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.
OFCCP is moving at light speed to make changes as to how it operates. There have been a number of new directives in 2018 already, “righting the ship” from the previous administration. Now comes three new directives for Fiscal Year 2019 (DIR 2019-01, DIR 2019-04, and DIR 2019-03). These directives are officially changing the way OFCCP is doing business and how audits will be handled in the future.
For employers defending an equal pay act (EPA) discrimination claim, the “factor other than sex” affirmative defense generally prevails, except when it doesn’t. And lately, courts have been more reluctant to accept the affirmative defense.
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.
The people of the State of Michigan passed Proposal 18-1, also known as Proposal 1 or Prop 1, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Below are answers to some of the questions employers may have around the legalization of marijuana and drug testing in the workplace.
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.
More and more employers are using background screening as part of the employment process. This is important for protecting employees as well as the company. These days we see acts of violence happening in the work place far too often in the news. We also see more litigation against employers based not only on what they knew, but what they should have known, so it is logical that background screening is important.
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.
In the last month, OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance) has been very active issuing a number of directives. Two new ones were released last week.
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.
The answer is no, according to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, plus those portions of the Yellowstone National Park extending into Montana and Idaho). This decision brings it in line with other circuit courts of appeals.
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