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Detroit Employment Law Blog

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.

Flint water crisis whistleblower finally gets her day in court

It is safe to assume that most American citizens take access to clean water for granted. For many decades, the water we all drink has been relatively free of dangerous contaminants like lead. Several years ago, residents of Flint learned the hard way not to take the water for granted when many of them grew ill from the city's contaminated water supply.

One public official tried to put a stop to the problem early on by blowing the whistle on the city's negligence in cleaning the water supply. According to the whistleblower, a former city administrator, she was fired wrongfully from her position after alleging that the mayor of Flint "routed donations given to help the city with its water crisis to a personal account."

Leaving an executive position with your benefits intact

Well-drafted employment contracts can offer executives many protections. For example, a contract containing the proper provisions can protect executives from unfair terminations. However, we urge you to remember that these provisions work both ways. This means that you cannot simply leave your position without risking the financial benefits you have worked so hard to secure.

Most employment contracts clearly identify the length of the proposed employment. When this term expires, the parties can then renegotiate the contract or choose to part ways. In most cases, resigning before the term has expired nullifies the executive's right to profit-sharing, bonuses and other financial incentives. However, it may still be possible to walk away from your position with some of these financial benefits intact.

Performance improvement plans: Tips for employers and employees

Used properly, a performance improvement plan (PIP) can be a powerful tool. Used improperly, PIPs can be costly and destructive.

There's a perception in the sales world and elsewhere that PIPs are the first step toward firing an employee. Like many perceptions, it's partly based on reality because some employers do use PIPs for that purpose.

Michigan workplace discrimination case heads to Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of a Michigan woman who contends her employer discriminated against her and fired her because she is transgender.

The woman alleges that she was wrongfully fired when she transitioned from a man into the woman and says the action was discriminatory.

Is sexual harassment in the workplace a form of discrimination?

It is difficult to believe that any form of workplace discrimination remains a problem in the 21st century. As an educated and supposedly enlightened nation of individuals, these age-old issues should no longer plague American workers. Unfortunately, they still do and workplace discrimination in the form of sexual harassment is particularly unsettling.

To be clear, sexual harassment takes many forms. Sometimes, it is so subtle that victims have difficulty deciding if the problem is real or imagined. In other cases, the behaviors are so egregious that victims know immediately what is going on. Examples of workplace discrimination centered on sexual harassment include:

  • Displaying sexually explicit images or making lewd comments
  • Unwanted and inappropriate touching (patting, pinching, rubbing, etc)
  • Whistling and catcalling as well as staring in an offensive way
  • Asking inappropriate questions about sex
  • Making offensive comments or gestures about gender identity or sexual orientation
  • Sending sexually suggestive emails, letters, notes or other materials

Tow company owner speaks about retaliation by Michigan troopers

Whistleblower cases are sometimes extremely complex. The ones who choose to take a stand against corruption or cooperate in a corruption investigation often experience retaliation in many forms. In some cases, such retaliation occurs in the whistleblower's workplace. Other times, it occurs in more insidious ways that affect a participant's lifestyle and business.

According to a Detroit news source, a towing operator in Michigan has filed a retaliation lawsuit against the Michigan State Police (MSP). He claims that the MSP is retaliating against his business because he is cooperating with a whistleblower investigation involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

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