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. 

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.

PRESS RELEASE:
A LAWSUIT HAS BEEN FILED OCTOBER 30, 2023, AGAINST THE CITY OF BURTON,
THE POLICE OFFICER LABOR COUNCIL – BURTON CITY COMMAND OFFICERS,
POLICE OFFICERS LABOR COUNCIL – BURTON PATROL OFFICERS, OFFICERS
KEVIN JONES, KEVIN KISSEL, AND DANA PIAZZA, COUNCILWOMAN TINA
CONELY, AND MAYOR DUANE HASKINS (IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY ONLY) TO
HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR DISCRIMINATION AND RETALIATION-RELATED
TO SEX, RACE, AND NATIONAL ORIGIN DIRECTED AT TWO FEMALE OFFICERS
AND THE CHIEF OF POLICE

After an investigation by attorneys Muneeb M. Ahmad and Syed Hussain Akbar of Just Right
Law, it was determined that the lawsuit is justified and supported by the evidence. This lawsuit
aims to hold, Officers Kevin Jones, Kevin Kissel, and Dana Piazza, as well as Councilwoman
Tina Conley (hereinafter the “Individual Defendants”), liable in their individual and official
capacities, for pervasive and ongoing discrimination, hostile environment, and retaliation-based
on National Origin, Sex, and Sexual Orientation.


Further, this lawsuit, naming Defendant Mayor Duane Haskins, in his Official Capacity only,
seeks to hold the City of Burton and the Police Officers Labor Council for Command Officers
and Patrol Officers liable for their discriminatory and retaliatory toxic police culture, customs,
policies, and practices that target racial and ethnic minorities, females, and/or LGBTQ police
officers and employees within the City’s Police Department.


As further outlined in the lawsuit, the evidence determined that the City of Burton’s acquiescence
to a pervasive and toxic police culture within the Department, subjected Plaintiffs to a hostile
work environment which encompassed discrimination based on race, ethnicity, pregnancy status,
sexual orientation, and associational discrimination at the hands of the Individual Defendants.


This hostile work environment and retaliation included but was not limited to, Individual
Defendants subjecting Chief Ross, Sergeant Glasstetter, and Officer Conquest to a knowingly
false and defamatory narrative of a workplace affair, sexual misconduct, and blackmail
aimed at undermining their authority and tarnishing and damaging their credibility and reputation
within the community.


Further, the evidence also confirmed that after reporting this discriminatory and retaliatory
hostile environment to the EEOC, Defendant Councilwoman further retaliated against Plaintiffs by targeting Sergeant Glasstetter and making a false accusation of misconduct against her for which there was an investigation that rendered a finding of no cause.


Evidence in the lawsuit further suggests a pervasive, toxic culture within the police department.
This culture, based on discrimination against women, racial minorities, the LGBTQ community,
and those who support these protected classes is prevalent among both patrol officers and
command staff and supported by the City’s inaction, despite numerous internal and external
complaints.


This lawsuit is in direct response to a concerted effort to retaliate against individuals intentionally
who were willing to stand up to Individual Defendants in the face of outrageous discriminatory
and hostile conduct that no one in this day and age should be forced to bear.


The City of Burton and the Police Unions through their inaction, have wounded three upstanding
law enforcement officials and the protected classes they represent. Further, retaliation against
those three individuals has caused wounds to fester.


This lawsuit represents an opportunity to excise that wound and effectuate much-needed change
in both how the City addresses claims of discrimination and the pervasive, toxic, discriminatory
culture rampant in the City’s Police Department.


We respectfully request the press to share this information with the public. Should you have any
question, please feel free to contact our office