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Michigan Employment Law Questions & Answers
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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: During employment my employee secretly built the same business as me one mile away. Can I sue for disloyalty?

He secretly built the business during the 3 months of his employment with me.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Mar 16, 2020

Your situation is very much fact dependent. Did you have a contract or other written agreement containing non-compete clauses? Did he use anything to build his business that he would have only obtained through employment with you? (e.g. customer lists, processes). Last, did he actually do the job... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: I work part time and my boss told me I need to cut back hours. Can I legally tell him no and continue to work my hours?

I am an 18 year old high school student working part time and my boss told me I need to cut back on hours. Can I legally tell him no because I am allowed to work those hours?

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Feb 5, 2020

The Fair Labor Standards Act does not impose any restrictions on the number of hours you are allowed to work as an 18-year-old high school student, so your boss is legally incorrect if he has told you your hours are limited based on your age. However, the Fair Labor Standards Act also does not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: I was fired for talking to another employee that quit about other places hiring. I was the only one fired over it.

Can they do this?

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Jan 28, 2020

Unfortunately, there is no violation here. You live in an at-will employment state, meaning either you or your employer can terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason or no reason at all (as long as the reason is not discriminatory). While it is unfair to you that you were... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: Do employers have to pay pto out when employee is fired? There was no handbook or contract about it
Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Jan 28, 2020

Unfortunately, no. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers must compensate employees for all hours worked, but PTO hours don't count as "hours worked" since you did not spend this time working. The Fair Labor Standards Act also doesn't require employers to offer PTO.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: Does my company have to pay me for working on call for 7 days straight after working 8 full hours daily?
Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Jan 15, 2020

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are required to pay their employees for all time spent performing compensable work. Whether your on-call time is "compensable" depends on what you were required to do during your on-call time. If you were required to remain on your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: does an employer have to accommodate a therapist appointment.

my girlfriend has been working for this place for a while a sort of grocery slash buffet place. she has regular therapist appointments. her employer is refusing to accommodate her therapist appointments in her schedule. my question is two fold is this legal and what steps can she take if it... Read more »

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

An employer does not have to accommodate routine scheduled appointments outside of some pretty narrow and specific instances. Has she offered to alter her schedule at all? As with any negotiation, her ability to work out a compromise depends on what she brings to the employer.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Libel & Slander for Michigan on
Q: I just quit a job that has a terribly toxic and petty work environment. I want to write a review to warn others.

I want to be honest about my experiences but dont want to be pursued for defamation. Its a small team and it would be easy to figure out that i wrote the review, especially since the person in charge is the owners mother, the only manager and the one that im writing about. These people are really... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jan 11, 2020

Good luck in your new career endeavors. An employment attorney could advise you as to the employment-related attributes of your question. As for the Libel & Slander category issues, I do not believe an attorney would be willing to give you a green light as to "understanding your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: My company has decided that people who have worked there for 20 years should make the same wage as someone who was

Hired yesterday. Many of us had our pay lowered. Is this legal?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Dec 7, 2019

Likely yes. You may want to consult with an employee side labor law attorney, or a union representative if one is available to you. But generally, absent a contract, employment is at will and subject to you willing to work for the wage an employer is offering at the time.

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