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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 Blocks Cities from Passing Employment Ordinances

Effective immediately, municipalities in Michigan are prohibited from regulating the terms and conditions of employment for private employers. The state's Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act specifically declares that regulation of the employment relationship between a private employer and its employees is a state matter and, consequently, outside the express or implied authority of local government bodies. Therefore, any local wage theft, "ban the box" or paid sick leave protections will be preempted under the new state law.

Employers Obtain Relief From Oppressive and Risky Michigan Wage Garnishments

A wage garnishment is a court order that assists plaintiffs with the collection of judgments. Such an order requires an entity to withhold money (i.e., wages) owed to a judgment debtor and divert it to a judgment creditor in order to satisfy the judgment debt. An order for a wage garnishment is startlingly complex to administer and very risky for employers. For instance, if an employer does not timely answer a Michigan garnishment within 14 days, or fails to 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.

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 Enacts Right-to-Work Laws

Employees in Michigan can now opt out of joining and paying dues to unions without sacrificing their jobs.

Michigan Enacts Social-Media Privacy Law

Michigan is the latest State to pass a "Facebook-privacy" law. The law, called the Internet Privacy Protection Act, was signed by Gov. Rick Snyder last Friday. The law prohibits employers and educational institutions from asking applicants, employees, and students for information about the individual's social-media accounts, reports The Detroit News.

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.

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.