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Sterling Employment Law

Detroit Employment Law Blog

Workplace discrimination: notable findings on reporting and trust

It's a "vicious cycle," says corporate diversity/inclusion consultant Lily Zheng, and it "keeps systemic inequity deeply entrenched within many workplaces."

The cycle Zheng spotlights in a recent Harvard Business Review article is resistantly apparent in many company environments across Michigan and spanning the country. It is centrally marked by the persistent maltreatment of select workers, notwithstanding a potent array of federal and state legal safeguards that are in place to protect them.

Noncompete agreement enforceability always a key issue

Disputes in the Michigan and national business realm surrounding noncompete agreements occur frequently and often garner prominent judicial attention.

Indeed, a recent article on the subject matter stresses that, "The most litigated issue in employment contracts is the legality of so-called 'restrictive covenant' provisions, such as a noncompete clause."

Wireless carriers settle False Claims Act whistleblower lawsuit

Nearly 300 government entities in one state ranging from agencies and municipalities to school districts and hospitals understandably thought they were getting a great deal from their wireless carriers.

Here’s why, as noted in a recent media article: Industry principals Verizon and AT&T contractually promised that the entities’ status as preferred customers ensured them “the lowest cost available among dozens of plan options. Moreover, the carriers vowed to benefit them additionally through “optimized rate plans” based on high usage.

The glass ceiling: an invisible but real workplace barrier

Some workers in Michigan and elsewhere - research often points to female employees - feel that something in the workplace is just wrong even when all relevant factors seem unproblematic on the surface.

Those employees look around their office or other work venue and strongly sense that they are being treated in a comparatively disadvantageous way, but they can't point to anything that overtly confirms that. They feel like they are in a longstanding rut, with their placement in the company being stalled while others less talented move steadily onward and upward.

Sterling Employment Law clients prevail in discrimination case

Most employees in virtually all work realms spanning Michigan and the country don’t seek special on-the-job treatment.

What they do seek is a level playing field marked by equal opportunity and their managers’ even-handed conduct extended toward all employees. They justifiably don’t want to be on the short end of the stick when it comes to promotion, solicited feedback, workplace inclusion and other job matters.

One occupational realm where age discrimination prominently surfaces

America’s high-tech industry is justifiably vaunted on a number of fronts. Tech startups fuel futuristic ideas that promote job growth and produce new products and services of great utility. Tech companies attract competition, which naturally propels development forward in next-step progression. High-tech enterprises lure bright minds and top talent. The list of upsides goes on.

Notably, though, there is also a reported downside. As one article on the tech industry notes, the realm “also has received negative publicity for discriminatory practices.”

Company with Michigan ties settles after whistleblower lawsuits

A “zero-tolerance policy toward trade fraud” is what a U.S. Customs official stressed recently in connection with so-called “qui tam” litigation brought by whistleblowers under the federal False Claims Act.

Here’s what that meant for CWD Holdings LLC, a company with multiple subsidiaries in various states, including Michigan: a stern rebuke from government regulators coupled with an $8 million fine.

Governor: Michigan state employees must complete bias training

State employees in Michigan will be required to enroll in "implicit bias training" as part of an executive directive signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Aug. 5. The directive also recognized racism as "a public health crisis," citing the disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths among residents of the state's Black community.

The directive requires current state employees to participate in and complete the training by the end of the year. In addition, newly hired state employees must enroll in the same training as part of the hiring process and complete it within 60 days. The training's goal is to help employees understand the unconscious preferences people make in racial matters and its everlasting effects on others.

Does this NLRB ruling promote workplace harmony or punish workers?

A recent Bloomberg article on American work environments notes a view prevalent among business principals that workers have long had too much freedom in publicly lashing out against alleged workplace wrongs. The Bloomberg piece especially spotlights "comments made on social media and during strikes and protests."

Labor advocates and linked pro-worker groups have long argued for a notably permissive standard when it comes to worker criticisms against employers. They say that materially uncurbed speech is especially important when it is in response to alleged company shortcomings in matters ranging from work conditions to management misconduct.

They say, you say: Is that a trade secret?

OK, so you took a few files and documents with you when you recently terminated employment with Company A, intending to use them in your new digs with Company B. They served you well and unquestionably increased your efficiency during your former employment tenure, so why shouldn't that remain the case going forward in your new job?


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