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”

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   “

Blanchard & Walker: Fighting Payroll Fraud for Independent Contractors

Clocking overtime
Company’s Use “Independent Contractor” Agreements to Avoid Paying Overtime to Employees.

Blanchard & Walker lawyers have been fighting for over a decade to secure the rights of cable technicians and other laborers who have been deprived of overtime pay by the use of “independent contractor” labels.  Still, we are amazed by the depth of the problem and astonished to hear how extreme and widespread the abuse of “independent contractor” classifications has become.   Continue reading “Blanchard & Walker: Fighting Payroll Fraud for Independent Contractors”

Blanchard & Walker PLLC : Workers on a “Day-Rate” Pay System are Still Owed Overtime Pay.

“Day-rate” regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) are very clear: “day-rate” workers” are entitled to additional pay for hours worked over forty in a week. The Department of Labor Regulation, 29 C.F.R. § 778.112, requires that when employees paid on a day-rate work more than forty hours in a week, their hourly rate is calculated by totaling all money received in the workweek and dividing by the total hours actually worked in that week. Such employees are then entitled to an overtime half-time premium for all hours worked over forty that week. Continue reading “Blanchard & Walker PLLC : Workers on a “Day-Rate” Pay System are Still Owed Overtime Pay.”

Blanchard & Walker PLLC: Federal Lawsuit Alleges “Day-Rate” Workers Deprived of Overtime Pay for 70+ Hour Weeks

Display Assembly Workers Deprived of Overtime Pay

“Day-rate” regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are clear: “day-rate workers,” such as retail display assembly workers, are owed an additional half-time pay for hours worked over 40 in a week.

Blanchard & Walker PLLC Payroll Fraud Case Pending: Plaintiff worked doing construction and demolition of merchandizing fixtures for DisplayMax aka FixtureMax, servicing big box stores such as AutoZone and Meijer. Even though she worked more than ten hours a day, six or seven days a week, she was paid only a straight day-rate for each day worked—without the overtime pay required by law. “Day-rate” regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are very clear: “day-rate” workers are entitled to an additional half-time pay for hours worked over forty in a week. Plaintiff in the federal court lawsuit alleges she is owed the FLSA-mandated half-time premium for all overtime hours, and brought the case so that all similarly situated employees of DisplayMax and FixtureMax will have an opportunity to opt-in and recover the overtime pay legally owed to them. Blanchard & Walker lawyers are currently taking calls with impacted workers to investigate the scope of the pay practices at issue.

Bonus reading: The Case for Good Jobs

Blanchard & Walker Law PLLC: Ruling Provides Warning for Mandatory Handbook Restrictions

Administrative ruling sends a warning shot for overreaching and oppressive employment contracts.

Blanchard & Walker clients win in case tried under the National Labor Relations Act. Trial verdict provides a warning for employers seeking to impose workplace communication restrictions.

The Motor City Pawn Brokers ruling confirms that oppressive handbook requirements banning everything from communications with former employees to social media postings violate the National Labor Relations Act, and firing people for Continue reading “Blanchard & Walker Law PLLC: Ruling Provides Warning for Mandatory Handbook Restrictions”

Class Action Certified in Hungry Howie’s Pizza Delivery Driver Lawsuit

Pizza Drivers claim franchises take an illegal  slice out of every driver’s pay

Under-reimbursement of pizza delivery drivers violates state and federal minimum wage laws – that’s the allegation in a Blanchard & Walker PLLC case recently certified for class action status in the Eastern District of Michigan (read the order here).  Continue reading “Class Action Certified in Hungry Howie’s Pizza Delivery Driver Lawsuit”

New Rules for FLSA Overtime Exemptions

JNew Rules for FLSA Overtime Exemptions oin attorney David Blanchard next Monday October 10, 2016 (12-1:30 PM) for  an Overtime Compliance Panel Focusing on the New Salary Level Rule.  We still have some spaces left but it is filling up quick.  RSVP to Kelley at lindquistk@ewashtenaw.org or 734-994-4912 by 4 p.m. on Friday, October 7th

 

The panel discussion and Q &A session following will focus on the Department of Labor’s new salary level increase for overtime exempt employees.   Continue reading “New Rules for FLSA Overtime Exemptions”

Fighting for Independent Contractors

Clocking ovvertime
Clocking overtime for independent contractors.

Blanchard & Walker lawyers have been fighting for over a decade to secure the rights of cable technicians and other laborers who have been deprived of overtime pay by the use of “independent contractor” labels.  Still, we are amazed by the depth of the problem and astonished to hear how extreme and widespread the abuse of “independent contractor” classifications has become.   Writing for Slate, author Virginia Sole-Smith has done an excellent job to document the scope and extent of predatory misclassification of employees.  Thank you to Virginia for explaining the human toll behind these practices.

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_grind/2016/04/more_cable_and_internet_installers_are_independent_contractors_and_the_hours.html

With one swift re-classification, the otherwise “employers” are able to reduce costs related to unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation, and even avoid obligations to pay overtime. Or so some would assume. In fact, the protections of the FLSA are not dependent on the company’s discretion in picking job titles. Persons designated as “independent contractors” and other workers wrongly deprived of overtime pay have a legal right to recover the wages stolen through illegal misclassifications by their employers. Continue reading “Fighting for Independent Contractors”