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Total Articles: 49

Michigan Continues to Gradually Reopen Economy

Consistent with her goal to gradually reopen businesses in the state while continuing to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued Executive Orders (EOs) 2020-96 and 2020-97 to permit additional businesses to resume operations if they meet certain, substantial requirements.

Michigan Sets Forth Additional Requirements for Businesses that Reopen as the State Restarts Select Operations in Northern Michigan

On May 19, 2020, Michigan Governor Whitmer issued two Executive Orders. The first Executive Order establishes requirements for previously idled businesses as they reopen in the state. While many of the previous operational and safety requirements established in Governor Whitmer’s most recent extension of the Stay Home, Stay Safe Order remain in effect, this Order includes new mandates, such as daily self-screening protocols (including a questionnaire), designation of a COVID-19 control supervisor, distancing and sanitation duties, as well as other requirements.

Michigan Extends ‘Stay Home’ Order, but Allows Manufacturing to Resume

Consistent with her goal to gradually reopen businesses in the state while continuing to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order (EO) 2020-77 permits some businesses to resume operations if they meet certain, substantial requirements and provides that the “Stay Home” Order will remain in effect until May 28, 2020.

Michigan Extends “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Order Through May 28, 2020, While Announcing a Phased Reopening of Businesses with the Manufacturing Sector Next to Open

On May 7, 2020, Michigan Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-77, extending her April 3, 2020 Stay Home, Stay Safe Order through May 28, 2020, while setting forth a plan to reopen the state in phases as part of the Michigan Safe Start Plan (SSP). The latest Order permits additional workers to resume operations immediately and establishes requirements regarding the May 11, 2020 reopening of manufacturing operations.

Michigan: Gradual Reopening of Businesses

To gradually reopen businesses in the state while continuing to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order (EO) 2020-59 would permit some businesses to resume operations if they meet certain, substantial requirements.

Gardeners, Golfers, and Boaters Rejoice! Michigan Extends “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Order but Provides for the Reopening of Certain Businesses and Recreational Activities

On April 24, 2020, Michigan Governor Whitmer issued an Executive Order extending her April 3, 2020 Stay Home, Stay Safe Order through May 15, 2020, while providing rules for certain businesses permitted to resume operations. The Order also permits Michigan residents to leave their home or place of residence for boating, golfing, as well as other recreational activities. Other than the face covering requirements outlined below, which go into effect on April 27, 2020, the remainder of the Order takes effect immediately.

Michigan Extends “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Order with Additional Restrictions on Retail Businesses

NOTE: Because the COVID-19 situation is dynamic, with new governmental measures each day, employers should consult with counsel for the latest developments and updated guidance on this topic.

Michigan Provides Enforcement Guidance on State’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-21—the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order—and various county emergency orders issued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have raised numerous questions regarding their interpretation and enforcement. State leaders in public health, state directors, and the attorney general have commented upon enforcement or issued orders of their own. This article highlights the existing information about this fast-developing issue.

Michigan Governor Expands COVID-19 Paid Medical Leave Rights and Anti-Retaliation Protections

On April 3, 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order (EO) 2020-36, which expands the protections of Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act until the end of the declared state of emergency and prohibits retaliation against workers who are particularly at risk of infecting others in the workplace.

Michigan Issues Executive Order Extending Retaliation Protections Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

On April 3, 2020, Michigan Governor Whitmer issued an Executive Order prohibiting employers from discharging, disciplining, or otherwise retaliating against an employee for staying home from work because the employee tests positive for COVID-19, displays principal symptoms of COVID-19, or has had close contact with an individual who has tested positive or has symptoms. The Order takes effect immediately and continues until the end of Michigan’s declared states of emergency and disaster.

Michigan Issues COVID-19 Guidance for Caregivers of Older Adults

The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) has issued guidance further tightening the protocols governing in-home caregivers for older adults to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the vulnerable individuals they serve. Although the recommended steps are not mandatory, the MDHSS “strongly urges” direct care workers to follow the guidance while providing support to their clients for non-emergency medical care, activities of daily living (ADLs), and instrumental ADLs.1 For purposes of the guidance, “older adults” are persons age 60 or older, and “direct care workers” include, but are not limited to, personal care assistants (PCAs), certified nurse aides (CNAs), home health aides, private duty nurses (RNs), direct support professionals, and informal caregivers who do not reside at the client’s home.

Michigan Governor Issues ‘Stay Home’ Order Effective March 24

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order No. 2020-21, requiring nonessential businesses and organizations to close their physical workspaces and facilities to customers, most workers, and the public beginning 12:01 a.m. on March 24, 2020. This Order, issued on March 23, 2020, came days 13 after Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency across the state due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Michigan Issues “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order

On March 23, 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an Executive Order requiring all individuals currently living in the State of Michigan to stay home or at their place of residence, and prohibiting private gatherings of any number of people not part of a single household. The Order takes effect on March 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., and continues through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

What Employers Need To Know About Michigan’s Approach To COVID-19

With 53 presumptive-positive cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan as of March 15, Michigan is taking proactive steps to reduce transmission of the virus. Below is a brief synopsis of what employers need to know.

An Anticlimactic End of 2019 for Michigan Paid Sick and Minimum Wage Amendments

On December 18, 2019, the Michigan Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision on whether the Michigan legislature’s strategy to enact two ballot proposals (one concerning paid sick leave and the other minimum wage) and then amend those proposals before their effective dates was consistent with the Michigan Constitution.1 After studying the arguments, the Michigan Supreme Court issued a splintered opinion with four of the seven justices writing separate opinions. The lead and controlling opinion held that the court lacks jurisdiction to issue the requested advisory opinion.

Michigan Legislature Considers Package of Bills Addressing Wage Theft, Independent Contractors, and Noncompetes

On August 29, 2019, legislators from the Michigan House of Representatives announced an ambitious package of 12 bills aimed at creating new criminal and civil penalties to combat employers that fail to properly pay wages and overtime pay. The legislation would also establish enhanced protections and penalties under Michigan’s whistleblower statute and create new civil remedies against employers for overzealous enforcement of noncompete agreements and for misclassifying employees as independent contractors.

Michigan Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Employer in Medical Marijuana Case

On February 19, 2019, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a ruling in Eplee v. City of Lansing, clarifying that the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) does not create “an independent right protecting the medical use of marijuana in all circumstances, nor does it create a protected class for users of medical marijuana.”

Michigan Employers Can Refuse to Hire Medical Marijuana Users

In an unpublished opinion, a state appellate court held the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) did not provide a cause of action for an applicant whose conditional job offer from the City of Lansing was rescinded after he tested positive for marijuana during a mandatory pre-employment drug test. Eplee v. City of Lansing, 2019 Mich. App. LEXIS 277 (Feb. 19, 2019). This is at least the second decision involving failed drug tests, medical marijuana, and the MMMA; both were decided in the employer’s favor.

Michigan Attorney General Asked to Issue Formal Opinion on the Constitutionality of the “Adopt and Amend” Process Used to Enact Paid Medical Leave and Minimum Wage Laws

Employers in Michigan have been on a roller coaster ride over the last several months regarding new paid sick leave and minimum wage requirements.

Get Ready! Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act Will Be Here Before You Know It

In one of his last acts in office, former Governor Rick Snyder signed Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act into law, which will for the first time require employers in the state to provide paid sick leave to their workforces. Although the statute was just signed on December 14, the effective date of the new law is right around the corner: March 29, 2019. What do employers need to know about this significant development?

Michigan Governor Furthers LGBT Protections in State Contracts and Bans State Agencies From Asking for Salary History

Hitting the ground running, Michigan’s new governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has imposed new requirements in the employment arena—but only for executive branch state employees and some contractors and grant and loan recipients. This could be a sign of things to come for employers everywhere in Michigan, or at least a sign of building momentum within the state government.

Michigan Bars State Employer Inquiries into Salary History

One week after taking office, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a directive that prohibits state departments and agencies from asking about current or previous salaries until after extending a conditional offer of employment with proposed salary. Executive Directive No. 2019-10, intended to ensure equal pay for equal work among state employees, went into effect immediately upon receiving the governor’s signature on January 8, 2019.

Michigan Recognizes Sexual Orientation as a Protected Class for State Contracts

On December 27, 2018, as one of his last acts in office, term-limited Michigan governor Rick Snyder signed an executive directive which will extend sexual orientation discrimination protection to a number of private employees. The governor’s executive directive, which is an order dictating how statewide executive branch departments and agencies are to act, requires all such departments and agencies to include covenants in procurement contracts prohibiting any contractor or subcontractor from discriminating against an employee or applicant for employment on the basis of sexual orientation or “gender identity or expression.” Such a prohibition must also be a condition for any grant or loan involving state funds to a public or private entity. The directive became immediately effective for all contracts, grants, or loans made or modified after December 27, 2018.

Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions About Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act

On December 14, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed the Paid Medical Leave Act into law. The act requires covered employers to provide paid sick leave to many of their Michigan-based employees. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the new law.

Michigan Amends Paid Sick Leave Law

Michigan joined other states with paid sick leave laws on September 5, 2018, enacting the Earned Sick Time Act. Now, amidst political controversy, the Earned Sick Time Act (which never became effective) has been amended and renamed the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act. The Act requires employers in Michigan to provide their employees with accrued paid leave to use for their own or their family members’ medical needs and for purposes related to domestic violence and sexual assault.

Michigan Governor Signs Amended Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Laws

On December 14, 2018, Michigan’s employment law landscape dramatically changed—again—when Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) signed Senate Bills (SB) 1171 and 1175. These lame duck session bills overhaul the recently revised minimum wage and tip law and newly created paid sick and safe time law, respectively. Earlier this year, the Republican-controlled legislature adopted as law two proposed ballot measures covering these topics. As many expected, the legislature moved swiftly after the election to amend these laws before the changes took effect. This article highlights the more notable changes.

Michigan’s Senate and House of Representatives Adopt Changes to the Paid Sick Leave Act

On December 4, 2018, the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives passed the Paid Medical Leave Act, which makes wholesale changes to the state’s paid sick leave proposal and is on its way to Governor Rick Synder for his signature. On September 5, 2018, the two chambers adopted a citizen-initiated paid leave ballot proposal. This action removed the paid sick leave initiative from the November 2018 general elections ballot and allowed the Michigan Senate and House to craft changes that protect the core concept of paid leave while making the law less administratively difficult for Michigan employers. For example, the substitute bill limits the scope of coverage, reduces the level of benefits, and alleviates the administrative burdens of the ballot initiative.

A Fact Sheet on Michigan’s Newly-Passed Marihuana Ballot Initiative

On the night of November 6, 2018, Michigan voters passed the ballot initiative known as the “Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act” (MRTMA) to allow the limited use and possession of marihuana. As a result, the possession and use of marihuana (up to 2.5 ounces) within a personal residence by adults over the age of 21will be legal. The proposal will also allow regulated commercial production and distribution of marihuana.

Michigan Passes Paid Sick Leave Law

On September 5, 2018, Michigan became the 11th state to enact a mandatory paid sick leave law — the Earned Sick Time Act. The act was a citizen petition-initiated measure that the state legislature approved.

From Ballots to Bills: Michigan Adopts Paid Sick and Safe Time Law and Raises the Minimum Wage

On September 5, 2018, the Michigan Legislature adopted as law a proposed ballot measure that will require employers to provide their employees paid leave that can be used for “sick” and “safe” time purposes. Michigan’s Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA) is the Midwest’s first statewide paid sick and safe time (PSST) law. It follows a common theme familiar to employers subject to one or more PSST laws, but as currently written, omits some common PSST components.

Paid Leave: Coming to a Michigan Workplace Near You

On September 5, 2018, the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives adopted a citizen-initiated paid leave ballot proposal that was supposed to be put to a vote in the November 2018 general elections. Unlike the ballot initiative, which would have had immediate effect, the adopted proposal will not go into effect until 90 days after the end of the current legislative session, on or about April 1, 2019. Without immediate effect, the legislature will have an opportunity to amend the proposal after the general election in what is commonly known as the lame duck session. The advantage to employers is that the legislature and Governor Rick Snyder have the ability to rewrite the adopted proposal with a simple majority rather than a supermajority of 75 percent of both chambers, which would have been required had the proposal been voted into law at the polls. Essentially, this means paid leave will be required in Michigan workplaces in the spring of 2019.

Mid-Year Michigan Legislative Update

The Michigan Legislature has been busy during the first six months of 2018, addressing several issues that will impact employers across the state. Perhaps most significantly, the Michigan Legislature may send the issue of mandatory paid sick time to voters on their November ballot following the submission of over 380,000 signatures in support of the measure. Also, after a contentious ballot initiative process that made its way to the state Supreme Court, the Michigan Legislature repealed the state’s prevailing wage law, ensuring that future public works projects will no longer need to comply with prevailing wage requirements. Finally, the Michigan Legislature amended the state’s Wage and Fringe Benefit Act to clarify compliance for employers that pay employees on a monthly basis. Additional details on these developments can be found below.

A Ban on Salary History Bans: Michigan Bars Local Governments from Prohibiting Such Inquiries

On March 26, 2018, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill that prevents local governments from regulating the questions employers may ask of applicants during job interviews. The bill amends a 2015 law that prohibited local governments from banning salary history inquiries on job applications.

Michigan Expands its Preemption Law to Cover Interview Limitations

On March 26, 2018, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill that prohibits local governments from regulating the information employers can request from prospective employees during the interview process. Public Act 84 amends the Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act (MCL §123.1384), passed in 2015, which imposes a similar restriction on local governments regarding the information employers can request on an employment application.

Michigan Minimum Wage to Increase From $8.90 to $9.25

Effective January 1, 2018, the Michigan minimum wage will increase to $9.25 an hour. This is the last of the scheduled increases under Public Act 138 of 2014. Beginning in January of 2019, annual adjustments to the minimum wage will be made based on the unemployment rate and consumer price index, and any future increases cannot exceed three-and-one-half percent.

Michigan Civil Rights Poster Has Been Updated

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights has updated a poster that employers must post at their Michigan work sites. The poster—Michigan Law Prohibits Discrimination—is a required posting under the Michigan Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act and the Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act (MPWDA). The new poster was recently released and has reinserted language addressing accommodation under the MPWDA that had been eliminated in 2011. The new poster now states that “Persons with disabilities needing accommodation for employment must notify their employers in writing within 182 days.”

Restrictive Covenants in Michigan: A Cent, a Peppercorn, or Continued At-Will Employment

A business dispute in Michigan may provide insight into the consideration required to support a noncompete contract restricting future employment. Innovation Ventures, LLC v. Liquid Manufacturing, LLC, No. 150591, Michigan Supreme Court (July 24, 2016).

What Employers Need to Know About the New State Garnishment Laws, Part I: Michigan and Georgia

The requirements and processes applicable to employers handling garnishments are primarily governed by state laws. Therefore, in addition to the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), multistate employers need to be aware of the garnishment requirements in all states. As if these issues are not enough, complicating it further for employer compliance initiatives is the fact that state legislatures frequently tweak garnishment requirements and processes. During the past several months, six states have made noteworthy changes to their garnishment laws and two states made major changes. This two part-series covers the changes to the garnishment laws in Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, California, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

Michigan Franchisors Not Joint Employers of Employees of Franchisees Absent Agreement

On March 22, 2016, Michigan joined Wisconsin, Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee by amending its Franchise Investment Law to make it clear that unless otherwise specifically provided for in the franchise agreement, a franchisee is considered the sole employer of workers to whom it pays wages or provides a benefit plan.1 This amendment – one of six bills signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder since December 2015 – is designed to protect franchisors in the wake of the uncertainty created by the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc.2 pertaining to when a company may be considered a joint employer.

Michigan Court of Appeals Says Fired Medical Marijuana Users Can Collect Unemployment Benefits

On October 23, 2014, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that employees discharged for having failed a drug test because of their medical marijuana use are not disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.

Michigan Employers May Soon Obtain Relief From Oppressive And Risky Wage Garnishments

An order for a wage garnishment is surprisingly complex to administer and very risky for employers. For instance, if an employer does not answer a garnishment within 14 days or do any other act required by the court, it is subject to a judgment against it for the full amount of the employee’s debt. The employee’s debt may be small, in the range of several hundred or several thousand dollars. But they are not all small—in one case a court entered a default judgment against an employer for being late on a disclosure in the amount of $596,000.

New Michigan Law Prohibits Employers from Asking Applicants and Employees for Access to Personal Internet Accounts

The apparent practice by employers of requesting access to employees’ and applicants’ social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, has led the state of Michigan to pass the Internet Privacy Protection Act (PA 478 of 2012)(IPPA). The Act was signed by Governor Rick Snyder on December 27, 2012, as part of a flurry of late session legislative activity and given immediate effect.

Michigan Becomes 24th Right-to-Work State—Now What?

As expected and amid demonstrations by thousands of union supporters, the Michigan House of Representatives passed SB 116 and HB 4003, and both bills were signed by Governor Rick Snyder. Now officially known as PA 348 of 2012 and PA 349 of 2012, respectively, these Acts provide both private and public sector employees with the right to either join a union and pay dues or refrain from doing so.

It’s Official: Michigan Is A "Right-To-Work" State December 12, 2012

As we reported last week, in a surprising move last Thursday, the Michigan House and Senate both passed right-to-work legislation and sent the legislation to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder for his review and signature. Yesterday, Governor Snyder signed the bills shortly after receiving them, officially turning Michigan into a right-to-work state. The legislation will become effective 90 days after the end of the current legislation session, which will likely be in April.

Labor Stunner: Michigan Joins Ranks Of Right-To-Work States

The Michigan legislature voted on December 11, 2012 to pass controversial right-to-work legislation affecting private and public sector employees throughout the historically union-friendly state. The legislation, which was signed almost immediately into law by Governor Rick Snyder, is a striking blow to Michigan’s organized labor movement, particularly in the automotive industry. The new laws are expected to take effect as soon as April 2013.

Michigan Becomes Twenty-Fourth Right-To-Work State

Approximately 17.5 percent of Michigan workers are dues-paying union members, making it the fifth most unionized state in the nation. Michigan is one of the least likely candidates to adopt right-to-work legislation. However, on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, the Republican Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, signed Public Acts 348 and 349 of 2012 into law, making Michigan the twenty-forth right-to-work state. This is a stunning development in the home state of the United Auto Workers (UAW), considered to be a strong, pro-labor state.

Michigan on Track to Become 24th Right-to-Work State

On December 6, 2012, the Michigan Senate passed two bills (SB 116 and HB 4003) and the House passed one bill (HB 4052), making Michigan poised to become the 24th state with a right-to-work law. These bills would prohibit any requirement that employees be forced to join a union or pay an agency fee to a union as a term or condition of employment. SB 116 and HB 4052 are identical and apply to private sector employees. While HB 4003 applies to public sector employees, it creates an exemption for police and firefighters from the right-to-work provisions. Even though it was passed by the House, HB 4052 has not been reported to the Senate for procedural reasons. Nevertheless, the House is expected to pass SB 116 and HB 4003, as amended by the Senate, and Governor Rick Snyder has indicated that he will sign the bills if they reach his desk.

Michigan Poised To Become A “Right-To-Work” State

Yesterday, the Michigan House and Senate each passed right-to-work legislation amid tumultuous protest by union supporters. Governor Snyder (R) has said that he will sign the bills, which could occur as early as Tuesday. He cannot sign them earlier because of rules requiring a five-day delay between votes in the two chambers on the same legislation.

Michigan - Third Party "Peer Review" Records Not Always Relevant In Employment Discrimination Claim.

The production of otherwise-confidential documents in employment discrimination cases continues to be addressed by federal courts at an increasing rate. The issue typically pits state-law protection for “peer review” documents against federal anti-discrimination laws and regulations, and has generated growing controversy among health care providers who routinely rely on the state-law protection afforded to such information. A federal district court in Michigan recently addressed a plaintiff/physician’s discovery subpoena to a non-party hospital for peer review records of “similarly situated” physicians, and granted that hospital‘s motion to quash the subpoena. The court skirted the issue of state-law peer review protections, however, by simply finding that the documents requested were “not relevant” in the discovery phase of the case.
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