Late Thursday, Governor Snyder signed the Minimum Wage law (SB 1171) that takes Michigan’s minimum wage to a maximum of $12.05/hr. in 2030 and removed the future indexing of the minimum wage to inflation. He also signed the Earned Sick Time law (SB 1175) that implements paid time off for employee or family member illness, injury, domestic violence, and sexual assault. The new law applies to employers with over 50 employees.
Last week Michigan’s electorate voted in Democrat Gretchen Whitmer as Michigan’s Governor, breaking eight years of solid GOP governance in Michigan. Not to mention the state Republican Supreme Court as well. Employers, overall, have enjoyed a pro-business environment for quite a long time where governance has been pragmatic and not by “gotcha” legal and regulatory enforcement.
Just over two years ago, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published rules that more than suggested employers could no longer have mandatory post-accident/injury drug testing. The rule amended 9 C.F.R. § 1904.35 to add a provision prohibiting employers from retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses.
With last Spring’s Supreme Court Epic Systems Corp. ruling that upheld class action waivers and arbitration as a legal dispute resolution process, employers are once again free to require employees to sign alternative dispute resolutions agreements.
The current term of the U.S. Supreme Court starts this week. It will start with eight justices that are pretty evenly split in their judicial philosophies - conservative vs. liberal. If a new justice appointment is delayed, some of these decisions may hang in the balance.
Last Friday the NLRB published proposed rules that will roll back the previous NLRB’s stringent test for determining whether affiliated businesses are joint employers or not.
Last week the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Wage and Hour Division issued a set of new Opinion Letters on the following questions:
ASE has followed the memo’s and decisions that have come out of NLRB in the last decade, and one “progressive” initiative has always stood out as very archaic. This the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) position that production workers have a protected right to use disrespectful and vulgar language to express themselves based on their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
ASE reviews dozens of employee handbooks each year along with hundreds of individual policies being written or updated by our members. One policy that does not get a lot of attention nor is found in many employee handbooks these days is a statement on union-free status.
Addressing whether or not a request for religious accommodation is reasonable can be a challenge. Employers often believe that the accommodation requested must be met exactly. But it is only the religious practice that requires accommodation. Any non-religious “losses” that occur as a result are not the employer's responsibility.
Employers can expect some changes to the FLSA as the Trump administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) looks to make its mark on this now 80-year old law. Some of the prospective changes that appear most imminent are:
Allowing employees to use their own personal electronic devices for doing work presents compliance concerns. From the human resources compliance perspective, employers’ concern is often focused on non-exempt employees being paid legally for working off the clock by responding to emails, texts, and phone calls after hours. Other compliance concerns include performance management, discrimination, harassment, privacy, and safety.
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