MICHIGAN UNEMPLOYMENT OVERPAYMENT WAIVERS? FAQ’s: WHAT WE KNOW (AND WHAT WE DON’T)

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.

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UIA CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT-WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW  

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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”