scope of the ADA's associational discrimination prong.

  • 7th Circuit rejects employee's age discrimination claim involving subjective tests

    No age discrimination occurred when an employer didn't promote a 74-year-old employee who had failed a mandatory subjective test, the 7th Circuit recently ruled. The court said the employee failed to show objective evidence of discrimination other than that the test scorers knew his age. Therefore, it ruled in the employer's favor.