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.
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. Additional Blanchard & Walker Resource Pages and Factsheets provide more detailed discussion on specific COVID-19 topics:
Many Michigan workers are being asked to report to work, either because their employer has determined they support critical infrastructure, they are other essential employees, or otherwise reopened for business. These include health care workers, first responders, and other critical infrastructure businesses. But also grocery store workers, landscapers and construction workers in regional reopened businesses. For those who are out at work in public during the COVID-19 outbreak, effective workplace safety is a great concern. Discrimination or retaliation for raising workplace safety concerns is illegal.Continue reading “RETURN-TO-WORK: WORKPLACE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS DURING 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. Under the various federal reforms, most Michigan workers who face job loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic should be eligible to receive unemployment benefits including a $600 per week federal supplement on top of basic benefits regularly provided by the state system. Continue reading “COVID-19 UNEMPLOYMENT AND PANDEMIC ASSISTANCE RESOURCES”→
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.
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.
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.
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”→
The Michigan Supreme Court issued Administrative Order 2020-6 encouraging the use of technology, use of video conferencing to keep state courts functioning throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. The new order on April 7 is in part a rollback of Administrative Order 2020-2 on March 18, 2020. The Orders supersede certain local administrative orders attempting to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak on a courthouse-by-courthouse basis.
Under Administrative Order 2020-16 beginning Monday, June 8, 2020 the periods for all filings, jurisdictional and non-jurisdictional, in the Courts shall resume. For time periods that started before AO No. 2020-4 took effect, the filers shall have the same number of days to submit their filings on June 8, 2020, as they had when the tolling went into effect.
Michigan Unemployment Benefits Expanded in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak
Confronting the COVID-19 outbreak has raised many questions among Michigan Workers, many are struggling with unique job interruption issues: lay-offs, work-stoppages, individual medical leave, or caregiver leave. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order late Monday expanding or confirming unemployment eligibility for Michigan workers impacted by the Coronavirus Pandemic.