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. 

Contracts have been the backbone of every business for decades. They set out the terms and conditions for agreements between parties, and they ensure that everyone involved knows exactly what is expected of them. But what happens when one party fails to live up to their end of the bargain?

What is a Breach of Contract?

When one party to a contract does not fulfill their obligations under the agreement, this is known as a breach of contract. This can happen when one party fails to perform their duties, does not meet the agreed-upon timeline, or violates the terms of the contract in some other way.

To prove a breach of contract, you must show that while both understood they were under an agreement, you held your side while the other side did not, resulting in you suffering damage.

Breach of Contract Types

The two most common types of contract breaches are material and minor (immaterial). A material breach of contract is a failure to fulfill some major obligation under the agreement. This can include things like failing to deliver a product or service, not completing a project on time, or failing to meet quality standards. A minor breach (also called an immaterial breach) is a less serious failure to perform an obligation under the agreement.

There is also an anticipatory breach of contract, which occurs when one party tells the other before the contract has ended that they will not be able to fulfill their agreement. If you sustained any of the breaches, a remedy may be available. To learn more about the types of contract breaches and what you can recover, contact a business law attorney.

Breach of contract is a concept that business owners should be aware of to protect their interests. They are common. Understanding the basics of breach of contract under business law can help you recognize when one has occurred, allowing you to take steps to remedy it.

Additionally, being familiar with these concepts from the outset can also help you prevent such issues from occurring by drafting contracts that are clear and legally enforceable.

Contact Just Right Law today for a 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.

We are thrilled to announce that Muneeb Ahmad, Managing Partner at Just Right Law, has been selected to the 2023 Michigan Super Lawyers list. Super Lawyers, a respected rating service of outstanding lawyers, recognizes only the top attorneys in each state. Each year, their research team evaluates candidates from over 70 practice areas for this honor. Only five percent of lawyers in the state are chosen.

Muneeb M. Ahmad is a highly skilled attorney with 15 years of experience in immigration, active litigation, and transaction law. His practice focuses in various areas of law, including immigration, contracts, employment, real estate, business, and insurance.

In addition to making the Super Lawyers list this year, Mr. Ahmad has made the list each consecutive year since 2021. Previously, he had also been honored with making the Michigan Rising Stars list from 2013 to 2017.

Starting a business in Michigan comes with its fair share of pivotal decisions. Among the most consequential is the type of business entity you opt for. This choice can profoundly impact your venture’s legal, financial, and operational dimensions. At Just Right Law, we pride ourselves on delivering tailored legal solutions that empower our clients to make informed choices​.

Sole Proprietorships

Sole Proprietorships are the most straightforward entities to establish. They require no formal registration, and you can operate under your own name or a DBA. The primary advantage is the ease of starting up and having direct control over business affairs. However, the downside is the unlimited personal liability you bear, coupled with limited avenues for fundraising.

Partnerships

Partnerships, on the other hand, are arrangements between two or more individuals. While some partnerships might necessitate state registration, the essence lies in the mutual agreement. The combined skillsets and resources can be a boon, facilitating shared responsibilities. That said, partners need to be wary of the fact that they could be personally liable for all of the partnership’s debts and the potential for internal disputes.

LLCs

LLCs (Limited Liability Companies) strike a balance between simplicity and formality. To set up an LLC, one must file articles of organization with the state. In addition, you should draft an operating agreement, but there is no requirement to do so or register it with the state. The primary benefit of an LLC is that you will be protected from personal liability for business debts – provided you follow certain formalities. Liability protection is a significant draw, along with management flexibility and possible tax benefits. However, they come with their own set of challenges, including more paperwork than sole proprietorships and potential self-employment taxes.

Corporations

Lastly, Corporations are more complex entities, requiring founders to file Articles of Incorporation, establish bylaws, and appoint directors. They are favored for their limited liability provisions, the ease of raising capital, and the potential for an enduring existence. But they also have their downsides, like the risk of double taxation and a higher regulatory burden.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Michigan Business Lawyer

The business entity you choose should align with your vision, risk appetite, and financial considerations. At Just Right Law, our commitment is to ensure your business’s foundational decisions are made with clarity and conviction, rooted in open, honest, and frank communication. To schedule a consultation with a business lawyer in Michigan, call our office today at (248) 519-2313 or contact us online.