Employers need to examine policies, laws in light of Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling

June 26, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 2 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling in favor of same-sex marriage means employers across the country need to take a look at their policies as well as the effect the ruling has on various laws dealing with employment.

The Court’s 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges struck down prohibitions on gay marriage in states covered by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals—Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. But it has the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

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Appeals court keeps hold on Obama’s immigration orders

May 27, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

No quick resolution is in sight to the uncertainty surrounding President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. On May 26, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to lift a temporary hold on Obama’s actions, which were designed to ease deportation worries for millions of undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for years.

“Employers will have to wait possibly months, or years, for the courts or Congress to resolve the status of undocumented immigrants who would have been eligible for work permits under President Obama’s executive action,” said Elaine C. Young, an attorney with the Kirton McConkie law firm in Salt Lake City and an editor of Utah Employment Law Letter.

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New circuit ruling complicates same-sex marriage issue

November 07, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The issue of how employers should handle same-sex marriage got a bit murkier November 6 as a divided appeals court panel broke with rulings from four other U.S. circuit courts of appeals by upholding state bans on same-sex marriage.

A three-judge panel from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the 2-1 decision, which allows bans on same-sex marriage in four states to stand. The court’s decision—affecting Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee—differs from other jurisdictions that have recently struck down similar state bans.

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High court upholds Michigan’s ban on affirmative action in higher education

April 22, 2014 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Michigan voters’ right to prohibit preferential race-based admissions programs in the state’s university system was upheld today by the U.S. Supreme Court in Schuette v. The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigration Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary (BAMN), 572 U.S. ___ (2014).

In the 6-2 opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court upheld Proposition 2, which was approved by popular vote in Michigan. Proposition 2 amended the Michigan Constitution to prohibit race-based admissions preferences in the state’s university system.

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Right to work and how it will work in Michigan

by Gary Fealk

On December 11, Michigan passed Senate Bill 116, commonly known as the right-to-work law. In accordance with the Michigan Constitution (Article IV, Section 27), the law will go into effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session.

Under the law, an individual cannot be required to do any of the following to obtain or continue employment: read more…

Michigan now a right-to-work state

December 11, 2012 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Long a union stronghold, Michigan has become the latest state to pass right-to-work legislation. The fight, though, likely will rage on.

State legislators on December 11 approved legislation that prohibits workplaces from requiring all employees to pay all union dues. The legislation was pushed by the Republican majority in the state legislature. On Tuesday afternoon, it was being reported that the bills could be delayed for a brief time on procedural grounds (a motion to reconsider) by Democrats. Republican Governor Rick Snyder, nevertheless, was expected to sign the bills as early as Wednesday. He indicated he would sign the measure even though he had earlier said right-to-work legislation was too divisive and therefore wasn’t on his agenda.

The vote in the legislature isn’t the first blow organized labor has suffered recently in Michigan. Voters in the November election soundly turned down an initiative that would have put the right to collective bargaining in the state’s constitution.

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Michigan to vote on employment initiatives

Michigan voters will decide the fate of two initiatives in the November 6 election that can change the climate toward collective bargaining and union organization in the state.

One initiative–Proposal 2, dubbed the “Protect our Jobs” proposal–is a union-backed measure asking voters to pass a constitutional amendment guaranteeing workers the right to bargain collectively. If approved, the greatest significance would be to bar any attempt to enact right-to-work legislation. Typically, right-to-work laws prohibit employers from deducting union dues from employee paychecks.

It took a trip to the Michigan Supreme Court just to get the measure on the ballot, but on September 5, the state high court approved putting it before the voters.

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Michigan Indoor-Smoking Ban Takes Effect Saturday

April 28, 2010 - by: Holly Jones 5 COMMENTS

Effective May 1, 2010, smoking will be prohibited in most Michigan workplaces, restaurants, and bars.

The law, known as the “Dr. Ron Davis Law,” was signed by Governor Jennifer Granholm on December 18, 2009, and bans smoking indoors in Michigan “public places.” Under the law, “public places” are defined to include most places of employment, indoor areas owned by the state or local government, and privately owned indoor areas for general public use (e.g., educational facilities, auditoriums, arenas, and theaters). Smoking is also prohibited in food service establishments.

The law does have limited exceptions for motor vehicles in which work is conducted, home offices in which the owner/lessee doesn’t employ other workers, and certain cigar bars, tobacco shops, and casinos.

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