COVID-19 and Employment Practice – 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 Practice – 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”

Michigan Courts and COVID-19

The Michigan Supreme Court issued Administrative Order 2020-2 on March 18, 2020.  The Order would supersede certain local administrative orders attempting to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak on a courthouse-by-courthouse basis. The new administrative order applies to all Michigan Courts and severely restricts all in person hearings in all but absolutely necessary cases.   Highlights of the AO include: Continue reading “Michigan Courts and COVID-19”

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 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”

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”