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The Employment and Social Security Disability Blog

Study shows women in leadership positions are still harassed

Although both men and women in Michigan can be victims of sexual harassment, workplace harassment cases usually involve men mistreating female subordinates. However, a study from the Swedish Institute for Social Research found that women who are positions of power may be more likely to experience sexual harassment at work. The survey analyzed the experiences of worker in Sweden, Japan and the United States to obtain its results. It found that women in positions of power were 30 to 100% more likely to be harassed.

The likelihood of a woman being a sexual harassment victim increased when that person was in charge of a group of men. Study participants were asked if they had experienced sexual assault in the prior 12 months. Participants were also asked if they had experienced a series of behaviors that may be construed as inappropriate.

New proposal could significantly affect SSD program

It is no secret that the application process for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits in Michigan can be challenging. After filing an initial application, in which one has to provide a significant amount of information about medical and work history, the Social Security Disability claim will be reviewed by a claims examiner working for the state. Many people wait months to hear if their benefits have been approved, only to find that their initial claims have been denied, requiring them to go through a lengthy appeals process.

Even if a claim for benefits gets approved, it is important to know that there is no guarantee that these benefits will continue. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will periodically conduct continuing disability reviews to determine whether the condition still entitles one to SSD benefits. If the SSA finds that the condition has improved to the point where the applicant could return to work or finds that they are no longer disabled, the benefits will be stopped.

Qualifying for leave under the FMLA

Michigan families that have undergone significant changes may find that they need to take some time off from work to adjust to their new life. This is where knowledge of employment law and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can be useful. The decision to invoke FMLA can be a difficult one for families to make, as they will have to decide how many weeks, if any, they can manage without pay.

Will my worker's comp affect my SSD benefits?

Anyone receiving workers compensation or other benefits, may still be able to receive Social Security Disability benefits. However, the amount of disability one receives every month may be reduced depending on which other benefits one is receiving.

Prison lieutenant files discrimination lawsuit

A black prison lieutenant at a Michigan correctional facility recently filed a legal claim against the Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) and a captain at the facility, alleging retaliation and discrimination. According to the lieutenant's claim, officials at the facility retaliated against him after he complained that a co-worker called him the "n" word.

The lieutenant apparently worked at the DOC for 13 years and was moving up the employment ladder, until he heard about a conversation that took place between two white captains at the prison Christmas party. One captain apparently told the other captain that he did not want a "n" word for a boss. According to the complaint, the other captain was interviewing for a position at another prison, and the captain's comment was made on the assumption that if the other captain left, the lieutenant would be promoted to deputy warden.

The importance of proving ailment duration in an SSD application

Despite their best efforts, many Michigan residents become afflicted with illnesses and injuries during their lifetimes. While most of these ailments are transient and resolve in time, others may last and endure long into the victims' lives. Short-term conditions generally may not serve as the grounds for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits' applications: ailments that qualify individuals for these benefits must be long-term.

The definition of a disability recognized by the Social Security Administration states that a person must not be able to "engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s), which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months." Therefore, a person's ailment must last for a year at minimum to allow them to pursue Social Security benefits, or may be terminal and end in the individual's death.

Network releases employees from NDA on sexual harassment

Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are important employment law contracts. A Michigan resident may be asked to sign an NDA when they start a new job or are promoted into a position of authority. Generally, NDAs are used to protect information, trade secrets and other sensitive data that is proprietary to an organization. When a person breaks the terms of their NDA, they may face termination from their job or other penalties.

Not long ago the media company NBC announced that it would release former employees from their NDAs with regard to information that they may have concerning sexual harassment. Several prominent media and news figures have been accused of varying forms of sexual harassment against fellow colleagues but some potential victims may have hesitated to come forward due to their standing NDA agreements. An NDA can survive a person's tenure with an organization.

Discrimination is not an acceptable workplace condition

Every workplace has its benefits and drawbacks. A Michigan resident may love the work that they do for their employer, but may find it difficult to work with all of their co-workers. Alternatively, an individual may adore the people that share their workspace, but may find their on-the-job tasks to be tedious. However, no matter where a person works or what they do for a living, they should not have to endure harassment or discrimination when they do their job.

Discrimination and harassment are prohibited employment actions in for many different employers and types of workplaces. Individuals may not be treated differently at work because of their race or religion, gender or sexual orientation. They may not be subjected to adverse employment actions, like demotions, loss of responsibilities or terminations because of their inclusion in these and other protected classes.

Miller Cohen PLC Attorneys Announced Super Lawyer And Rising Star In 2019

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Miller Cohen PLC is proud to announce the inclusion of Bruce A. Miller, Richard G. Mack Jr., and Robert Fetter on the 2019 Michigan Super Lawyers list and Keith D. Flynn on the 2019 Rising Stars List. Michigan Super Lawyers recognizes the top 5% of all attorneys in the State. Michigan Rising Stars recognizes the top 2.5% of all attorneys in the State under 40 years or younger or who have been practicing for ten years or less.

ABA American Bar Association | NELA
Super Lawyers SuperLawyers 2016
Bruce Miller
Richard Mack
Super Lawyers | Rising Stars Rising Stars 2016
Robert Fetter
Andrea Hamm

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