American Society of Employers - Michael Burns

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Amazon Workers Vote Down Union in Huge Big-Labor Defeat

13 April 2021

Amazon Workers Vote Down Union in Huge Big-Labor Defeat

Author: Michael Burns

Last week the National Labor Relations Board finished tallying the union election votes at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama warehouse facility. The union lost – 1,798 against vs. 738 votes for unionization. A huge defeat for organized labor.
Michigan Employer Workplace Pandemic Safety Regulations Are Still in Effect

6 April 2021

Michigan Employer Workplace Pandemic Safety Regulations Are Still in Effect

Author: Michael Burns

ASE is receiving calls asking whether worker pandemic safety rules are still in effect. Yes, they are. MIOSHA Emergency Rules put in place last October remain in effect until at least April 16th and are, at this point with Michigan cases on the rise, expected to be extended possibly for another six months.

Employee Speaking to Reporter Was Protected Concerted Activity

30 March 2021

Employee Speaking to Reporter Was Protected Concerted Activity

Author: Michael Burns

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that an employer committed an unfair labor practice when it fired an employee for participating in an interview with a journalist about minimum wage law in Arkansas.

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Issues Employer Vaccination Program Guidance

23 March 2021

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Issues Employer Vaccination Program Guidance

Author: Michael Burns

Last week the CDC published guidance for employer vaccination programs. The CDC is encouraging employers to promote the value of getting vaccinated as soon as possible. This includes building employee confidence toward getting vaccinated, helping determine when employees can get vaccinated, deciding whether onsite or offsite vaccination programs make sense to promote, and suggestions about how to avoid workers unexpectedly having to be off work due to vaccine side effects.

Questions to Consider if Your Organization is Evaluating the Use of Vaccine Passports

16 March 2021

Questions to Consider if Your Organization is Evaluating the Use of Vaccine Passports

Author: Michael Burns

Vaccine passports, documentation that an individual received a vaccination and is presumably better protected against a virus or has recently been tested and found negative, are being debated and considered by many before allowing employees to return to work. Having one’s shots to travel internationally is not new. But expanding the use of a vaccine passport for entry into concert venues, sport events, or using that passport to come to work is new.

What Should Your Organization Be “Skilling” Toward?

9 March 2021

What Should Your Organization Be “Skilling” Toward?

Author: Michael Burns

Skill:  noun – In the workplace it is “A particular ability that you develop through training and experience and that is useful in a job.”

Skilling: noun/verb – Also in the workplace is “The action of training a worker to do a particular task.”

Paid Military Leave Required Under USERRA?

2 March 2021

Paid Military Leave Required Under USERRA?

Author: Michael Burns

ASE’s 2019/20 Michigan Policies and Practices Survey reports that although most employers offer all necessary time off to employees that are in the military or national guard, most do not offer any supplemental pay to employees that go on military leave for such activities as annual National Guard training or Army Reserve active duty services.  Based upon a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision handed down at the start of February, this may be about to change.
Post COVID Pandemic Employee Handbook Policies

23 February 2021

Post COVID Pandemic Employee Handbook Policies

Author: Michael Burns

One (or two) questions that have been brought to ASE by employers when requesting a review of their employee handbook over the last year has been, do we need a COVID-19 policy? And/or what other policies do I need to have in place given the pandemic?
ASE Joins Business Leaders on Protect Michigan Commission

16 February 2021

ASE Joins Business Leaders on Protect Michigan Commission

Author: Michael Burns

The Governor’s office has formed a diverse group of leaders, including business, to work with and assist with its COVID vaccination campaign. As vaccination ramps up in Michigan, employers will benefit from inoculated healthy and safe workers. However, it is recognized that education is needed about how and when workers can line up for the COVID-19 vaccination.

PRO Act Reloaded by Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats

16 February 2021

PRO Act Reloaded by Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats

Author: Michael Burns

As stated previously in EPTW, the Biden Administration is moving fast to rewrite the Trump Administration’s labor policy and regulations. Following the quick replacement of key Trump era National Labor Relations Board personnel, last week Congressional Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate re-enrolled the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, (PRO). It had been previously passed in the House last year but went no further. Unlike the often temporary regulatory and decision-based policy...
Acting NLRB General Counsel Starts Rollback of Employer-Friendly Policies

9 February 2021

Acting NLRB General Counsel Starts Rollback of Employer-Friendly Policies

Author: Michael Burns

President Biden is unabashedly pro labor – no surprise there. One of the very first actions he took when he stepped into the Oval Office last month was to fire the NLRB General Counsel (GC) and the Assistant General Counsel. Somewhat of a surprise there, because they had some time left to their terms. Biden appointed Peter Sung Ohr as NLRB General Counsel (Acting) last week and almost immediately Mr. Ohr rescinded no less than 10 directives issued by his predecessor Peter Robb...
$15/Hr. Federal Minimum Wage Bill Introduced Last Week. What Else Does It Do?

2 February 2021

$15/Hr. Federal Minimum Wage Bill Introduced Last Week. What Else Does It Do?

Author: Michael Burns

To no one’s surprise, the Democrats re-introduced a bill that would increase the federal minimum wage from 7.25/hr. first set in 2009 up to $15/hr. over four years. This has been a long-time objective of the Democratic Party. With President Biden now in the White House (Executive Branch) and the Democrats holding the majority in the House and also by a thin margin, the Senate (Legislative Branch), this legislation has the best chance of passing in years.

Employers’ Use of Handbook Statute of Limitations Clause Both Limited and Expanded by Sixth Circuit

26 January 2021

Employers’ Use of Handbook Statute of Limitations Clause Both Limited and Expanded by Sixth Circuit

Author: Michael Burns

A fairly common technical issue found in many employer handbooks is the use of what is called the limitation of actions clause. The limitation of actions clause is a term that sets a maximum length of time an employee agrees to bring a wrongful employment action claim, complaint, or lawsuit against the employer.

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Issues Finalized Employee Classification Regulations

19 January 2021

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Issues Finalized Employee Classification Regulations

Author: Michael Burns

On January 6, 2021 the DOL published its final rule to help employers determine whether workers can be legally treated as independent contractors (I/C) or employees of the business. If a worker is an independent contractor the business does not have to pay them minimum wage, overtime, do recordkeeping, provide benefits, or even collect employment taxes as they would if the worker is, in fact, an employee.

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Issues Opinion Letter on Remote/Teleworking and Travel Circumstances

12 January 2021

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Issues Opinion Letter on Remote/Teleworking and Travel Circumstances

Author: Michael Burns

Due to the pandemic, remote work is bubbling up new wage and hour issues for employers. Is a non-exempt employee that works from home but must travel into the office during the day legally owed payment for travel time from home to office?

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