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Sterling Employment Law

Employees' Rights Archives

UPS employee wins suit against Teamsters for violating rights

Workers in Michigan, like elsewhere, expect to have their rights honored by their employers and by their unions if they are required to join. Both employers and unions are expected to honor all state and federal laws relating to employee rights.

Lack of protection for some temporary employees

Some temporary workers are being exploited in Michigan and around the country by companies seeking to keep them on for years without ever hiring them as full-time employees. These permatemps -- so-called because they are basically permanent workers with temporary status -- are often asked to do the same work as regular employees for less money and without the same benefits or employee rights. Some companies deliberately hire these workers for the most hazardous positions. Data from some states reveal that temporary workers are three times as likely to suffer amputations from accidents at work than permanent employees.

Minor leaguers bring lawsuit over pay

Michigan baseball fans may have heard about a recent lawsuit filed against three Major League Baseball teams. In Feb. 2014, three minor league baseball players were in the process of bringing a combined lawsuit against the Marlins, the Giants, the Royals and the commissioner of Major League Baseball for claims that they were paid less than minimum wage for their services. The three baseball players say they received between $3,000 and $7,500 for full seasons of service, during which they worked over 50 hours a week. They claim they were paid less than minimum wage for the total amount of time they worked.

The NLRB files a complaint against Wal-Mart following protests 

Michigan workers may want to take note of a formal complaint filed by the federal government against Wal-Mart that stems from a series of strikes and protests that have occurred. The complaint refers in part to a 2012 appearance by a Wal-Mart spokesman on CBS during which it was stated that worker would face consequences if they went forward with strikes or protests ahead of the shopping day known as Black Friday.

OSHA addresses company retaliation against truck drivers

Michigan truck drivers may be interested in the action taken by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in response to a trucking company's termination of a driver who was fired after refusing to violate safety regulations. The employee rights case was brought to the agency's attention after a whistleblower complaint was filed by the individual. The Surface Transportation Assistance Act provides drivers with protection from retaliatory behavior in cases involving their refusal to participate in unsafe driving activities.

Settlement reached in Michigan whistleblower case

Under the terms of a lawsuit settlement, a former efficiency coordinator who worked for the mayor of the city of Warren must destroy telephone recordings he made of his former employer. The plaintiff taped two telephone conversations in which the city mayor threatened violence against an ex-communications director and a former city attorney, both of whom the mayor felt were to blame for some of his political problems. The plaintiff had filed suit against the mayor and the city on July 19. In the suit, he alleged that he had been the victim of discrimination as a result of his reporting these conversations and leading to his termination, which constituted a violation of the state's Whistleblowers' Protection Act.

2 Michigan employees sue for race discrimination

One of two Genesee County Road Commission employees who alleged racial discrimination accepted a settlement of $185,000 after a trial began on Nov. 15. The other employee's claim was still in progress at the time of the report. Their claims alleged that they were discriminated against because they were two Caucasians who reported that an African-American coworker might have been intoxicated on the job to their African-American supervisors. Other employees apparently witnessed the intoxicated behavior, but they did not report it due to fear of retaliation.

Employers can legally tell the truth when giving references

Many Michigan job seekers have been misinformed about the amount of information a former employer is legally able to disclose when they are contacted for references. Contrary to what some people believe, there is no federal or state law that limits former employers to give only dates of employment and job titles.

Analysts reveal new ways that employers surveil employees

According to reports, employers in Michigan and other states have implemented increasingly invasive methods of spying on their employees. Statistics released by the National Workrights Institute revealed that 66 percent of employers track their employees' behaviors via electronic means. Analysts say that many of these methods are completely legal, but they also point out that a number of states have legislation allowing workers who feel like their privacy has been violated to initiate employee rights lawsuits.


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Sterling Employment Law

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