You were starting your first day of work when you met the person who would be training you. They were nice to you, and you felt comfortable asking questions and getting to know your position.
When you think about workplace discrimination, you might immediately think of people of different races or people who look different being treated badly just because of who they are. You may not think immediately of the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender (LBGT) community or the impact that discrimination can still have on them today.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees have rightly begun questioning their safety in the workplace. Whether you were on duty at the outset prior to Governor Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Executive Order (EO 2020-21) or an essential employee who is still working to this very day, you have the right to a safe and sanitary workplace. Several laws have been passed that protect your right to report such issues in the workplace without fear of retaliation or reprisal.
In the wake of the COVID-19 Virus, the federal government is passing many laws to combat the effects that the Virus is having on workers. On March 18, 2020, Congress recently passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which in part provides paid leave under particular circumstances. The new benefits can be broken into two major new rights: the Emergency FMLA Expansion and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave provision. Both provisions ensure that you can utilize these benefits and your job will be protected absent a few exceptions. These benefits are effective April 2, 2020 and end December 31, 2020. In this blog, we will outline what employers are covered, what exactly the new benefits are, and in what situations they can be utilized.
While the issue of workplace discrimination has been garnering more attention in Michigan, incidents and behaviors continue to negatively impact workers. Many of these are obvious violations of employment law. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission received nearly 72,700 complaints about workplace discrimination in 2019. This number does not factor in complaints to local agencies.
A diverse workforce in Michigan does not necessarily guarantee that discrimination will not occur. A survey of employees by Glassdoor conducted in 2019 revealed that three-quarters of employees considered themselves to be part of diverse workforces. Three-fifths of respondents, however, reported that they had been subject to age, gender, race or LGBTQ discrimination or had seen it happen to others.
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.
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.
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.