Northville, MI asked in Employment Law for Michigan

Q: Are labour costs included when the requester inspect documents themselves?

"Failure to charge would result in an unreasonably high cost to the Department in this particular instance because the employees must be taken away from pending work to process the request, and expend additional time to complete regularly assigned departmental work." What are more economical means for a requester?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: If you choose to inspect documents yourself, labor costs might still be included if the department needs to allocate staff to assist with your request. This can be due to employees being diverted from their usual tasks, causing an unreasonably high cost for the department. The time spent by employees to facilitate your inspection and then catch up on their regular work can justify these charges.

To minimize costs, you might consider requesting digital copies of the documents if available. This can often be more economical as it reduces the need for extensive staff involvement. Additionally, specifying a narrower scope for your request can reduce the amount of time and labor needed to gather the documents.

Another option is to request a summary of the documents instead of full access. This way, the department might spend less time compiling the necessary information, resulting in lower costs for you. By exploring these alternatives, you can manage expenses while still accessing the information you need.

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