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Detroit Employment Law Blog

Jury awards more than $800,000 in age-discrimination case

Winning an age-discrimination lawsuit is challenging, but a recent case in Pennsylvania proves it is not impossible. A jury in federal court in Pittsburgh has awarded a 62-year-old former county jail officer more than $800,000 in an age-discrimination lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleged that the jail officer was the victim of a new warden's "housecleaning" of older employees. The jail officer was fired in August 2013 at the age of 58 after 30 years of service with the county. The new warden said the jail officer could resign or be fired. When the jail officer refused to resign, he was fired.

What are some common provisions of C-level employment contracts?

As you may already surmise, employment contracts can vary widely. Often, it depends upon the industry, the company and the type of executive position that is on the table. If this is your first executive contract, you are wise to seek more information about what is common and uncommon in an executive employment contract. Doing so can help you avoid being taken advantage of either willfully or unknowingly.

In the list below, you will find just a few of the components many executive employment contracts in Michigan include.

Michigan township wants whistleblower lawsuit dismissed

It would be wonderful if you could wish it all away any time you face an unpleasant obstacle in life. However, most people understand that this is almost never a viable option. Five board members of Michigan's Clay Township want to make the town's legal obstacles disappear and have asked a court to make it happen.

The informal dismissal request is in response to a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former fire chief, Daryl DuPage, who was terminated from his position in January. Reportedly Mr. DuPage received a separation agreement in December and was given 21 days in which to respond. When he did not, the board terminated him on a 5-2 vote. The two board members who did not vote in favor of the termination were not named in the lawsuit.

Chiming in on bro culture and workplace discrimination

If you follow the news at all, you have probably gotten an earful this week of the bro culture that allegedly runs rampant at tech companies. Uber, in particular, has made headlines all week because of its 20-plus employee firings based on allegations of sexual harassment, workplace discrimination, bullying and physical safety issues, retaliation and unprofessional behavior.

What you might not know is that the bro culture is not confined to tech companies located in Silicon Valley. This culture of male executives favoring like-minded male workers over females can happen in any workplace, even right here in Detroit. We want you to understand the bro culture phenomenon so that you can avoid this type of work environment.

Report: Walmart punishes sick, pregnant employees

There are several federal laws in place - the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, to name a few - designed to protect workers who have to miss work because of any number of medical reasons.

A new report released this month, however, alleges that retail giant Walmart punishes workers who attempt to take sick days for covered reasons. The report, released by the workers' advocacy group A Better Balance, alleges that Walmart supervisors refuse to accept doctors' notes for absences and penalizes workers who use sick days.

Helping Detroit residents fight workplace sexual harassment

Some people believe it is a thing of the past, but we want you to be aware that sexual harassment and gender-based workplace discrimination is still a problem in Michigan. These work-related issues may more difficult to identify, but they certainly still happen and you can fight back with the law's protection.

Below are some facts to consider regarding sexual harassment according to the EEOC.

A history of whistleblowers that made a difference

With all of the media exposure that comes with whistleblower activities of today, it can be easy to forget that speaking out can make a real difference. Many people choose to look at whistleblowers in a more negative light instead of for the good works they have done. We have seen that this viewpoint affects the willingness of those who witness wrongdoing to blow the whistle.

We would like to remind our neighbors in Detroit that many whistleblowers of the past made a huge impact on the policies and laws of today. We hope that this reminder will encourage those who have witnessed unlawful and unethical acts to take a stand.

The ADA and the rights of disabled workers

Since its passage in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act has opened up countless doors for people with disabilities, allowing them to enter the job market and make a living. The law requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employers, unless doing so would cause undue hardship for the business.

What does the ADA do?

Solutions for religion-based workplace discrimination in Michigan

Thanks to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Americans have the right to observe and practice the religion of their choice without persecution or discrimination. Despite this right, everyone knows that religion-based workplace discrimination still happens in Detroit and likely every other U.S. city or town as well. The fact that it is against the law to engage in workplace discrimination does not necessarily put a stop to this widespread issue.

Two main problems can deter people from taking action against religious discrimination in the workplace. The sections below will discuss these problems and explain how an employment law attorney can help.

Clarifying elements of the Michigan Whistleblowers Act

On the face of it, the Michigan Whistleblower's Protection Act seems simple and straight-forward. For the most part, it is simple, but many potential whistleblowers need clarification on some of the act's elements. Those who do not properly understand the act might choose to remain silent in the face of wrong-doing despite the protection's the act provides.

First, if you or someone you know is thinking about blowing the whistle, you should understand that consulting with a lawyer is the most accurate way to understand the Act in full. An attorney can use familiar language and terminology to explain some of its more complex aspects. In the interim, the sections below can more keenly define two important elements of the act.