American Society of Employers - Michael Burns
If Marijuana is Reclassified, What Jobs Might It Impact?

28 May 2024

If Marijuana is Reclassified, What Jobs Might It Impact?

Author: Michael Burns

The U.S. Department of Justice has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I narcotic down to a Schedule III drug. Schedule I controlled substances are in the “mean street neighborhood” including heroin, LSD, and other drugs with “no currently acceptable medical use or treatment.” Schedule III drugs, on the other hand, where it is proposed marijuana be moved to is in a “friendlier neighborhood” of classified...
UAW Loses Mercedes-Benz Unionization Election

21 May 2024

UAW Loses Mercedes-Benz Unionization Election

Author: Michael Burns

Last week workers at the Mercedes-Benz plant near Tuskaloosa, Alabama voted down unionization by the United Auto Workers (UAW). The unofficial vote count was 2642 votes against vs. 2045 votes for the union. This came about a month after the UAW won its election at the Volkswagen (VW) plant further north in Chattanooga, Tennessee. There the UAW won 2628 votes for the union vs. 985 against the union.

Michigan Supreme Court Rules Friends Are Protected from Retaliation Under State’s Civil Rights Law

14 May 2024

Michigan Supreme Court Rules Friends Are Protected from Retaliation Under State’s Civil Rights Law

Author: Michael Burns

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled last Friday that the friends of an employee who also work at the same place are protected from retaliation by the employer.  Following similar protections found under the federal civil rights act under Title VII, the Michigan Court found that Michigan’s Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act also permits workers to bring third party, or associational, retaliation claims if they think the employer targeted them to punish a coworker for bringing a claim...
Employers Have Seen These Times Before

7 May 2024

Employers Have Seen These Times Before

Author: Michael Burns

Over the weekend I came across an article in the Labor Union News entitled "UAW Involvement and Support in Pro-Palestinian Protests Raises Question.” The gist of the article was that the UAW may be supporting at least some of the pro-Palestinian protests causing problems at many universities right now.

Federal Trade Commission Announces Ban on Most Noncompete Agreements

30 April 2024

Federal Trade Commission Announces Ban on Most Noncompete Agreements

Author: Michael Burns

Last week the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a final rule banning employer noncompete agreements. Noncompete agreements or clauses per the FTC are a “term or condition of employment  that prohibits a worker from, penalizes a worker for, or prevents a worker from (1) seeking or accepting work in the United States with a different person where such work would begin after the conclusion of the employment that includes the term or condition; or (2) operating a business in...
Final Pregnant Worker Fairness Act – Important Definitions and How it Differs from the ADA

23 April 2024

Final Pregnant Worker Fairness Act – Important Definitions and How it Differs from the ADA

Author: Michael Burns

As we wrote about last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its final rules implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The final rules provide some important definitions to understand.

Final Pregnant Worker Fairness Act Rules Released This Week

16 April 2024

Final Pregnant Worker Fairness Act Rules Released This Week

Author: Michael Burns

On Monday the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that the final version of the Pregnant Worker Fairness Act (PWFA) regulations will be published in the Federal Register August 19th.  The PWFA was passed December 29, 2022, and took effect in June of 2023. Last August proposed rules were released, and the public’s comments were requested. Over 100,000 comments were received.

Limitation of Action Agreements Are Effective in Michigan

9 April 2024

Limitation of Action Agreements Are Effective in Michigan

Author: Michael Burns

Limitation of Action Agreements are a contract between the employer and employee, usually agreed upon at the start of employment or even before on the application form, whereby the employee agrees they will not bring a wrongful employment lawsuit against their employer typically beyond 180 days of the cause of action. This shortens the time an employee can bring a wrongful employment lawsuit against their employer from what the statute or common law may ordinarily provide them.
OSHA Issues Rule Allowing Unaffiliated Third Parties Access to Private Employer Workplaces

2 April 2024

OSHA Issues Rule Allowing Unaffiliated Third Parties Access to Private Employer Workplaces

Author: Michael Burns

On Friday, the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) issued final “walk around” rules that will allow persons such as union representatives/activists or other third parties to accompany OSHA Inspectors into non-union workplaces (onto private property) to walk with them during safety inspections. “The new rules give the employer and the employee the right to authorize a representative to accompany the OSHA official during a workplace inspection.” The final rule...
NLRB AG Keeps Pressing for More Disciplinary Power Over Employer Handbook Rules/Policies

26 March 2024

NLRB AG Keeps Pressing for More Disciplinary Power Over Employer Handbook Rules/Policies

Author: Michael Burns

When reviewing employee handbooks one of the tougher feedback discussions is about how a policy is written and having to explain why on its face it is a fairly esoteric policy, but it is too broadly written and may be a violation of federal labor law.

Tips For Complying with Michigan’s Sunshine Law Regarding Employee Records

19 March 2024

Tips For Complying with Michigan’s Sunshine Law Regarding Employee Records

Author: Michael Burns

Most Michigan HR professionals know something about the Bullard Plawecki Employee Right to Know Act. It has been around since 1978 (PA 397) and permits current and former employees the right to review what is in their personnel file. This type of law is often referred to as a sunshine law.

NLRB’s Joint Employer Rule Stayed

12 March 2024

NLRB’s Joint Employer Rule Stayed

Author: Michael Burns

Last Friday a federal judge struck down the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regulations expanding its control over the job terms and conditions it uses to determine whether two employers are in fact one for the purposes of labor law application. The Joint Employer rule was supposed to take effect Monday (March 11th) from a previous court stay, but the Texas federal judge hearing the case vacated that decision and held the regulations were too far reaching in their scope for a federal...
Gen Z Getting a Bad Reputation With Employers

5 March 2024

Gen Z Getting a Bad Reputation With Employers

Author: Michael Burns

If you have not heard, Gen Z (also referred to as Zoomers), those people born between 1997 and 2013 have been using their “ghosting” powers to not show up for interviews with employers or even going through the interview process, getting the job, and then not showing up for their new job without the courtesy of even a phone call – not cool. This behavior is predominantly attributed to Gen Z but has also been picked up by their next generation elders too – the...
NLRB Board Overrules its Administrative Judges to Hold in Favor of Over-riding Dress Rules for Worker BLM-Wear

27 February 2024

NLRB Board Overrules its Administrative Judges to Hold in Favor of Over-riding Dress Rules for Worker BLM-Wear

Author: Michael Burns

Should workers violating a company dress code policy be protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) if they are wearing or displaying political slogans on their uniforms protesting for an issue unrelated to their work?

NLRB Holds That Union Engaged in Union Busting Against Its Own Workers

20 February 2024

NLRB Holds That Union Engaged in Union Busting Against Its Own Workers

Author: Michael Burns

In the category of what’s good for the goose is good for the gander we have the pro-union National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently finding the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union engaged in a myriad of unfair labor practices with its own unionized staff who are members of FAIR. (Yes, unions have unions.)

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