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Ann Arbor Legal Blog

A lawyer should negotiate or review your severance package offer

It is no longer a world in which a person starts working at a company in his or her 20s with an expectation of working there until retirement. It is more likely nowadays for a person to have several employers throughout his or her career. However, sometimes the employment relationship ends because the employee chooses to leave and sometimes it ends because of termination or layoff. 

When a worker is laid off or terminated, he or she may be owed or offered a severance package, which is basically a separation agreement to continue certain benefits beyond the job, provide severance pay or impose certain terms on the parties. It can be extremely important not to accept the terms or sign a severance offer until you have an experienced employment lawyer review it or even step in and negotiate better terms on your behalf, if possible. 

Why are non-compete agreements popular?

This article "Companies Compete but Won't Let Their Workers Do the Same" is a thoughtful piece and there is much I agree with, especially in regard to lower wage workers and the depressing effect of non-competes on wages. But the author fails to note the real reason why non-competes are popular: companies invest in their employees in developing relationships with customers and in learning technology. Smaller companies that don't have non-competes for key personnel are difficult to sell. And companies take a real risk that employees will simply learn from the experience of a job and hand a customer list on a platter to the competitor. So in the absence of a non-compete, many companies won't invest or trust their employees. That can slow the growth of companies. Moreover, in some states, companies pay employees to sign a non-compete. In the Midwest, companies don't need to do that. That is wrong. Companies should pay a premium for workers limiting post-job options. But California is hardly the panacea the author claims. I have represented many employees who have been threatened with aggressive approaches to trade secrets violations by their former California employer. In other words, when the former employer can't use a non-compete, they find other paths. Are non-competes over-used?  Undoubtedly.

Ruling extends protections: Will the Supreme Court weigh in?

A decision out of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit sets the stage to prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. Several other federal courts have recently reached opposing decisions, so the issue may be heading for the Supreme Court.

Chief Judge Diane Wood wrote for the panel in an 8-3 recent decision: "Any discomfort, disapproval, or job decisions based on the fact that the complaintant - man or woman - dresses differently, speak differently, or dates or marries a same-sex partner, is a reaction purely and simply based on sex. That means it falls within Title VII's prohibition against sex discrimination, if it affects employment in one of the specified ways." What does this mean for employees?

CEO of Michigan Municipal League accused of harassment by current, former staffers

NachtLaw represents several current and former employees of the Michigan Municipal League involved in this story. It is a reminder that sexual comments, emails and behavior, even without sexual touching and requests for sexual favors, may nonetheless support a claim of illegal sexual harassment and discrimination - as well as potential retaliation if one suffers adverse employment consequences for reporting such behavior.

What went wrong with UIA fraud allegations?

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency will stop collecting money from people they have accused of fraud - that means no more wage garnishments, federal and state tax refund intercepts or payment plan collections. A failed computer system known as MiDAS is blamed with 'robofraud' that made life even more miserable for those who lost work during the recession.

Fox 17 Problem Solvers have investigated the issues of questionable accusations for several years. The error rate caused by the computer system as reported by the UIA was 93 percent. This was after re-review of 22,427 cases (it reversed 20,965 of the computer-determined fraud cases).

Why fighting for gender equality matters

NachtLaw, P.C. does not subscribe to slogans or falsehoods. We discover facts and that is what we prove to judges and juries. "Science" Is the most prestigious scientific journal that cuts across fields. To get published there, a study must have the best methodology-- the greatest level of rigor and merit. The Detroit Free Press reports on a study in Science that will break your heart, "Little girls doubt that women can be brilliant".    

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