What Are My Rights as an Employee in Michigan?

As an employee in Michigan, you have certain rights that protect you in the workplace. Just Right Law understands that figuring out what these rights are can feel overwhelming, especially if you are in a challenging situation with your employer. We want to empower you with the knowledge to advocate for yourself and to know when to seek legal guidance.

State Protections

First and foremost, you have the right to a safe and healthy work environment. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) enforces standards to ensure employers provide a workplace free from recognized hazards. If you believe your workplace is unsafe, you can file a complaint with MIOSHA, and they will investigate the situation. Remember, your employer cannot retaliate against you for reporting safety concerns.

You also have the right to fair compensation. Michigan’s minimum wage is $10.33 per hour, with some exceptions for tipped employees and minors. If you work over 40 hours in a work week, you are entitled to overtime pay at 1.5 times your regular hourly rate. Your employer must pay you for all hours worked and cannot withhold pay or force you to work off the clock.

Discrimination and harassment are unacceptable in the work environment. The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of Michigan prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, color, national origin, weight, height, age, familial status, sex, religion, disability, or marital status. This protection encompasses every facet of employment, including recruitment, termination, advancement, and pay. Should you encounter discrimination or harassment at your workplace, it’s essential to record the occurrences and bring them to the attention of your HR department or supervisor. If the problem persists, it may be necessary to seek legal advice to uphold your rights.

Federal Protections

Apart from state regulations, Michigan employees are safeguarded by federal laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you’ve been with your employer for a minimum of 12 months and they have at least 50 employees, you might qualify for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons under FMLA. The ADA mandates that employers must offer reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, provided these accommodations do not excessively burden the employer.

If you face a difficult situation at work, remember you have rights and options. Document any incidents of mistreatment, discrimination, or harassment. Follow your employer’s internal reporting procedures but know that you can seek external help. Government agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights investigate and enforce employment laws.

How We Can Help

At Just Right Law, we know that standing up for your rights can be daunting. You may fear retaliation or worry about the impact of your actions on your career. However, you deserve to work in a safe, fair, and respectful environment. If you believe your employer violated your rights, our compassionate and experienced attorneys are here to listen and provide guidance.

If you need legal assistance, do not hesitate to contact Just Right Law. You can reach us by phone at (248) 519-2313 or contact us online. We are committed to fighting for the rights of employees and ensuring that every worker is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

The term “hostile work environment” is often mentioned in discussions about workplace harassment and discrimination, but what does it really mean? Understanding what qualifies as a hostile work environment is crucial for employees and employers alike in Michigan. This knowledge helps in promoting a safe, respectful, and productive workplace.

Legal Definition

A hostile work environment occurs when an employee experiences discrimination or harassment that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or abusive work situation. 

Examples of Hostile Work Environments

Examples of behaviors that could contribute to a hostile work environment in Michigan include, but are not limited to:

Employee Rights and Protections

Michigan employees enjoy protection from workplace discrimination and harassment by state and federal laws. The federal Civil Rights Act and the Michigan Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act help protect against workplace harassment for characteristics including:

Recently, the Michigan legislature and governor updated the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act to reaffirm legal protections for sexual orientation and expand coverage to include gender identity and expression. An employment attorney can also help you understand your legal rights in the workplace. 

Employer Responsibilities

Employers in Michigan have a legal obligation to prevent and address hostile work environments. To create a proactive plan, an employer should:

Steps to Take if You’re Experiencing a Hostile Work Environment

If you’re experiencing a hostile work environment, it’s essential to take action. Steps to consider include:

Contact an Employment Law Attorney in Michigan

Trying to resolve a hostile work environment on your own is stressful. You might not fully understand your rights, and you could miss an opportunity to seek relief. A Michigan employment law attorney with Just Right Law can help you understand your rights. They can offer suggestions for resolution and how to pursue compensation. Call today for a free consultation. 

Are you considering leaving your job to start your own business or joining a competing company? You’re far from alone as employees and employers continue to navigate “The Great Resignation“. You’re also not alone in worrying about your non-compete agreement and potential litigation resulting from your move.

There will never be a risk-free transition, but you can take steps to minimize your risk. A knowledgeable employment law attorney can advise you on specific circumstances, but the following tips apply to most transitions.

Read Between the Lines

You may not officially have a non-compete agreement, but overbearing non-solicitation and trade secrets agreements often masquerade as non-compete agreements. An attorney can advise you about your rights and obligations before you switch jobs.

Don’t Leave In a Firestorm

Many employees have exposure to non-compete litigation but aren’t sued; don’t give your current employer a reason to feel good about raking you over the coals on your way out. If you have nothing nice to say about your current employer, don’t say anything. Also, avoid any actions threatening your employer, such as taking your coworkers with you.

Don’t Take Any Unnecessary Data

Taking customer lists that the company owns and other sensitive data is a red flag for employers, making litigation more likely. Of course, there are legitimate reasons to take data with you – such as ownership of customer lists or preservation of evidence – but you should consult an attorney to ensure you are going about things the right way.

Be Aware of Geographical Restrictions

Many non-compete agreements contain geographical restrictions. This issue is starting to wane due to more remote positions, but starting a new business in the same geographic market as your current company can create an additional risk of litigation.

Don’t Let Fear of a Non-Compete Limit Your Career Aspirations

It’s good to be thoughtful and cautious when considering a career move. However, don’t let fear of a potential non-compete lawsuit stop you from pursuing your career goals. Seek the advice of a proven employment lawyer to put your mind at ease and ensure you have the information you need to make a confident decision about your next step.

If you’re over 40, the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects you from age-based discrimination at work. This law prohibits employers from treating you unfairly because of your age when it comes to hiring, firing, promotions, or benefits. 

It’s worth emphasizing that age discrimination isn’t just about being fired. It can also happen if you’re passed over for a promotion or don’t receive the same training opportunities as younger coworkers. If you believe an employer has discriminated against you due to your age, you can file a lawsuit to stand up for your rights and seek justice.

Filing an Age Discrimination Lawsuit

If you face age discrimination at work and decide to take legal action, your case will likely proceed through the following typical stages:

Consulting a Lawyer

First, you should find a knowledgeable employment law attorney. They will guide you through the legal process and represent your interests.

Gathering Evidence

Next, your lawyer will collect any evidence supporting your claim of age discrimination. This might include emails, witness statements, or examples of younger employees receiving better treatment.

Filing a Charge with the EEOC

Before bringing suit, you must file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Your lawyer will handle this step. The EEOC will review your case and decide if it should investigate.

Waiting for the EEOC to Investigate

If the EEOC investigates, they’ll gather more information from you and your employer. Their goal is to understand if age discrimination occurred.

Receiving EEOC’s Decision

After investigating, the EEOC will decide whether it can act on the information it’s undcovered. This might involve working with the employer to correct its behavior or taking them to court.

Filing a Lawsuit

If the EEOC doesn’t find evidence or if a settlement isn’t possible, you can sue. Your lawyer will handle the legal work, like preparing documents and representing you in court.

Attending Mediation or Trial

Depending on the case, you might go through mediation to reach a settlement or proceed to trial. Your lawyer will argue on your behalf, presenting evidence and witness testimonies that support your claim.

How an Age Discrimination Lawyer Can Help

If you have experienced age discrimination at work, a lawyer can listen to your story and determine if you have a strong case. Then, they can gather and organize evidence, like emails or witness statements, to support your claim. After preparing your case, your lawyer will file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on your behalf, following all filing procedures as necessary. 

If your case goes to court, your attorney can represent you and handle all the administrative details of your lawsuit. Throughout the process, they communicate with you, keep you informed, and offer advice. With their knowledge and support, an age discrimination lawyer empowers you to stand up against unfair workplace treatment based on age.

Contact a Michigan Age Discrimination Attorney 

If you’re facing age discrimination at work, remember you’re not alone. Just Right Law is here to help you fight for the respect and fairness you deserve. Our experienced age discrimination lawyers understand the challenges you’re facing and are ready to provide the support and guidance you need. 

Don’t let age discrimination in the workplace hold you back any longer. Contact Just Right Law today for an initial consultation.

Whistleblowers play a vital role in discovering and prosecuting illegal acts such as fraud in our economy. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure whistleblowers can come forward with the confidence that state and federal laws will protect them from retaliation.

Fortunately, many laws protect whistleblowers who uncover misdeeds such as fraud, wage theft, and discrimination, including:

Other industry-specific laws protect some workers or cover specific types of violations. A knowledgeable employment law attorney can help you protect your rights under all whistleblower protection laws.

Act Quickly to Protect Your Legal and Financial Interests

Each source of protection has its legal limits, administrative or procedural processes, and applicable reporting deadlines – some as short as 30 days.

If you are a whistleblower, it is crucial to move quickly with the help of experienced counsel who understands how to navigate the justice system for your benefit. Contact us today for a consultation.