LABOR / EMPLOYMENT

Salary Requirements Significantly Increase For Exempt Employees on 12/01/2016
By Mark R. Filipp  [Fall 2016]
Employees that fit within an exemption, (typically executive, administrative and professional employees) and are paid a sufficient salary, do not have to be paid overtime under federal law.
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Employee Military Service
By Thomas L. Boyer  [Fall 2016]
The rights of employees to a leave of absence for military service and to return to their jobs is governed by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).  USERRA provides leaves of absence and reemployment rights to members of the armed forces including the National Guard and Reserves who temporarily leave their civilian jobs to perform military duty.
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Compensable training
By Thomas L. Boyer    [Fall 2014]
Unless employees are exempt under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act they are entitled to premium pay, generally time and one-half, for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. The most common exemptions apply to executives, administrators and outside sales personnel.
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The test for unpaid interns
By Thomas L. Boyer    [Summer 2013]
Unpaid internships have probably never been more popular. Since it has been difficult for recent college graduates to obtain full-time positions in their fields or in many cases jobs of any kind, there is a large pool of students and graduates eager to obtain experience but more importantly, find an advantage in obtaining a full-time paid position. From an employer’s standpoint, unpaid interns provide an opportunity to train individuals without paying them while they learn, and allowing the employer to evaluate the performances of new people at a reduced cost and risk compared to providing full-time employment to untested applicants. Utilizing unpaid interns would seem to be a fine example of what an old mentor of mine used to call “doing well by doing good.”
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Michigan’s new Right-to-Work Amendment
By Thomas L. Boyer    [Winter 2012]
On December 11, 2012, the Michigan legislature passed and Governor Snyder signed an Amendment to the 1939 statute which established the Michigan Employment Relations Commission. This Amendment established Michigan as the 24th Right-to-Work state.
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Social media and your employees
By Thomas L. Boyer    [Summer 2012]
The term “social media” refers to websites and networks where users have the opportunity to share with a few people or a few million people photos, videos, opinions, reviews and reports concerning their social life and work life. Blogs, Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and a number of other websites, you have never heard of but your employees use regularly, are all examples of social media.
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Significant changes to Worker’s Disability Compensation Act
By Lawrence G. Snyder    [Spring 2012]
The Worker’s Disability Compensation Act of 1969 was revised effective December 19, 2011 by Enrolled House Bill No. 5002 for injuries incurred on or after that date. The revisions theoretically provide incentives for (or place burdens upon, depending upon your perspective) injured workers to seek and obtain work, even if the job pays less than the claimants earned prior to their injury.
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Employee convinces superior to fire co-worker for unlawful reasons
By Thomas L. Boyer    [Winter 2011]
In employment law, the cat’s paw theory is named after an 18th century French fable in which a clever monkey induces an unwitting cat to reach into a fire and retrieve chestnuts. The duped cat burns his paw while the monkey eats the chestnuts.
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Unpaid internships could be illegal
By Mark R. Filipp and Gloria M. Chon    [Fall 2010]
In a troubled economy, an unpaid internship may sound like a good idea to both the job applicant, who is looking to build up his or her resume, and the employer, who is looking to cut costs. However, if an unpaid internship sounds too good to be true for the employer, it just may be.
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Government scrutinizes independent contractor relationships
By Thomas L. Boyer    [Spring 2010]
Using independent contractors instead of employees seems as good as striking gold in the backyard. With independent contractors you are not required to pay social security tax, Medicare tax, workers’ compensation premiums, federal unemployment tax and state unemployment tax. Moreover, you do not pay health insurance premiums, life insurance premiums, disability insurance premiums, sick days, vacation, or holidays. Independent contractors also cannot be organized by labor unions. What’s not to like? Is this the best thing since sliced bread? Maybe not.
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