Employment Law Attorney, Lindsay J. Raymond Recognized as Region’s Best & Brightest

Every September, the Traverse City Business News spotlights 40 local professionals under age 40 who excel with their economic impact on the region and in the community. This year marks the 16th anniversary of the annual 40Under40 list of influencers, and the seventh year Hagerty has been the signature sponsor.

Traverse City 40 Under $0

Congratulations to our community leaders & visionaries recognized as Forty Of The Region’s Best And Brightest by the Traverse City Business News.  An extra special congratulations to DAR Law partner and co-owner, Lindsay J. Raymond, Employment Law Attorney with Danbrook Adams Raymond PLC.

The 2022 list recognizes individuals in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie and Kalkaska counties under the age of 40 whose professional and community efforts during this past year had the most impact on their community, the region and the economy.

As a small business owner and partner of her boutique law firm, Raymond assists employers in the region with their legal needs. In her personal time, serving as Member and Grant Review Chair of the Board of Directors for Impact100 Traverse City; she's thrilled about the nearly $1.8 million Impact100 TC will have awarded to 16 regional nonprofits in a period of only six years. These funds go directly to providing needed services in our community and have an amazing impact on our local economy.

Read more about Raymond's professional (and personal) highlights from this past year including her contribution to the regional economic impact.

DANBROOK ADAMS RAYMOND PLC, CELEBRATES FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY

THE BOUTIQUE LAW FIRM KICKS OFF YEAR FIVE WITH A NEW OFFICE LOCATION

July 27, 2022 (Traverse City, Mich.;) On August 1, 2022, Danbrook Adams Raymond PLC, DAR Law, celebrates its five-year anniversary of bringing peace of mind to individuals, families, and businesses in Northern Michigan in their practice areas of Employment and Labor Law, Employer Defense and Litigation, Liquor Licensing and Regulation, and Estate Planning and Administration.

After practicing for years in larger firms, DAR’s three attorney owners, Cortney Danbrook, Janis Adams, and Lindsay Raymond, decided their clients deserved more.

“Five years ago, we opened a boutique law firm specifically designed to offer clients the legal experience and skill they would expect from a large firm, but with a down-to-earth, authentic, and personal touch,” shared Cortney Danbrook, DAR partner who specializes in providing advice and counsel to businesses, individuals, and families in the areas of estate planning and administration, liquor licensing and regulatory compliance.

The women of DAR Law knew their approach, experience, and skill would set them apart.

“We are honored to stand out, not only because we are a women-owned law firm, but also because we have years of experience (55 years combined) in highly focused areas of the law,” said Janis Adams, employment, and labor law partner at DAR. “We’re proud and humbled to be ‘THE’ legal resource in our practice areas.”

The boutique law firm is celebrating this anniversary milestone with a new office location as well. With the goal to better serve its clients, DAR has moved to a new office located at 625 Second Street (Second and Division). The new location features ample and easily accessible private parking on-site, as well as a larger and more welcoming space to counsel and collaborate with their clients.

DAR Law location“We’re excited about our growth and look forward to serving and expanding our client-base in this new space,” said Lindsay Raymond, employment, and labor law partner at DAR.

DAR Law extends a special note of gratitude to their legal assistant, professional advisors, and service providers for all their support, and their clients who have allowed them to stand by their side, guide them with their legal issues, and advocate on their behalf for the last five years.

“As business owners, we know the importance of a great team and community. We cannot thank you all enough for embracing us and continuing to trust us to be your legal resource for peace of mind.”

Learn more at darlawyers.com or call 231.714.0157 to set up an appointment.

Starbucks Scrutiny: Employer Takeaways Regarding Employee Conduct Policies

The green double-tailed mermaid Starbucks logo beckons weary airport travelers, early morning risers, long-day workers, and virtually all parents of small children who need a little extra pep in their step throughout the day.

Customers recognize that logo and know that on the other side of those doors they will be greeted by the aroma of percolating beans and pastries.

Starbucks’ employee policies recently have been receiving a lot more attention than their coffee, however.

In December 2021, a Starbucks store in Buffalo voted in favor of organizing and a movement caught fire, spreading all across the country. More than 50 Starbucks stores have voted to unionize with Starbucks Workers United and close to 250 stores have petitioned to hold votes.

Earlier this year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint accusing Starbucks of numerous unfair labor practice charges related to their treatment of employees who are seeking to unionize in various ways.

In addition, on May 4, 2022, the NLRB filed a lawsuit against Starbucks, alleging that the Starbucks Partner Guide (their employee handbook) imposes overly broad and discriminatory rules that systematically violate workers’ labor rights. The NLRB is taking issue with 19 different sections of the handbook, stating that each is “interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees in the exercise” of their right to engage in protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

Many of the challenged policies appear to be facially neutral conduct policies for which legitimate business reasons exist. This recent action suggests that the NLRB is reverting back to the evaluation standard in place during the Obama administration. Thus, employers should monitor the developments of this matter and conduct a self-assessment to determine if their own policies are subject to challenge.

What is the NLRA?

The NLRA is a federal law that protects the right of employees to organize, bargain collectively with their employers, and engage in other protected concerted activity. For instance, Section 7 of the NLRA states that employees have the right to not only organize a union and bargain collectively, but also to discuss wages and benefits and other terms and conditions of employment, and take action with one or more co-workers to improve working conditions, among other rights.

Further, the NLRA establishes that it is an unfair labor practice for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their Section 7 rights. The NLRB is the independent federal agency that was created to enforce the NLRA.

One key fact that often escapes employers is that the NLRA applies to most private sector employers, regardless of whether they are currently unionized. Thus, because Section 7 rights are relatively broad, private employers need to be aware of the NLRA’s protections and ensure their conduct is compliant.

What is the NLRB’s policy evaluation standard?

During the Obama Administration, the NLRB was very active in challenging facially neutral policies as infringing on employees’ Section 7 rights. At that time, the NLRB’s policy evaluation test asked whether employees would “reasonably construe” a work rule to infringe on their right to engage in protected activity. For instance, several challenges related to Social Media policies, and the NLRB highly scrutinized such policies that regulated social media communications in a way that could be used to discourage collective protected activity. Some policies restricted employees from sharing confidential financial data or disparaging the employer on social media sites. However, the NLRB felt that such policies prevented employees from using social media to discuss the terms and conditions of employment or wages. Thus, in several cases, the NLRB found that employer social media policies were overbroad and needed to be rewritten.

In 2017, during the Trump Administration, the NLRB appeared to shift its approach. In a challenge related to a “no-camera” policy, the NLRB evaluated (1) the nature and extent of the impact on NLRA rights and (2) the legitimate justifications associated with the requirements, in an attempt to “strike the proper balance between…asserted business justifications and the invasion of employee rights in light of the Act.” This approach was more favorable to employers as it recognized legitimate business interests in regulating certain conduct and did not necessarily doom a policy simply because it could possibly be applied against Section 7 rights – there generally needed to be evidence of improper application.

In this particular action against the Starbucks Partner Guide, the NLRB is not expressly alleging that Starbucks discriminately applied the facially neutral policies to single out protected activity. Instead, the fact that the policies could be applied to limit or deter protected activity is what appears to be the issue.

Thus, the NLRB may be possibly returning to the old employee-focused test.

What about Starbucks?

The NLRB has taken issue with several policies in the Starbucks Partner Guide, including, but not limited to, policies regarding corrective action rules, dress code, cell phone use while working, social media usage and confidentiality rules.

For instance, the dress code required the Starbucks employees to wear the barista apron with limited flair pieces, like only one button. The NLRB is concerned that that limitation might discourage employees from wearing buttons that would support unionizing the workplace. Another example is the prohibition on cell phone use while working, as the NLRB is concerned that employees are discouraged from taking pictures or recording videos related to the terms and conditions of employment.

The hearing for this action was scheduled for June 14, 2022.

It is possible that this particular challenge may be part of the toolkit the NLRB is using to address the other more overt allegations that Starbucks is actively engaging in conduct to surveil and punish workers for protected collective activity. However, no decision on the Partner Guide challenge has been issued as of the date of writing this article. Thus, employers should stay tuned.

Employers could also be proactive and work with legal counsel to review their current policies and determine whether any modifications could limit the risk of challenge related to infringement on Section 7 rights.

Lindsay Raymond of Danbrook Adams Raymond PLC is an experienced employment law attorney who counsels employers on workplace compliance. You can reach her at lraymond@darlawyers.com. This article was published in the July 2022 issue of the Traverse City Business News.

 

 

Labor Law Attorney, Lindsay Raymond Presents at Incompass Michigan Leadership Conference

Incompass Michigan, the statewide network of mission driven organizations promoting community access and inclusion for people with disabilities and other barriers, presented its 48th Leadership Conference June 8-10 at the Delamar Hotel in Traverse City. This was the first in-person conference since 2019 and the DAR team was pleased not only to welcome this highly anticipated, three-day conference to the Traverse City community, but honored to have partner and owner of Danbrook Adams Raymond PLC, Lindsay Raymond featured as a presenting speaker.

Experienced employment law attorney and business owner, Raymond presented the 2022 Employment Law Update. She discussed recent updates to employment laws and practices governing the workplace, including accommodations, remote and hybrid work policies and issues, workplace culture assessments, best practices for performance management, considerations for attracting and retaining workers, and more.As an experienced management-side labor and employment attorney, she represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation, arbitration, and matters governing the workplace.

Labor Law Attorney, Lindsay Raymond presents at Incompass Michigan Leadership Conference"I had such a great time today presenting the 2022 Employment Law Update at the Incompass Michigan Leadership Conference in Traverse City," shared Raymond.  "I have attended this event for many years and the crowd is always inspiring. The year's conference was filled with fun and learning! Plus I’m passionate about inclusion and empowering employers to be their best selves."

 

Additional presentations featured topics ranging from addressing internal response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how we can help ourselves and others manage their own stress-related feelings, learning and adopting emotional agility to help us become more resilient and connected leaders, a MDHHS Update, the challenges and impact of social enterprise models, and the unique features of a community facing social enterprise, and effective inclusive leadership and change management strategies to help you meet the ongoing challenges we face in continuing challenging times.

Incompass Michigan members help thousands of residents all across Michigan to live, work, and play in the community. This was the 48th Leadership Conference and the first in-person event since 2019. Attendees gathered to celebrate their drives knowledge and best practice and to gain understanding of effective strategies to support individuals and families with a broad range of barriers, as well as nurture and encourage each other.

Todd Culver, President and CEO of Incompass Michigan shared his excitement, "We have an excellent program, with great networking opportunities, and an experience we hope connects you directly with the value of being a part of our association."

Lindsay Raymond is an experienced employment law attorney and business owner. You can reach her at lraymond@darlawyers.com.

 

A “Sincerely Held” Belief Not Always Enough

Analyzing Undue Hardship In Religious Accommodation And Exemption Requests

When deciding employee religious exemption requests, many employers operate under the misconception that freedom of religion is absolute in the private workplace, completely overlooking the undue hardship analysis.

The recent implementation of COVID-19 vaccine mandates, such as the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services health care worker mandate and other non-governmental company-issued mandates, has resulted in employees filing an unprecedented number of religious exemption requests.

In October 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported statistics for fiscal year 2020, showing that religious discrimination charges made up just 3.6% of all charges filed. This is in line with historic trends over the prior 20 years during which religious discrimination charges accounted for 2.4% to 4.2% of all EEOC charges.

In contrast to these trends, hospitals across the country are reporting that around 15% to 30% of their employees seek religious exemptions to mandatory vaccination, and the majority of such requests are granted. The reasons for this are nuanced, and most certainly involve considerations of potential staffing shortages.

Other reasons include that many employers, having minimal experience with the legal issues related to religious accommodations, feel overwhelmed with the sheer number of requests, and are accustomed to deciding disability accommodation requests, which are subject to a stricter standard of review.

In fact, the legal standard that employers must meet to demonstrate that a religious exemption accommodation request poses undue hardship is much less onerous than that required in a disability accommodation request.

In recognition of the quick action that would be required by employers to comply with impending vaccine mandates, on October 25, 2021, the EEOC issued new guidance to assist employers in addressing the unique legal issues raised by implementation of COVID-19 vaccine mandates, including religious exemption requests.

Based on the current, unprecedented explosion of religious exemption requests, and in recognition of the continued confusion that many employers are experiencing with this issue, the EEOC updated its guidance again on March 1, providing employers with additional information necessary to making these accommodation decisions.

Deciding a Religious Exemption Request

When deciding an employee’s request for a religious exemption from a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, the employer must first determine whether the employee asserts “sincerely held religious beliefs, observances, or practices” that conflict with the mandate. Once established, the employer may further consider whether it can provide a reasonable accommodation that does not pose undue hardship to operations.

Has Employee Stated ‘Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs, Observances or Practices?’

The sincerity of an employee’s stated religious beliefs, practices, or observances is usually not in dispute.  The employee’s sincerity in holding a religious belief is “largely a matter of individual credibility.” The definition of “religion” under Title VII protects non-traditional religious beliefs that may be unfamiliar to employers. Thus, as a general rule, an employer should assume that a request for a religious accommodation is based on sincerely held religious beliefs even if the employer is unfamiliar with the belief. Likewise, employees should not assume that their employer knows or understands their stated religious belief, and are required to cooperate with the employer when asked to explain the religious nature of their belief. Objections to vaccination that are based on social, political or personal preferences, or on non-religious concerns about the possible effects of the vaccine, do not qualify as “religious beliefs” under Title VII.

Employer Need Only Meet a ‘de minimis’ Standard to Show Undue Hardship

Requests for exemption from mandatory vaccination may be based on religious beliefs or for medical reasons, with religious exemptions accounting for the overwhelming majority of all exemption requests. Medical exemption requests, which are limited to specific medical conditions having contraindications to the COVID-19 vaccine, are analyzed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires employers to meet a strict standard of review to show that a requested accommodation poses undue hardship. When evaluating whether undue hardship exists pursuant to the ADA, an employer must demonstrate that the requested accommodation would cause the business “significant difficulty or expense.”

In comparison, the United States Supreme Court has held that an employer evaluating undue hardship for an employee seeking a religious exemption under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act need only show that it would “bear more than a de minimis, or a minimal, cost to accommodate an employee’s religious belief.”  Such “costs” are broadly defined as “not only direct monetary costs but also the burden on the conduct of the employer’s business – including, the risk of the spread of COVID-19 to other employees or to the public.” Courts have found Title VII undue hardship where “the religious accommodation would violate federal law, impair workplace safety, diminish efficiency in other jobs, or cause co-workers to carry the accommodated employee’s share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work.”

Assessing Undue Hardship

When deciding whether it can accommodate an employee’s religious exemption request, the employer should carefully analyze the employee’s specific job functions and make a case-by-case, individualized assessment, considering the particular facts of the specific situation. In so doing, the employer is required to engage in the interactive process with the employee, requesting what specific accommodation the employee is seeking, e.g. remote work, wearing an N-95 mask, required testing, etc., and asking any necessary follow-up questions.  Employers should thoroughly consider all possible reasonable accommodations, including remote work and reassignment, and may consider an alternative accommodation to the one proposed by the employee.

When assessing undue hardship, the employer should consider the particular facts of each situation and will need to demonstrate how much cost or disruption to operations the employee’s proposed accommodation would involve. “An employer cannot rely on speculative or hypothetical hardship when faced with an employee’s religious objection but, rather, should rely on objective information.”  “When an employer is assessing whether exempting employees from getting a vaccination would impair workplace safety, it may consider, for example, the type of workplace, the nature of the employees’ duties, the location in which the employees must or can perform their duties, the number of employees who are fully vaccinated, how many employees and non-employees physically enter the workplace, and the number of employees who will in fact need a particular accommodation.” With respect to this last criterion, “the employer may consider the cumulative cost or burden of granting accommodations to other employees.”  Importantly, when deciding religious requests under the health care worker vaccine mandate, CMS requires the employer to ensure that it “minimizes the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to at-risk individuals in keeping with its obligation to protect the health and safety of patients.”

Denial of Accommodation Based on Undue Hardship

When an employer denies the employee’s accommodation based on undue hardship, it should provide the employee with a detailed explanation pertaining to whether it found the employee had stated “sincerely held religious beliefs, observances, or practices,” and all of the factors it relied on when deciding that it was unable to reasonably accommodate the employee without undue hardship on its operations. Employers also have the right to discontinue a previously granted accommodation if it subsequently poses an undue hardship on the employer’s operations due to changed circumstances.

Finally, when making religious exemption decisions, an employer should consider using an exemption review committee rather than relying on individuals to make these decisions, and should confer with legal counsel when questions arise to ensure compliance with the law.

With vaccine mandates in effect for an as yet undetermined period of time, employers can best protect their business, keep their workplaces safe, and reduce potential exposure to liability by becoming knowledgeable about Title VII religious exemption legal issues.

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Janis L. Adams of Danbrook Adams Raymond PLC is an experienced employment law attorney and business owner. You can reach her at jadams@darlawyers.com

This article was featured in the April 2022 issue of the Traverse City Business News.

Reality Check

Workplace Culture Assessments an Eye-Opening Tool

Scroll through Indeed, Monster, or any other job site at the moment and you will find endless employers describing themselves as “a great place to work,” “like family” and “supportive.” When trying to attract new workers, businesses generally put their best foot forward.

However, when trying to retain and engage a talented workforce, and comply with applicable employment laws, actions often speak louder than words.

Given the current economy and expanding employment law protections, many proactive employers are completing workplace culture assessments, taking a look in the mirror and asking themselves hard questions, like “What kind of employer are we?” and “What is it honestly like to work here?”

A workplace culture assessment is a tool that offers a candid snapshot of an organization’s current work culture. The assessment is intended to evaluate the work culture from multiple perspectives, identify strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately assess how closely the actua culture tracks with the version the organization projects or intends.

The process can be reaffirming, but it can also be uncomfortable and eye-opening. The information learned can make a business stronger, help to drive change where needed, and lead to better risk mitigation strategies. However, as with any tool, employers should be fully informed when making the decision to conduct such an assessment.

Employers should consider the following when planning or conducting a workplace culture assessment:

Internal v. Third-party Assessment

The goal for the assessment is to obtain accurate information about the employer’s actual practices and culture. While a current employee may be able to conduct the assessment more economically and have a deeper understanding of the organization’s operations, employees may be too close to the source to provide an objective and unbiased assessment. Further, if the assessing employee’s duties already include managing employee satisfaction, engagement, or compliance, an inherent conflict may exist. On the other hand, a third-party assessor with proper distance should be able to provide an impartial evaluation.

Additionally, the assessor should have specific experience with employment law and compliance in order to accurately identify areas of potential risk and exposure. If legal advice and/or other privileged information will be a part of the process, the company may wish to utilize its legal counsel to conduct and/or man- age the assessment to preserve privilege where possible.

Backward- and Forward-Looking Components

The most effective workplace culture assessments generally include components that analyze not only the employer’s current work culture based on past practices, but also the employer’s vision for its work culture going forward. The goal is to equip the organization with the information it needs to bridge the gap between the two, if any.

The backward-looking component should include an analysis of whether the employer’s actions in practice have been consistent with its own representations of culture and values (i.e., what has the organization said about its own culture via its policies, statements, etc.? Does the organization follow its own policies?)

It should also ask whether the employer’s practices and policies actually foster the type of culture or behavior intended (i.e., what behaviors are rewarded or discouraged by the practices and/or policies? What traits or values are lifted up?) This part of the assessment would likely include some form of exchange with current employees about their work experiences, as well as an analysis of performance management and corrective action procedures, and related documentation.

The second component of the assessment generally relates to the employer’s vision for its work culture going forward. If the organization’s leadership does not already have a shared vision about work culture, the assessor may be able to help the company intentionally consider this vision. Based on the shared vision, a work culture assessment generally would identify steps to bridge the gap, if any, and address any potential risk and exposure related to compliance issues identified in the backward-looking component.

Commitment to Action

Employers should understand that numerous employment laws require action by an employer once the employer has knowledge of an issue (i.e. discrimination and harassment, etc.). As a workplace culture assessment may directly identify such compliance issues, employers who engage in the assessment should understand that they may be exposing themselves to obligations to take investigative and/ or corrective action as a result of the findings of the assessment. Failure to take such action after knowledge could result in willful violations of law and/or potential exposure to liability. Thus, employers choosing to start the assessment process should be fully committed to act on the results.

While workplace culture assessments can provide an employer with a valuable unfiltered, introspective view of their organization, employers should be fully prepared for what they might see in the mirror.

Employers should consult their legal counsel prior to beginning such an assessment to ensure proper procedure is followed and privileged information is protected to the extent possible.

Lindsay Raymond specializes in employment law, represents employers in all aspects of employment-related matters, and defends employers in employment litigation matters. She can be reached at (231) 714-0161 or lraymond@darlawyers.com.

This article was featured in the September 2021 issue of the Traverse City Business News.

COVID Catch-Up

Michigan Employers’ Guide to MIOSHA Emergency Rules and COVID-19 Legislation

In the past few months, Michigan businesses have been impacted by rising COVID-19 cases, MIOSHA Emergency Rules, a package of COVID-19 statutes, and MDHHS orders. More business owners and employees are being personally impacted by the virus. COVID-19 found its way into my own home when my husband was exposed at his work this past October and then passed the virus to me. Thankfully, our children never showed any symptoms. However, it would be an understatement to say it was difficult to isolate with a 3- and 6-year-old when both parents are sick. When I finally emerged from our family’s quarantine, it was clear that COVID-19 fatigue is more than just a symptom of the virus. To provide some clarity in all of the COVID-19 chaos, I have summarized some of the most recent changes and requirements for employers:

MIOSHA Emergency Rules: On Oct. 14, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) issued emergency rules related to COVID-19, to
remain in effect for at least six months (through April 14, 2021). These rules require employers to:

• Conduct exposure determinations for all job tasks and procedures
• Prepare a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan with specific components
• Implement basic infection prevention measures (including a policy prohibiting in-person work to the extent work activities can feasibly be completed remotely)
• Carry out employee health surveillance (including daily screenings)
• Implement workplace controls
• Provide training
• Maintain required records MIOSHA issued FAQs to help explain some of the requirements. Employers can find the FAQs at www.michigan.gov

Among other subjects, the FAQs clarify that employers are required to keep records of the daily screenings of all employees and visitors to the workplace. At the very least, employers must keep a log containing the names of the individuals, date, and a pass/fail indicator. Because the log may reveal confidential medical information depending on its level of detail, it should be kept confidential and shared only with those who have a legitimate need to know.

Additionally, the FAQs address the requirement to conduct a remote work feasibility analysis. This requirement has been a source of contention for many employers as the emergency rules are vague on the subject and employers fear it requires 100% remote work, which may not be sustainable for their businesses. The FAQs indicate: “It is essential that businesses have a thoughtful, reasoned policy for why work that is completed in person cannot feasibly be completed remotely ... MIOSHA will not focus on evaluating the business’ judgment of feasibility, except for cases of obvious misapplication.”

The Michigan COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director echoed this approach in a live Q&A with employers on Nov. 16, stating that MIOSHA will give “deference” to the employer’s determination of feasibility when supported by a reasoned policy.

Thus, employers should evaluate each position and determine whether remote work is feasible. Some positions may require in-person work if such physical presence is necessary to:

• Facilitate the remote work of others
• Access certain equipment, networks, and/or data that cannot be sufficiently and securely accessed from home
• Maintain the security and value of the employers’ assets
• Efficiently and reliably respond to time-sensitive business and/or customer needs
• And/or meet other operational demands, including financial sustainability

No one factor should be determinative; the totality of the circumstances should be considered.

Employers should work with their legal counsel to develop a policy that explains how the remote work feasibility analysis for job tasks and/or positions is conducted and designates which
positions and duties must be performed in-person, via a hybrid arrangement, or fully remote. The policy should be a part of the employer’s COVID-19 preparedness and response plan.

Additionally, the policy should reserve the right of the employer to modify the designations to comply with any subsequent federal, state, or local governmental orders and directives, including but not limited to MDHHS Epidemic Orders, which are now being used in place of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Orders.

COVID-19 Legislation Package:
Four new Michigan statutes designed to support Michigan businesses dealing with COVID-19 went into effect on Oct. 22. House Bill 6030 provides immunity to employers from COVID-19 claims provided the employers comply with all applicable laws, regulations, orders, and requirements relating to COVID-19 precautions.

Thus, if employers are complying with CDC guidance and all federal, state, and local required mitigation measures, they are generally protected from employee tort and personal injury lawsuits if employees are potentially or actually exposed to COVID-19, or otherwise damaged as a

Lindsay Raymond specializes in employment law, represents employers in all aspects of employment-related matters, and defends employers in employment litigation matters. She can be reached at (231) 714-0161 or lraymond@darlawyers.com.

This article was featured in the December 2020 issue of the Traverse City Business News.