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

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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”

COVID -19 EMPLOYMENT LAW INSIGHTS AND RESOURCES

The COVID-19 Outbreak is presenting many challenges for the Michigan workplace.  Yet the law and circumstances are changing almost daily.  We are regularly monitoring and updating workplace rights resources we have found helpful.  We are updating this material as it becomes available.  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.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS AND COVID-19

As of April 13, 2020, the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has begun accepting applications for the broadest category of potential recipients under federal law reforms related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading “COVID -19 EMPLOYMENT LAW INSIGHTS AND RESOURCES”

COVID-19 and Employment Law Practices – Q&A with Angela Walker

Attorney Angela Walker on COVID-19, advising employees, and the practice of law. This article was originally prepared for the Institute for Continuing Legal Education March 27, 2020.  The original post can be found here.

Angela Walker is a founding partner at Blanchard & Walker PLLC. Angela handles severance negotiations and career strategies for her clients. She has extensive experience with equal pay, sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and disability rights cases. Here, Angela shares some of her thoughts on practicing during this time, as well as her analysis of some of the biggest issues facing employees. Continue reading “COVID-19 and Employment Law Practices – Q&A with Angela Walker”

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

MDHHS: What should you do if you think you have been exposed?

Responding to the Coronavirus Outbreak as legal professionals means constant monitoring so that we can provide clients and callers with the most up-to-date information and advice possible.   The  Families First Coronavirus Response Act has temporarily expanded paid leave rights in two important ways: creating a paid sick leave benefit for certain workers affected by the outbreak and a 12 week paid caregiver leave for parents caring for minor children during school closures.  How does it work? Continue reading “Families First Coronavirus Response Act”