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Michigan and Ohio Legal News Blog

Is Michigan State's Nassar Settlement Fake News for Some Survivors?

On May 16, 2018, Michigan State University announced that after several rounds of mediation, they had reached a "$500 million global settlement" on behalf of survivors of disgraced former MSU doctor Larry Nassar. The terms stated that $425 million would be paid to the 332 current claimants, and $75 million would be set aside for future claimants. Here is a copy of the May 16, 2018, Press Release

Fairness to women in the workplace

We have been representing moms for more than twenty years.  The human lifecycle is multifaceted.  We have periods when we are more focused on our health and loved ones and periods when we are more focused on our jobs.  Under the law, to keep our jobs, we always need to perform the "essential functions of our jobs" even if we need "reasonable accommodation".  (See Americans With Disabilities Act)
Companies used to discriminate against pregnant women by denying them "light duty" when they needed it for the safety of their unborn child, even when they offered that option to employees with workplace injuries.  Nick Roumel won a case in the Sixth Circuit on behalf of a pregnant employee changing the law on this point.  The Supreme Court later ratified the decision in a separate case, Young v. UPS. 
 
We still have vestiges of what constitutes a "normal" workplace life without reference to women who bear children. While fairness to other employees who don't have children has sometimes raised an objection to altering the norm, we don't raise those concerns when we keep employed people who have accidents resulting in injuries.
Our firm remains committed to expanding the US workplace to accommodate all people as they actually live their lives, with injuries, illnesses, grieving, bearing children, parenting them and aging.
Here's an interesting article I recently read in the NY Times, "The Open Secret of Anti-Bias at Work" by Katherine Goldstein. 

Why are the number of employee retaliation claims increasing?

The urge to retaliate is a common human reaction after a perceived offense. Employers may also be failing to provide adequate training and tools so that managers can identify and address these initial reactions.

Federal law prohibits employment discrimination and harassment related to certain traits. It also puts in place protections for those who oppose discrimination or participate in employment discrimination proceedings. For example, it is unlawful for a manager to retaliate against a job applicant or employee who alleges discriminatory practices. Retaliation after a request for a disability accommodation is also not allowed.

Ageism at work: Less feedback and skewed evaluation metrics

Age discrimination in the workplace is common. Most people have a sense of this, but the tactics used by employers are rarely direct or systematic.

One exception might be IBM, which was more systematic than most with its "resource actions" designed to terminate older, more costly workers and bring in EPHs, early professional hires. A former IBM-er reportedly received a call weeks after turning 55. After 33 years with the company, she had 90 days to train a replacement and 30 days severance.

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