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Michigan and Ohio Legal News Blog

Why doctors should seek employment contract review

One young primary care physician had received an offer and was in the process of moving. That all changed when she learned a provision in the contract would limit how she could spend her free time.

A wave of mergers has increased the percentage of Catholic-owned or affiliated of hospitals. NPR reported last fall on how these networks require this contract clause “provide services in a manner consistent with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.” This can prohibit a physician from promoting or condoning contraceptive practices. While only one example of a contract clause that can pose a problem, it illustrates why it is important to seek a legal review of any physician employment contract.

Teenagers Taunt Native American Elder

There is no more conservative value than "respect your elders." See Ten Commandments. We could add "show good manners". It is clear that these values were not present among the boys in this video of teenagers taunting a native American elder. It apparently never occurred to them that "respect other human beings whose traditions are different from your own" is also an inherently American value.

A brief primer on impeachment procedures

The first bill of impeachment of President Trump has been introduced this Congress by Rep. Brad Sherman of California, H Res. 13. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee. The bill is based on a charge of obstruction of justice for firing FBI director Comey, and a few other actions.

When the Police Become Prosecutors

This article, "When the Police Become Prosecutors" in The New York Times, taught me something about the criminal law I had no idea existed. In some states, many thousands of misdemeanor cases are brought by police officers without lawyers as prosecutors. The article, by a Harvard Law scholar, suggests this practice causes harm by not separating the arresting power from the prosecuting power. I'm inclined to agree. A fresh set of eyes by a prosecutor can prevent a person from getting stuck with a conviction for a weak case that shouldn't have been brought. 

Corruption in the bargaining process

If you haven't been following this tale of corruption, this article, "FCA spent $15K on steak dinners for UAW", in The Detroit News, lays out the main point. Just like salespeople woo their customers, Chrysler executives wooed UAW leaders with meals and gifts before a contract negotiation. It would be like the Ohio State football coaches buying meals and gifts for the Michigan players before the game. It doesn't smell right.

Can you be fired for marijuana use in Michigan?

Last week, Michigan became the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults over the age of 21. Anything in public places remains illegal. Smoking in a driveway or front porch is off limits, but a backyard may be okay unless a neighbor takes offense and files a nuisance complaint.

For the most part, the answer is yes, an employer still has the right to enforce zero tolerance policies and refuse to hire or fire workers who test positive. Nuances could exist however and judges will need to decide cases that fall within gray areas – potentially related to edibles or unsupported accusations of marijuana use/impairment on the job.

We are regionally ranked in the U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" 2019 edition

NachtLaw, P.C. is pleased to announce that we are regionally ranked in the U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" 2019 edition. The practice areas and region are as follows:

NachtLaw beats the University of Michigan in federal court

In a decision today, a federal judge ruled Professor Pamela Smock could proceed in her case that she was denied due process because the University punished her without allowing her to cross-examine her accusers. The decision will require the University to change its procedures in investigating and punishing professors. David Nacht states "bureaucrats and administrators have too much power. This lawsuit and this decision help accused professors level the playing field." 

'Tis the season of voluntary buyouts and de-layering

Whatever the corporate euphemism – and the speed with which they change is increasing – these are job cuts no matter the terminology. Some people will be fired. At GM, the company is "rightsizing," hoping to shrink it's salaried workforce by about 7,000.

For the 18,000 employees with more than 12 years of experience, the company is starting with a voluntary buyout. Affected GM workers have about two weeks to decide (November 19th has been the reported decision date). If too few employees accept, the company will begin a round of layoffs. Other automakers are predicted to undertake similar programs. What should you consider when offered a rightsizing voluntary buyout package or de-layering severance package?

Proving unfair evaluations and harassment are based on race

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines race discrimination this way: “treating someone (an employee or applicant) unfavorably because he or she is of a certain race or because of characteristics associated with race.” An associated issue occurs when one’s skin color/complexion is the cause of negative treatment.

Harassment is also unlawful and can include offensive/derogatory remarks, racial slurs and/or displaying offensive symbols. Teasing or offhand comments, when it occurs regularly or is serious, can lead to a hostile or offensive work environment. Employment policies that have a disparate negative impact on one group of people may also be unlawful. How do you connect the dots between negative employment actions and your race or complexion?

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