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Detroit Employment Law Blog

Examples of retaliation after filing a discrimination claim

Unfortunately, workplace discrimination remains a big problem in Detroit and other U.S. cities. However, in the enlightened world of today, victims of discrimination know that they can take action against those who violate their rights. Understanding these rights often gives victims the courage to file a discrimination complaint.

Federal protections, including protection against retaliation, exist for those who file workplace discrimination complaints. However, many employers or managers still seek revenge against workers for filing a complaint. The problem for many victims is lacking certainty that retaliation is actually taking place. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides several examples of retaliation as outlined below.

  • Terminating or demoting a worker based on his or her workplace discrimination complaint
  • Subjecting an employee to harassing comments or behavior after he or she filed a complaint
  • Placing information in a worker's employee file about his or her efforts to seek a remedy against workplace discrimination
  • Blocking a worker's right to seek promotion because he or she filed a discrimination claim
  • Taking away a worker's right to the same company benefits (perks) that other employees enjoy
  • Being openly hostile towards an employee who is pursuing a workplace discrimination claim

Should you sign a contract with a noncompete agreement?

Before you sign an employment contract, it's imperative to review the terms and conditions. If there's anything that makes you uncomfortable, such as the inclusion of a noncompete agreement, you'll want to discuss it with the company before you put pen to paper.

For a noncompete agreement to be considered valid, it must include the following:

  • Be reasonable in regard to time, geography and scope
  • Be available for review by the employee before signing
  • Protect a legitimate business interest

Former employee sues Detroit casino for discrimination

Workplace discrimination can take many forms, some of them blatant and some of them quite subtle. Regardless of the severity of such discrimination, all victims feel betrayed by these acts. Seeking a solution with help from a legal advocate provides a way for victims to fight back against discrimination.

A former 19-year employee with MGM Detroit is suing the casino operator on grounds that he suffered sexual discrimination in the workplace. The suit also claims that his termination occurred in a wrongful manner. Below are the details of this case as reported by a news source.

  • The worker alleges that his termination in February occurred "in part or entirely because of his age, race or sex."
  • Before these most recent developments, the former shift manager claims that the casino denied him time off under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) ten years ago to care for his ill daughter.
  • In 2015, the plaintiff alleges he was once again the victim of discrimination by the casino when he had difficulty acquiring workers' compensation for a workplace injury.
  • The plaintiff also alleges that he suffered retaliation for playing a role in an effort to unionize casino workers.
  • Finally, the former employee claims that supervisors passed him over three separate times for promotion.

Our tips for Qui Tam whistleblowers in Michigan

Choosing to become a whistleblower is a big step that requires careful consideration. Some Detroit employees may avoid blowing the whistle, but many others feel it is right to call out wrongdoing of any kind.

When employees learn that their superior is defrauding the government, they may pursue a Qui Tam action for whistleblowers. Such an action allows the government to try to recover any funds it lost to fraud. Whistleblowers can benefit from acting on their knowledge of fraud in two ways.

How to review an employment contract

When presented with a job offer, it's easy to get so excited that you agree to anything that's requested of you. This includes signing an employment contract before reviewing the finer details.

Here are three things to focus on as you review an employment contract:

  • Job description: This gives a clear overview of the tasks you'll be responsible for upon starting your job. If you don't understand anything in the description, such as a detail that is too vague, ask for clarification.
  • Terms and conditions: If there are specific terms and conditions, such as those associated with receiving severance, make sure you're comfortable with them.
  • Compensation: This is the one area that most people focus on the majority of their time. In addition to your hourly pay or salary, focus on compensation such as bonuses, commission, profit sharing and retirement match.

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.

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