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Detroit Employment Law Blog

Help for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender federal workers

Over the last decade, it has become increasingly clear that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) workers will continue to assert their rights in the nation's workforce. These people demand the same rights that other workers enjoy. Further, they deserve the same respect and consideration as well.

However, many employers in Detroit still discriminate against LGBT employees. This is so for those working in federal employment positions as well those with other types of jobs. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Michigan has revealed that many LGBT federal employees feel largely unsupported by their employers.

What are some examples of disability discrimination at work?

As you likely know, any form of workplace discrimination is prohibited under federal law. However, having these laws in place does not always deter employers and coworkers from displaying discriminatory behaviors. In truth, many members of the Detroit workforce still experience workplace discrimination. One of the most heinous forms of such discrimination targets those with disabilities.

Employment law is already quite complicated. When disability discrimination occurs, most Michigan victims have no idea about how to take action against those who mistreat them at work. Complicating matters further, it is not always easy to identify such behaviors. To help workers recognize unfair treatment, please look at the following examples of workplace discrimination against disabled employees.

  • Harassing behaviors such as frequent derogatory and/or offensive comments from a supervisor or a coworker
  • Refusing to provide reasonable workplace accommodations to workers with a disability
  • Questioning applicants about disabilities during the interview and hiring process
  • Refusing to hire an applicant because he or she has a disability
  • Failing to promote a worker solely because of his or her disability
  • Terminating a disabled worker's employment based solely on a disability

Can you obtain fringe benefits if you’re terminated?

If your employment is terminated, you shouldn't delay in reviewing your employment contract and your employee handbook. This will give you a better idea of what to expect in regards to obtaining your final pay and any fringe benefits that are due to you.

In the state of Michigan, employers are required to pay fringe benefits in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the employment contract and/or employee handbook.

Know your rights under Michigan Whistleblowers' Protection Act

When you are on the job in Michigan, you are entitled to certain protections under state law. One of those laws is the Michigan Whistleblowers' Protection Act.

Under the act, it is unlawful for a Michigan employer to fire, threaten or discriminate against you, as an employee, because you reported or voiced your intention to report to a public agency what you considered to be a violation of federal, state or local laws or regulations. That means an employer can't fire you or change your pay, work terms or conditions, job location or privileges. You also cannot be disciplined for refusing to engage in an activity at the workplace that you know is illegal.

What victims of workplace discrimination should avoid doing

Each state, including Michigan, has laws against workplace discrimination. Federal protections also exist. Despite this obvious awareness of the problem, discrimination continues to occur at an alarming rate in Detroit workplaces.

As attorneys, we spend a lot of time telling victims what they should do in the face of workplace discrimination. It's also important to know what not to do when discrimination occurs. Seeking a legal remedy is important. However, you don't want to derail your efforts before you even get started dealing with the problem.

Answer these questions if your employment is terminated

It took you a long time to move your way up the company ladder, eventually becoming an executive. Just when you think everything is going as planned, you could come to find that your employer is terminating your employment.

If you're faced with this situation, here are several important questions to ask:

  • Do you have an employment contract? If so, review it from start to finish several times. Take notes regarding anything you need to do as you move toward your final days of employment.
  • Were you wrongfully terminated? There are many reasons for this, such as if your employer is retaliating for blowing the whistle on an illegal activity.
  • When will you receive your final paycheck? Discuss this with your employer, as you want to know when the money will arrive.
  • Are you entitled to severance pay? Many high-level executives have a severance package written into their contract. If you're due severance pay, don't let your employer off the hook. They may attempt to fight you on this, such as by stating you took part in behavior that disqualifies you.
  • What does your personnel file say? Don't hesitate to ask the human resources department for a copy of your file. This gives you the opportunity to read past performance reviews, while also getting a better idea of the reason for your termination.

When your boss breaches your employment contract

If you hold an executive position in Detroit or other Michigan regions, you may think that you are safe from an employment dispute. After all, you have a legally binding employment contract that protects you from employer mistreatment. You probably spent a lot of time studying your contract and may have gotten a legal professional to review the document before signing. However, you or your boss can breach even the most ironclad employment contracts.

We realize that it is highly unlikely that you would knowingly violate the contract designed to protect you, but what about your employer? What guarantee do you have that he or she will always remain in compliance with your contract? The answer is that there are no guarantees in the world of executive employment and some employers do breach employment contracts.

Proving your claims of workplace discrimination

Although workplace discrimination is against the law, Michigan victims often feel that there aren't enough protections against discriminatory behaviors. In fact, many of these people feel twice victimized -- once because of the discrimination and then again when they attempted to find a solution. Unfortunately, it is up to victims to prove that workplace discrimination has made their job environment unbearable.

On the bright side, help is readily available, meaning that you do not have to be alone when seeking a legal remedy. An employment attorney is an invaluable source of knowledgeable legal guidance and advocacy during a difficult time. Working with a lawyer can also improve your odds of achieving a satisfactory outcome. You can do your part to prove your workplace discrimination claim with the following tips.

Jury agrees Michigan prison warden demoted as retaliation

A former state prison warden was awarded $438,000 in damages after a jury ruled he had been subject to retaliation by his supervisors.

The jury in Ingham County Circuit Court deliberated about seven hours before voting 6-2 in favor of the man, formerly the warden in the Central Michigan Correctional Facility.

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