Workers who have faced termination from their jobs in Michigan need to have a firm understanding of all the legal issues that surround severance pay. If a former employee received a severance package upon termination, this can have an effect on the unemployment benefits he or she is entitled to. The law states that severance and other payments that an employer made after an employee was dismissed will lower the amount the former worker will receive in unemployment benefits. An exception is the Supplemental Unemployment Benefits.
Many employees in the United States, including many in Michigan, are required to sign a non-competitive agreement at their place of business. The non-competition clauses, based on time and geography, impose certain conditions on an employee. For example, a non-competition clause may forbid an employee from working for a competitor within 100 miles of the current company's zip code for a year after resigning. Such an employment contract benefits the employer but not the employee. For the employee, that can be restrictive and it can be an obstacle in the way of career growth and progress.
For some Michigan workers, signing an employment contract may not be a simple task, especially if there's a non-competition clause associated with it. Generally, a non-competition agreement refers to a contract under which employees cannot join or start a venture similar to their current employers' company if they leave their employment. In employment law circles, there is a lot of debate over how far these contracts can go in restricting employees' freedom.
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs receives thousands of complaints from employees each year regarding wage violations by employers. Officials at Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, or LARA, suggest that many claims regarding labor wage violations result from clerical oversights, not from employers trying to avoid paying minimum wage, overtime hours or benefits.
The Graduate Employee Union and Michigan State University are currently negotiating a new contract that would expand union rights to employees other than teaching assistants. These negotiations follow the 2012 bill signed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder that left most graduate employees unable to unionize or bargain for workplace protections.
In Michigan as in the rest of the United States, most employees are at-will employees with no employment contract. High level or executive employees, however, are often in a position to negotiate an employment contract that can, among other things, protect them from discharge at will. For people in this position, setting the terms of the employment contract prior to execution is very important. Once a person is hired, they have no leverage to negotiate a better deal.
Terms of employment contracts should be well-negotiated for the best deal. Recently, the seven-year employment contract of University of Michigan's new football coach was revealed and the contract's value was far more than anticipated. He will earn close to $40.1 million over seven years.
Employment contracts are executed between employers and employees so that the terms and conditions of employment, including severance pay in cases of termination, are clear to both parties. This is standard everywhere in the country, including Michigan. Today, most employment contracts signed by senior executives in U.S. corporations include a change-in-control clause.
According to a recent news report, the Board of Trustees of Western Michigan University has unanimously approved a one-year extension of the employment contract of its current president. He has been serving as the president of WMU since 2007 and the present extension will carry his tenure till the end of 2017.
Michigan residents are probably aware that employment contracts are binding to both the employee and the employer. It is a foundation on which an employer-employee relationship can be built, and needs to be respected by all concerned parties.