American Society of Employers - Michael Burns

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Weingarten Rights Refresher for the Non-Union Employer

27 September 2022

Weingarten Rights Refresher for the Non-Union Employer

Author: Michael Burns

As many EPTW readers know, ASE is reporting on the activities of the pro-labor National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) as they change their policy and case decisions tilting the labor playing field in favor of unions and their ability to organize employers.  At the end of July this year, the NLRB released an advice memorandum stating that it was evaluating whether to extend what are called Weingarten rights to non-union workers.

Remote Workers and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

20 September 2022

Remote Workers and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Author: Michael Burns

A recent article published in CCH HRAnswersNow Expert Insights looks at the issue of FMLA coverage for remote workers. In this case, a person worked from their home which was well outside what could be reasonably considered within the coverage area of the FMLA.

National Labor Relations Board Restricts Employer Dress Code Practices

13 September 2022

National Labor Relations Board Restricts Employer Dress Code Practices

Author: Michael Burns

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued it first precedent-shifting decision of the Biden Administration on August 29th. Tesla, Inc. (2021). While there has been a lot of conjecture that this NLRB will make some big pro-labor changes when they get the chance, so far it has been more talk and memos than formal decisions – until now.  

NLRB Publishes New Joint Employer Rules

6 September 2022

NLRB Publishes New Joint Employer Rules

Author: Michael Burns

Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued new proposed rulemaking that eliminates the “direct and immediate” control specification in the 2020 rules and adopts a broader rule that finds joint employment if the employers “share or co-determine” essential job terms and conditions. The rule proposal was passed with two board members dissenting.

Organized Labor’s Resurgence?

30 August 2022

Organized Labor’s Resurgence?

Author: Michael Burns

As we approach Labor Day 2022, the media (and most likely the Biden Administration) will be heralding organized labor’s resurgence as it has done at this time of the year for decades.  Jarret Skorup’s Labor Unions Are Not in a “Resurgence” points out the media’s annual labor-fest prognostication with a short listing by year of articles announcing labor’s alleged comebacks heralded over two decades.

Administrative Exemption – An Often Misunderstood and Misused FLSA Classification

23 August 2022

Administrative Exemption – An Often Misunderstood and Misused FLSA Classification

Author: Michael Burns

Of the five major Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exemptions (there are close to 21 other FLSA industry or job exemptions) one of the most misunderstood and misused is the Administrative Exemption. 

For Separation and Other Employment Settlement Agreements Be Sure You Comply with ADEA and OWBPA

16 August 2022

For Separation and Other Employment Settlement Agreements Be Sure You Comply with ADEA and OWBPA

Author: Michael Burns

Last week, by its ruling in Jackson v. General Electric, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reminded employers that they must make sure any settlement type of agreement with an employee complies with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Older Workers Benefits Protection Act (OWBPA). This is not a new development, but the case reminds HR professionals and their legal counsel that any formal agreement settling discrimination or other claims by an employer with an employee,...
Third Circuit Court of Appeals Throws One Small Loss at the NLRB and Big Labor/Biden Camps

9 August 2022

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Throws One Small Loss at the NLRB and Big Labor/Biden Camps

Author: Michael Burns

It has seemed at least to people that track labor issues that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been on quite a roll favoring unions across the United States. The NLRB with its Democrat appointed Board majority and its very pro-labor agenda is working diligently to change interpretation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) at every turn, including the major issue of joint employment status.

Michigan Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Laws Remain the Same – For Now

2 August 2022

Michigan Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Laws Remain the Same – For Now

Author: Michael Burns

On Friday, Michigan Court of Claim Judge Douglas Shapiro issued a stay order in response to appeals filed by the State of Michigan. The stay was on his ruling two weeks ago holding that the method used by the Michigan Legislature to adopt and amend those laws was unconstitutionally conducted. In staying his ruling, the Judge stated there were “justified concerns” about employer’s ability to accommodate the changes so quickly.

Michigan Court Holds “Adopt and Amend” Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Laws are Unconstitutional

20 July 2022

Michigan Court Holds “Adopt and Amend” Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Laws are Unconstitutional

Author: Michael Burns

Yesterday, Michigan Court of Claims ruled that the current Michigan Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave laws passed by an “adopt and amend” strategy in 2018 were not properly enacted pursuant to Michigan’s constitution.

Court Affirms Importance of Correct Employee Handbook Policies

19 July 2022

Court Affirms Importance of Correct Employee Handbook Policies

Author: Michael Burns

Last month the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled against an employer that did not follow its employee handbook policies properly. The Court pointed to the importance not only of having an employee handbook but to set up the policies properly in order to achieve the true intent of what the employer wants from its handbook policies

SCOTUS Decision on Guns Compels Employer Review of Company Weapons Policy

12 July 2022

SCOTUS Decision on Guns Compels Employer Review of Company Weapons Policy

Author: Michael Burns

The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) finished its term this year with some decisions that though not directly impacting employers, does compel them to review their benefit plans and other select policies to ensure they stay up to date.

SHRM 2022 National Employee Benefits Survey Data Released

5 July 2022

SHRM 2022 National Employee Benefits Survey Data Released

Author: Michael Burns

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) released its 2022 Employee Benefit Survey early last month. This national study provides an extensive look at employer benefit program offerings on a national scale.

Increased Social Activism in the Workplace Compels a Review of Social Media and Other Employer Policies

28 June 2022

Increased Social Activism in the Workplace Compels a Review of Social Media and Other Employer Policies

Author: Michael Burns

Earlier this month a survey of 400 worldwide C-suite executives was conducted by Herbert Smith Freehills, LLP that found those executives foresee an unprecedented rise in workplace activism. The survey report found executives today are confronting employees articulating their views about not only workplace concerns and issues but on wider social issues. This worker activism is enabled and is consequentially amplified by social media.

U.S. Department of Labor Publishes Report on Conditions for Worker Union Organizing

21 June 2022

U.S. Department of Labor Publishes Report on Conditions for Worker Union Organizing

Author: Michael Burns

As ASE has previously reported, worker union organizing is getting a lot of attention across the country. A recent study by the Worker Empowerment Research Network (WERN) that is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), highlights what union conditions are usually present in the workplace for conditions to be right for organizing. This information also provides employers valuable insight into how they can avoid allowing those conditions to develop in their workplace.
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