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Detroit Employment Law Blog

Fired Mercedez Benz employee receives $5 million award

A former Mercedes-Benz dealership worker has received a $5 million award in his disability discrimination lawsuit. A federal judge issued the award on a recent Thursday. According to the man's attorneys, it was one of the largest disability awards in recent history.

According to the lawsuit, the man had been an employee with Mercedes-Benz in Washington state for 14 years. However, in late 2014, he needed to have a laryngectomy due to cancer. By early 2015, he was ready to return to work as a finance director at the Mercedes-Benz dealership, and he had doctor approval to do so.

What disabled workers should know about accommodations

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide "reasonable" accommodations to workers with disabilities. When it comes to what kinds of accommodations employers must provide in this regard, the most important word in this context is "reasonable." In other words, the disabled employee's accommodations should not result in the over "un-accommodation" of the employer.

Here are a few key pieces of advice to assist disabled workers to receive the reasonable accommodations to which they have a legal right:

What is an employment contract and compensation agreement?

An "employment contract and compensation agreement" establishes the terms of an employment relationship between the worker and employer. Although such a contract is not required for all employees of a particular business, an employment contract and compensation agreement is often used when establishing the terms associated with hiring someone into an executive-level position.

Here are some of the features associated with a typical employment contract and compensation agreement:

What is 'color' discrimination?

United States employers cannot discriminate against their employees on the basis of "race" or "color." This means that an employer cannot make hiring, firing, promotion, pay or other work-related decisions on the basis of an individual's race or color. Most Michigan residents know what "race" means in this context, as it refers to whether someone is black, white, Latino, Asian or some other race. However, most don't have an entirely clear view of what "color" discrimination is.

How is color discrimination different from racial discrimination?

All about employment-related religious discrimination

Businesses and employers cannot discriminate against workers -- or potential workers -- on the basis of the worker's religious belief system in the United States. By virtue of the First Amendment, one of the primary principles of the United States is protection from religious discrimination. This is largely because the original founders of the United States had suffered from religious persecution in Europe, leading to escape to the "New World" where they could enjoy a freer life.

In addition to the right of the general population to live free of religious persecution in the United States, U.S. workers also enjoy protection from religious-based employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil rights Act of 1964, which prevents private and government employers from discriminating against potential and current employees as a result of their religions. For example, employers cannot pass you up for a promotion or fail to hire you for a job simply because your Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Jewish.

2 famous whistleblowers from recent history

Whistleblowers are people who witness unlawful or unethical behavior at their workplaces and decide to tell authorities and others about it. In most cases, people who "blow the whistle" on their employers receive more difficulty and headache than they do fame and notoriety, but sometimes, a whistleblower could go down in history.

Here are two examples of famous whistleblowers from recent history:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration whistleblower help

One of the biggest dangers of becoming a so-called "whistleblower" is the threat of employer retaliation. Imagine, for example, that you work for a construction firm that engages in numerous Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) safety violations because it's too "cheap" to pay for legally required safety improvements.

Nevertheless, the workers put up with the safety issues because they're thankful to have a job and they don't want to risk their incomes by complaining. After a co-worker suffered a serious injury, you've decided that enough is enough, and you've filed a complaint with OSHA to complain.

Instructors receive settlement in age-discrimination case

Two university instructors have reached a settlement in an age-discrimination dispute that will give each of them more than $200,000.

The two were teachers in the English as a second language program at Ohio State University. They claimed that the director of the ESL program tried to force out older employees. In a settlement reached with the instructors, Ohio State:

4 common types of workplace discrimination

Your workplace is your second home. In fact, it's probably where you spend most of your waking hours. Not everyone has the luxury of a job, workplace and coworkers they genuinely enjoy. However, at the very least, no one should have to put up with any kind of harassment or discrimination while on the job.

Sadly, workplace discrimination continues to be a problem in Michigan workplaces, and employment law attorneys hear from clients who have been discriminated against time and time again. Here are four of the most common types of discrimination that individuals encounter in the workplace:

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