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Michigan Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: Can my employer terminate me for following the stay at home executive order (MI)?

I work in Wayne County, MI; one of the hardest hit counties in Michigan with COVID-19, back in March my Manager and all my co-workers took a leave of absense do to the Pandemic. My stores a retail store and deemed a non essential business. My main manager said that the companies owner has let me go... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 28, 2020

You will need to appeal the UIA's decision. What likely happened is that your employer reported to UIA that you were fired for misconduct or something like that, which would make you ineligible for unemployment. That agency can appoint a representative for you if you wish or you can retain an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: Can my employer furlough me due to being high risk during the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan?

My employer said they are going to furlough all parttime employees and 1 full-time employee. They asked for volunteers. Another employee, with less seniority, volunteered. Then my employer told me that because of a previous medical condition I need a note from my doctor stating I am not a... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on May 12, 2020

While your employer can prevent you from coming to work if you've been diagnosed with COVID-19, it cannot treat you differently or require any further documentation from you based on any medical condition that could put you at greater risk for COVID-19. If your employer furloughs you instead... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Michigan on
Q: My employer told unemployment I quit but I have 2 text messages that say if I dont show up I'm fired. Should I protest

One text is from my gm said if you dont show up today your done. The 2nd is from my shift manager and says brad said if you didnt show up for your shift your fired. The company then told unemployment I voluntarily quit. I dont know if I should protest the finding if they deny my unemployment. I... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 12, 2020

I'm not sure what benefit you would gain. If you didn't voluntarily quit (by willingly not showing up), then you were fired for misconduct. And you have nothing to protest unless you are denied unemployment.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: What can I do?

I was temporarily laid off from work in September of last year because of the GM strike and I was injured October 26th while on layoff, my company did not change my employment status to medical leave, I applied for short term disability benefits through my employer and it was approved. But recently... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 7, 2020

You would need to get your employer to change your status and accurately report it to the insurance company. Short of that, you may be left responsible for the overpayment.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: Currently on unemployment, Granted LOA from employer, for spouse health issues. Company wants me on FMLA.

My wife has severe asthma issues,and severe rheumatoid arthritis. I took the LOA because of covid 19,contracting and bringing it home is a major worry. Im a truck driver that travels to Illinois,indiana and thus come into contact with people from other states where our truck terminals are located.... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 6, 2020

Great question! FMLA could preserve your job longterm. However, you would not also be entitled to unemployment. Your compensation would come in the form of any sick time or other benefits your company offers.

What some people do not realize with the enhanced unemployment compensation is...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: Can I be forced to leave my restaurant job because I refuse to wear a facemask? I am claustrophobic.
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 4, 2020

Do you have a medical diagnosis? Even if so, it's likely they can prohibit you from working or reassign you to other duties.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: Do I have to return to work if state has stay at home order? In Michigan
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 1, 2020

Yes. If your employer is lawfully open, and you want to remain employed with them, then your option comes down to staying at home and find a new job, or go to work. Whether the employer is complying with health and safety mandates is a whole separate issue.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Tax Law for Michigan on
Q: I was paid under the table with cash. No 1099 was given and was denied being put on the books several times.

All i wanted was to get medical insurance and to do the right thing. Now, im lost and out of answers.

D. Mathew Blackburn
D. Mathew Blackburn answered on Apr 29, 2020

Not receiving a 1099 does not stop you from reporting your income. You're still required to report it and pay tax. File a return for the income and then wait until your state's healthcare marketplace has open enrollment. Fill out the application for the premium tax credit and get a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Social Security for Michigan on
Q: My employer paid me cash for 10 years. I filed for social security but having issues because of the cash payments.

What if anything can i do about this?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 29, 2020

You are in a tough jam. Were you an independent contractor or just paid under the table? Depending on your answer to that, this may be a significant tax issue for you and your employer. You likely had an obligation to report your payments as income on your taxes, which would have subjected you to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: Can my employer give more sick/personal time to "high risk" employees during the COVID pandemic?

I work for a large corporation that is considered essential through the pandemic shut downs. The company generously gave all employees an additional 80 hours of sick/personal time to cover any time off wanted or needed during the pandemic. If not used, the employee will be paid for those hours. It... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Apr 29, 2020

Since your employer is a large corporation (500+ employees) and is considered an essential business, they are not legally required to offer any paid leave during this ongoing pandemic. Since there are no minimum standards here regarding how much paid leave employees are entitled to, your employer... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: Can i sue my current employer for low wages?
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 28, 2020

If you are receiving at least the state minimum wage or whatever wage you're contracted to receive, what would be the claim? If you're saying you are not receiving the amount you are otherwise entitled to, you can file a complaint with the state's department of labor for investigation.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: My employer is implementing a plan to make all employees scan their temperature before they can work. Is this legal??

This seems like harassment to me to make people scan their temperature before they can work. If they are determined to have a fever they will be sent home. When they send people home they are making them stay gone for 7 business days before they can return to work and I'm not sure where they... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 23, 2020

It is legal, and you'll likely see more of it in the coming months.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: I have been asked as a current employee to sign an NDA.

I recently was given a promotion/raise, but the NDA was not included at the time. I have seen that additional consideration is required for an NDA to be enforceable when a current employee is asked to sign one. I would like to know if that is correct.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 20, 2020

Generally yes, but that additional consideration could be your raise / promotion.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: Where can I get legal aid with correcting a denial of unemployment benefits?
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 12, 2020

The Unemployment agency provides counsel for administrative hearings. I would contact them and ask for an advocate.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: I work in Recruiting. my employer required a 2yr non-compete agreement. Is this enforceable if they lay me off?

I’m wondering if the 2yr non-compete is enforceable in Michigan if my employer lays me off due to Covid-19 and how severely it has affected the industry I do recruiting in? Am i to assume that I would have to find an entirely different career? I realize you would need to review the exact details... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 9, 2020

Non-competes in general are disfavored by many judges. In your sort of situation, I would wonder if 1) the company would even attempt enforcement, and 2) how a judge would view that in light of the current situation. I would imagine at worst the judge would heavily modify it to render it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Tax Law for Michigan on
Q: My girlfriend's job was shut down temporarily due to coronavirus in Michigan. She got denied unemployment.

She's a part time worker and got denied unemployment benefits because her wages for her highest quarter were just over $3,200 and she needed just over $3,700 to qualify. However, that number from her employer didn't include the tips she received. In order to have reached the $3,700 number... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 8, 2020

I'm sorry for your situation. Your girlfriend may appeal that unemployment agency decision, but unfortunately, that may be a longshot. You are spot-on about the wage issue. And money from extra jobs won't matter. It's the money from the employer you are seeking unemployment from that matters.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: Am I allowed to collect unemployment if my doctor took me off of work due to my weak immune system with the coronavirus

Am I allowed to collect unemployment if my doctor took me off of work due to my weak immune system with the coronavirus going on.

Greg Mansell
Greg Mansell answered on Apr 8, 2020

You are not unemployed so you would not qualify for unemployment. The Family First Coronavirus Response Act provides for paid sick leave and paid medical leave for employers with less than 500 employees.

Generally, the Act provides that covered employers must provide to all employees:...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: Hello . I work for Henry Ford Health system ( Optimeyes) which is a optical devision of them. I am a Optican. We are cur

Currently closed due to Covid. They are trying to force me to drive to Detriot ( a hour away) to work in a hospital . were I am not trained or comfortable doing. They are telling if I refuse they will not give me Covid pay or unemployment and fire me. I have worked for this company for 14 years.... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 7, 2020

You're in a tough situation. Of course you can refuse, but that may leave you finding new employment. Unless they are asking you to do anything illegal, unethical, or immoral, then your refusal to work is tantamount to you quitting.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Workers' Compensation for Michigan on
Q: quit job due to harassment issue management did nothing to resolve. Caused fear getting job can I apply for unemployment
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Mar 31, 2020

You can certainly apply for unemployment. Your question does not provide enough information to determine if you would qualify as a threshold matter. If you did, your employer may challenge it, in which case you'd be entitled to an administrative hearing to determine whether you quit for cause.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Michigan on
Q: If my state is under a lockdown can my employer fire me because I'm following the order?
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Mar 30, 2020

The answer will depend on whether the business you work in is essential or if you are an employee deemed necessary to allow for others to remote work. If either of those two scenarios apply and you still want to stay home, you may have some job protection under FMLA. Before making a decision, you... Read more »

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