News Update: Promised Waivers fall short.  According to recent reporting, the waiver program was much smaller than promised.  Although waivers for 55,000 more claimants is a good step forward, it fell short of the 382,000 promised and as of May 12, 2022 there is still no explanation about when or if more will be coming.



8/26/2022 UPDATE: NEW UIA CLASS ACTION FILED.  In the federal court Complaint filed in Kreps v. Michigan UIA, the Plaintiffs represent Michigan Unemployment Claimants who never got the pandemic relief benefits they were promised, and others who had benefits halted based on determinations that are on appeal and have not become final.  The Plaintiffs in the Kreps Complaint allege violations of Due Process rights under the US Constitution and also violation of a prior settlement agreement with the Unemployment Agency.

8/11/2022  SAUNDERS UPDATE: JUDGE CONFIRMS BROAD INJUNCTIVE RELIEF.  In a new Clarifying Ruling Court of Claims Judge Brock Swartzle reaffirmed that the Court’s Preliminary Injunction extends to halt all Agency overpayment collection activity against all Michigan UI Claimants who are waiting on timely pending protests and appeals. The Injunction will have sweeping impact for many thousands of UI claimants now facing unconstitutional overpayment collection activity.

In the Saunders UIA Class Action Complaint, Blanchard & Walker clients allege Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency is illegally assessing “overpayments” and initiating collection activity against a broad class of UIA claimants who relied on pandemic unemployment assistance in 2020 and 2021.   The Saunders lawsuit seeks injunctive and other relief to recover for unlawful collections that violate the Michigan due process rights of UI claimants.


Working off the Clock – Alro Steel FLSA Overtime Pay Lawsuit

Federal Court Orders Notice to Alro Steel Employees in Nationwide Overtime Lawsuit [UPDATE 8/15/2022]

Blanchard & Walker sent the court approved notice to 2500+ Alro Steel employees who may have a right to seek recover for off-the-clock uncompensated time at Alro Steel facilities throughout the country. Federal District Court Judge Murphy for the Eastern District of Michigan, granted conditional certification and ordered notice of FLSA rights to opt-in for current and former warehouse employees of Alro Steel Corporation.

UPDATE 8/15/2022:  The opt-in notice period has now closed. Nearly 400 current and former Alro warehouse employees choosing to participate.  We look forward to fighting to recover the unpaid overtime for all those who opted in.  For case updates, please follow our facebook page.

Continue reading “Working off the Clock – Alro Steel FLSA Overtime Pay Lawsuit”

The End of Forced Arbitration for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment

On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault & Sexual Harassment Act. This law is one significant step forward in the fight to end arbitration contracts that deny access to the Courts for violations of fundamental workplace rights.

For far too long, countless survivors, workers, and consumers have been silenced by forced arbitration. Continue reading “The End of Forced Arbitration for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment”

Delivery Driver Class Action Lawsuits at Blanchard & Walker

Many companies require workers to use their own cars for work, yet fail to reimburse their drivers adequately for the use of the car.  Here’s what you don’t know about Pizza delivery drivers.  Delivery drivers end up putting thousands of miles of wear-and-tear on their cars, paying for gas and repairs — before they realize the true cost of delivery driver work.  Continue reading “Delivery Driver Class Action Lawsuits at Blanchard & Walker”

Should I be Getting Overtime Pay If I am Paid on Commissions?

There is an “Commission Sales” overtime exemption under Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 USC Section 207(i)… but are those payments really “commissions”?

Under Section 207(i) commission sales employees are exempt from overtime requirements, but only if:

  1. the regular rate of pay of such employee is in excess of one and one-half times the federal minimum hourly rate (1.5 x 7.25/hr) , and
  2. more than half their compensation for a representative period (not less than one month) represents commissions on goods or services.  29 U.S.C. 207(i).

There are plenty of people that work under phony “commission plans” who actually should receive overtime pay at time and a half for their hours over 40.  Continue reading “Should I be Getting Overtime Pay If I am Paid on Commissions?”

Public, Private Employers Roll Out Workplace Vaccination Requirements for In-Person Work

As Michigan employers prepare for a return to in-person work, Michigan’s Universities are leading the way on vaccination policies. On July 30, 2021, Both Michigan State University and the University of Michigan rolled out mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for all employees (and students) returning to campus this fall.  Many hospitals and health-care settings have already announced similar policies.  With proper exemptions in place, mandatory vaccination policies Continue reading “Public, Private Employers Roll Out Workplace Vaccination Requirements for In-Person Work”

Time Magazine: The Fight for Working Mothers

SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN – Brown lost her job after requesting time away from work to care for her son and niece who had COVID-19. (Brittany Greeson for TIME)

Read about our client’s struggle in Time Magazine this week.  Tamara Brown was denied the right to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic and fired for having child care responsibilities. Despite federal law and leave rights, employers who did not keep up with the law have done wrong to so many Michigan workers: fired when they should receive paid leave; forcing working moms to choose between family safety and a right to keep a job. Nobody should be forced to make that choice.

Continue reading “Time Magazine: The Fight for Working Mothers”

COVID-19 Employment Law Updates and Legal Resources (Updated 12/21/2020)

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present many challenges for the Michigan workplace.  The law and circumstances are changing almost daily.  We are regularly monitoring and updating workplace rights resources we have found helpful.  Additional Blanchard & Walker Resource Pages and Factsheets provide more detailed discussion on specific COVID-19 topics:

Keep in mind this is not intended to be legal advice.  Legal rights in any individual case need to be evaluated in consultation with an attorney. Continue reading “COVID-19 Employment Law Updates and Legal Resources (Updated 12/21/2020)”


Ten Steps all Workplaces Can take to Prevent COVID-19 Exposure

For those who are working in public during the COVID-19 outbreak, effective workplace safety is a great concern. For everyone’s safety, violations should be reported to local public health departments and appropriate state agencies. Discrimination or retaliation for raising COVID-19 workplace safety concerns is prohibited.