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)”

RETURN-TO-WORK: WORKPLACE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS DURING COVID-19

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.

Continue reading “RETURN-TO-WORK: WORKPLACE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS DURING COVID-19”

COVID-19 EMPLOYMENT LAW INSIGHTS AND RESOURCES

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:

Continue reading “COVID-19 EMPLOYMENT LAW INSIGHTS AND RESOURCES”

COVID-19 UNEMPLOYMENT AND PANDEMIC ASSISTANCE RESOURCES

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAK

Since April 2020, the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has been accepting applications for the broadest category of potential recipients under federal law reforms related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers defined as “self-employed” or otherwise defined as independent contractors are able to claim unemployment benefits as a result of the federal disaster relief package known as the CARES Act.  And workers who ran out of benefit weeks after January 1, 2020 will be able to re-qualify for additional benefits weeks up to 39 weeks of total benefits.  Under the December 2020 supplemental stimulus package, those benefits may now extended up to 50 weeks for claimants still unemployed in 2021.

Click here to visit the State Website to Apply for Michigan Unemployment Benefits

Continue reading “COVID-19 UNEMPLOYMENT AND PANDEMIC ASSISTANCE RESOURCES”

Pizza Delivery Drivers Shorted on Vehicle Reimbursements Achieve Class Settlement in Largest Michigan Lawsuit of its Kind   

Pizza franchises take a slice out of every driver’s pay.

Final approval of the $650,000 settlement package clears the way for the largest known class action settlement of its kind in Michigan – covering ten Hungry Howie’s franchise locations in Mid-Michigan. The Pizza Driver Lawsuits alleged a common complaint among drivers in the industry – that systematic under-reimbursement for mileage and vehicle expenses violates the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and Michigan Minimum Wage laws.  Even while consenting to the settlement, the pizza stores continue to deny liability and deny that they underpay drivers for their vehicle expenses.

Continue reading “Pizza Delivery Drivers Shorted on Vehicle Reimbursements Achieve Class Settlement in Largest Michigan Lawsuit of its Kind   “

STANDING UP FOR COVID-19 WORKPLACE SAFETY WHISTLEBLOWERS

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Azanean Petty was forced to choose between her safety and her job at the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility when her employer denied her request to wear a protective mask while working in an environment with insufficient sanitation measures and inadequate social distancing. Ms. Petty was forced to hand in her resignation after she spoke up about safety concerns and refused to work without a mask for the protection of herself, the juvenile detainees, and the other employees in the facility.

Her attorney Angela Walker filed the Whistleblower Lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court.  “Although the facility had apparently received N-95 masks for their employees, they told my client she was not allowed to wear it inside where the inmates are housed Continue reading “STANDING UP FOR COVID-19 WORKPLACE SAFETY WHISTLEBLOWERS”