Nemeth Burwell’s Raising the Bar Series Presents 2013 Labor and Employment Law Update

Detroit, Mich. —January 2, 2013 — Nemeth Burwell’s Raising the Bar, an educational series raising employer awareness of current issues in employment and labor law and offered by Detroit-based employment law firm Nemeth Burwell, P.C., will present its 2013 Labor and Employment Law Update on Wednesday, January 23, 2013.
The beginning of a new year provides the perfect opportunity to consider recent rulings and trends in employment law and a forward look at where this sector of the law is going, according to Patricia Nemeth of Nemeth Burwell.

“The re-election of President Obama has left many employers wondering what effect the election will have on the development of labor and employment policy over the next four years. Will it simply be more of the same, or can we expect any change? For example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently adopted a new strategic enforcement plan and the Department of Labor continues to pursue its five year plan for achieving wage and hour compliance. Will these agencies be encouraged to become even bolder, or will our courts keep them in check? Our presentation will address these issues and more,” said Nemeth.

Topics will include:
• Developments in discrimination law: religion, LGBT issues and the expanding reach of the EEOC
• Developments in wage and hour law: The DOL’s five year plan, investigative audits, the settlement of claims, and the U.S. Supreme Court says “No” to the DOL
• Developments in disability, family medical leave and workers compensation law: The ADAAA in court, new FMLA regulations and coordinating entitlements
• Developments in labor law: at-will provisions in jeopardy, off-duty access granted, the increasing presence of the NLRB in non-union settings, and Michigan’s new right to work law
• Legislative agenda: pending and anticipated legislation for the workplace.

Raising the Bar will be held on Wednesday, January 23rd from 8:30 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. (with one fifteen minute break) at the Troy Marriott, 200 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy 48084. Continental breakfast will be served at 8:00 a.m. The cost of the event is $60 per person and pre-registration is required. To register, e-mail Amanda Galetti or call 313-567-5921.

About Nemeth Burwell, P.C.: Nemeth Burwell (www.nemethburwell.com) specializes in employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation for private and public sector employers. It is the largest women-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.
-end-

Employers Take Note: New Michigan Law Bans Employers from Accessing Employee Social Media Sites

Detroit, Mich. —December 28, 2012 — Detroit-based employment law firm Nemeth Burwell, P.C., is encouraging employers to take note that Governor Rick Snyder signed a social media password protection bill today making it illegal for employers to request or require that employees or applicants provide log-in information for a personal social media account, like Facebook. The “Internet Privacy Protection Act” is effective immediately and applicable to employers and educational institutions.

For most employers, this new legislation will not result in any significant changes in the hiring and employment decision process. “In general, we are finding that employers are not requesting social media log-in and passwords from prospective employees or current employees,” says Patricia Nemeth of Nemeth Burwell, P.C. “Nonetheless, this is another law on the books that employers need to be aware of and comply with when making employment decisions.”

Pursuant to the Act, employers are prohibited from 1) requesting that an employee or an applicant “grant access to, allow observation of, or disclose information that allows access to or observation of the employee’s or applicant’s personal Internet account” and 2) from discharging, disciplining, failing to hire, or otherwise penalizing an employee or applicant for failing to disclose or provide access to a personal Internet account.

Employers who violate the Act are guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.00. Individuals can also bring a civil action in district court and may recover up to $1,000.00 in damages, plus reasonable attorney fees and costs. The Act includes some exceptions where an employer is permitted to ask for an employee or job applicant’s social media account information. Under the Act, an employer will continue to be able to:

• Request or require an employee to disclose log-in information for an electronic communication device paid for in whole or in part by the employer;
• Request or require an employee to disclose log-in information for “an account or service provided by the employer, obtained by virtue of the employee’s employment relationship with the employer, or used for the employer’s business purposes”;
• Discipline or discharge an employee for transferring proprietary or confidential employer information to an employee’s personal internet account without authorization;
• Conduct an investigation or require an employee to cooperate in an investigation under certain limited circumstances; and
• Implement or enforce a workplace Internet usage and/or monitoring policy

Employers may at times, be in a position where compliance with another federal or state law requires violating the Internet Privacy Protection Act. In recognition of this possibility, the Act states that employers can use their compliance with the state or federal law as an affirmative defense to claims alleged.

Several states, including California, Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, and New Jersey have enacted similar laws. Many other states have social media protection bills pending.

Employers who use social media when researching applicants or when deciding to implement employment decisions need to consider not only the new Internet Privacy Protection Act, but also employment discrimination and privacy laws that may apply.

“The issue of privacy and the Internet continues to develop with not only Michigan addressing this evolving issue, but also the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. legislature and the courts,” said Nemeth. “Employers should continue to monitor the evolving electronic privacy issues and review and implement practices and policies accordingly.”

About Nemeth Burwell, P.C.: Nemeth Burwell (www.nemethburwell.com) specializes in employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation for private and public sector employers. It is the largest women-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.
-end-

Nemeth Burwell Founding Partners Named to DBusiness Magazine’s List of Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit

Detroit, Mich. – November 19, 2012 Attorneys Patricia Nemeth and Linda Burwell, founding partners of Detroit-based employment law firm Nemeth Burwell, P.C., have been recognized by their peers as leading lawyers in DBusiness magazine’s Metro Detroit Top Lawyers List for 2013. Both Ms. Nemeth and Ms. Burwell were included in the specialty area of labor and employment law. DBusiness is Detroit’s premier monthly business journal. The Metro Detroit Top Lawyers’ list is in the magazine’s November/December 2012 issue, available on newsstands now and online here.

Patricia Nemeth specializes as a litigator, consultant, negotiator and mediator. Her areas of expertise include all aspects of traditional labor and employment litigation law, including complex employment investigations and analyses, discrimination/harassment, age, disability, sex, race, whistleblowers, wrongful discharge, union organizing activities and union issues, and multi-party lawsuits. She is a certified mediator for all types of civil litigation, including employment. Ms. Nemeth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctorate and LLM in Labor Law from Wayne State University School of Law. She is a member of the Michigan, Illinois, Federal and the United States Supreme Court Bar.

Linda Burwell specializes as a litigator, arbitrator and consultant, representing management in all aspects of labor and employment law. Her areas of expertise include wrongful discharge, discrimination, non-competition, harassment, interference with contract, equal pay, retaliation, whistleblowers, wage and hours, unfair labor practices, breach of contract, libel and slander, and invasion of privacy. She regularly counsels management on collective bargaining agreements, pre-employment, discipline, and pre-termination and post-termination matters. A nationally recognized speaker and author on employment law and risk management issues, Ms. Burwell often serves as the legal expert on panels involving employment laws. She holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Wayne State University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University. She is a member of the Michigan, Ohio, Federal, and the United States Supreme Court Bar.

About Nemeth Burwell, P.C.: Celebrating 20 years in 2012, Nemeth Burwell (www.nemethburwell.com) specializes in employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation for private and public sector employers. It is the largest women-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.

###