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Detroit Employment Law Blog

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).

Are you entitled to a severance package?

When negotiating an employment contract, it's important to look toward the future. While you hope you remain a part of the company for many years to come, you never know what could go wrong.

A contract that includes a severance package will give you peace of mind, as this puts you in position to receive additional compensation if your employment is terminated.

Workplace discrimination: Facts about the Michigan wage gap

If you believe that workers should always receive equal pay for the same work regardless of gender, age or other factors, you are not alone. The outcry against these forms of workplace discrimination is extremely loud, yet it seems like no one is listening.

In Michigan, women continue to make up a large portion of those suffering from wage disparity even though awareness about the issue is widespread. Below are some facts about the state's wage gap.

  • In 2017, full-time women workers in the state earned only 79 cents for every dollar male employees earned for the same work.
  • In 2016, Latina female workers experienced the largest wage gap, earning only about 58 cents for every dollar earned by white male workers.
  • Also in 2016, African American women earned approximately 63 cents for every dollar male employees earned.
  • Women comprise about two-thirds of the minimum wage workforce in Michigan.
  • Estimates indicate that female workers in the state will lose about $442,000 throughout their lifetimes because of the gender wage gap.
  • Women who also earn tips only receive about $3.52 per hour in wages before adding in their tips.

Nursing Home Complaint Center wants Detroit whistleblowers

As you may already know, Medicare and Medicaid fraud cost the United States billions of dollars, which has a way of trickling down to affect all citizens. When this type of fraud occurs in a skilled nursing facility or in a nursing home, it may also put the residents in these facilities at risk of harm. To fight against this fraud, the Nursing Home Complaint Center is looking for whistleblowers who are prepared to help call out these fraudulent activities.

Many cases of Medicare and Medicaid fraud involve overbilling the government for services that patients never received. For example, nursing facilities often bill these government programs to cover the services provided by a full staff of workers. However, many of these homes do not employ a full staff at all and instead are "grossly short-staffed."

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 that PIPs are the first step toward firing an employee. Like many perceptions, it’s partly based on reality because some employers use PIPs for that purpose.

What constitutes age discrimination in the Detroit workplace?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines age discrimination as any instances in which a job applicant or employee is treated unfavorably because of how old they are.

Age discrimination is prohibited under both Michigan and federal laws. In the case of the latter, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits any worker age 40 or older from being discriminated against solely due to their age.

Should successful executives renegotiate employment contracts?

There usually comes a time in the career of successful first-time executives when they realize they give more than they receive. When executives take on their first term as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or another C-level position, their employment contracts probably reflect their relative inexperience. Now that they have achieved success and helped the company thrive, they may wish to renegotiate the terms of their employment.

Although it feels risky to "rock the boat," renegotiating employment contracts after a period of success is a common practice. The governing board may even expect it if the executive has led the company into an era of significant prosperity. If this scenario resembles your own experience, you may wish to renegotiate but remain hesitant to take the first steps.

Whistleblower platform may make it easier to report wrongdoing

If you have ever witnessed illegal or unethical activities in your Detroit workplace, chances are that you thought twice about reporting these activities. Without guaranteed confidentiality and protection against retaliation, many would-be whistleblowers hesitate before speaking out. Some of them may never speak out because of retaliation and confidentiality concerns.

One company may have a solution for potential whistleblowers who concerned about reporting. This company has developed a secure, confidential and encrypted tool called SafeWhistle that enables workers to report wrongdoing on a web-based platform. The company is based in Michigan, but it could work for industries all across the nation.

A Detroit whistleblower reports an excavation company's fraud

The director of special projects for the Detroit Building Authority (DBA) issued a statement acknowledging that a worker with the Detroit-based Gayanga Co. stepped forward on March 12 to let them know of a potential case of fraud on their employers' part.

In speaking with city officials, the demolition company employee outlined six instances in which he suspects that his employer failed to fully excavate work sites as they were contracted to do. He said that he believes that they left behind masonry and concrete from the basement and then simply backfilled dirt into those sites.

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