Michigan’s One Fair Wage Proposal Becomes a Public Act –– What This Means For Michigan Workers…

Michigan-fair-wage-attorney

Michigan-fair-wage-attorney

For starters, we hope the title didn’t give off the wrong impression –– this should definitely be seen as a good thing.

All over the country, Americans have been fighting to be paid a fair wage within their respective states and, they have a right to do so. I mean, after all, cost of living in individual states keeps rising and it isn’t keeping up with the minimum wage standard in the United States. Just to give you a peek, this list cultivated based off of the 2017 Annual Average Cost of Living Index ranked states like Hawaii, New York, Alaska, and Oregon as some of the top 10 states that are expensive to live in (thankfully, Michigan didn’t make the list).

So, it’s only fair that, to offset these costs, states provide their residents with liveable wages, right? Certainly, and Michigan has made some bold moves towards doing just that –– with the passing of the Michigan One Fair Wage.

The Michigan One Fair Wage proposal, as so duly noted on its official support site, seeks to raise the minimum wage to $12 by the year 2022 which would include servers, bartenders, and and whomever else works for below the minimum wage plus tips. According to their site, they feel that “All working people should get the guarantee of a minimum wage that allows them to make ends meet and increases their spending power. When working people make more money, they spend it locally, which helps drive the economy forward.”

Thankfully, the proposed bill, Senate Bill 1171, became a public act last year in December which will start raising the minimum wage starting in April of this year. Right now, the current minimum wage in Michigan is $9.25 and will increase to $9.45 in April of this year. By 2030, the minimum wage will be up to $12.05. For tipped wage, it is currently at $3.52 and will increase to $3.59 in April.

Obtaining Legal Counsel for Your Wages Case

Now, surely, this isn’t the icing on the cake when it comes to minimum wage and more should be done by legislation not only in Michigan but all across the country to ensure that citizens are able to take care of themselves and their families by getting paid a fair wage. That aside, this doesn’t mean that discrimination and injustice will not cease in the workplace.

If you have suffered an injustice, been discriminated against, had your wages withheld, or have a wage-related grievance with your current job, don’t wait around and try to resolve it on your own. Call Marko Law and we will be more than happy to handle the situation. We are certainly not intimidated by business owners, big or small, let alone the court system –– our domain. We take care of our clients and do our best to get the best possible result for your case.

 

Advertisements

Don’t Be A Bully! New Michigan Law Makes Cyberbullying Illegal

personal-injury-cyberbullying-michigan-attorney

personal-injury-cyberbullying-michigan-attorney

Prior to leaving the office in December 2018, former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder passed into law a new measure, known as House Bill 5017, that will make cyberbullying illegal starting in March of this year.  

According to Public Act 457, cyberbullying includes “posting a message or statement in a public media forum about any other person if…the message or statement is intended to place a person in fear of bodily harm or death and expresses an intent to commit violence against the person…The message or statement is posted with the intent to communicate a threat or with knowledge that it will be viewed as a threat.”

Those who violate this law can experience fines up to $10,000 and jail time of up to 10 years depending on the severity of the bullying.

According to Bullying Statistics:

  1. Over half of teens have been bullied online and about the same number have engaged in cyberbullying.
  2. Girls are more likely to be cyberbullied than boys.
  3. Victims of cyberbullying are more likely to experience low self-esteem and commit suicide.
  4. Over half of teens don’t tell their parents about cyberbullying.

Preventing Cyberbullying

As parents (and good friends), there are ways that we can prevent our children (and ourselves) from becoming victims of cyberbullying. How? By following some of these guidelines like:

  • Make sure that you talk to your children about cyberbullying and explain to them the impact it can have on others and the consequences of engaging in cyberbullying. Tell them what behavior is and isn’t allowed and expectations that you have.
  • Encourage them to open up if they have been victimized by a cyberbully and that they will not be punished and that it is not ok.
  • Teach them not to share information, messages, pictures, or videos on social media, to friends, strangers, etc. that they would otherwise not want to have go public and not to trust anyone other than their parents with sensitive information like passwords, phone numbers, or email addresses.  

What To Do If You Are A Victim of Cyberbullying

Not all crime victims experience physical trauma. Some, like in personal injury cases (i.e., cyberbullying), victims can experience psychological trauma as well. Aside from contacting a lawyer, here is what you should do if you or your loved one is a victim of a cyberbully.

You should keep any and all messages that were exchanged between you and the cyberbully(s) to use as proof that the cyberbullying occurred. This can usually be done via screenshots from your phone or computer. These can be given to police and to your lawyer to help with your case especially if they are violent or sexual in nature.

If you or a loved one are a victim of cyberbullying, you need to wait no longer and contact a personal injury attorney who has experience with these kinds of cases. You need a lawyer who will fight for your rights and who will not be intimidated by your harassers or the Michigan court system. At Marko Law, we understand our clients and do our best to achieve the best possible results for our clients’ cases. Give us a call today and schedule your free consultation.  

 

New Bills Could Change How Michigan’s Law Enforcement Seize Civil Property

civil-rights-michigan-attorney

civil-rights-michigan-attorney

We are sure that everyone here is well aware of the Fourth Amendment and how it works regarding search and seizure of a citizen’s home and property.

However, in our great state of Michigan, police are allowed to sometimes seize property for a person even without a charge placed against them or a judge formally registering a conviction against them.

But, some new bills being introduced by the House are trying to set in motion some changes to this long-standing controversial issue in Michigan –– with House bills 4001 and 4002.

 

  • Bill 4001 –  will require a criminal conviction to be conducted prior to law enforcement proceeding with any criminal procedure, forfeiture, or asset forfeiture.
  • Bill 4002 –  “To establish procedures, deadlines, burden of proof requirements for civil asset forfeiture legal proceedings in which a government agency (usually police) seek to take ownership of property that has been seized because it is suspected of being the proceeds or an “instrumentality” of a suspected drug-related crime. Among other things the bill establishes procedures allowing an innocent person who has an ownership interest in the suspected property (like the issuer of a vehicle loan) to get the property returned.”

Back in 2017, it was reported by state law enforcement agencies that $13.1 million of property and cash were confiscated from citizens through means of civil asset forfeiture. However, in some of those cases, either they were found not guilty and still had to forfeit over their property or in others, charges were never filed against them.

While some deeply support this move by the Legislature, it can be agreed that it should be tweaked. While this would still allow law enforcement the ability to seize property through probable cause, they must obtain a criminal conviction prior to selling or using the forfeited property.

Hiring A Motivated, Experienced Attorney for Your Civil Case

It can be agreed that this bill will certainly provide some added protections for citizens’ civil liberties, however, this isn’t the end of the story. While the Legislature does their best to implement laws to protect Michigan citizens, they are not completely safe from the downsides of the law –– which is where we come in.

When your civil rights have been violated and you have endured police misconduct, you need to contact a civil lawyer who is not intimidated by Michigan law enforcement or the court system. At Marko Law, we are reliable, professional, experienced, and motivated to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome from your case. We value all of our clients and do our best to sympathize with their situations. After all, everyone should be able to enjoy their civil rights without persecution or wrongdoing on the part of others. So, give us a call today and schedule your free consultation.

 

Ride A Bicycle? Now You Have 3 Feet of Space While Riding On The Road in Michigan!

bicycle-accident-michigan-lawyer

bicycle-accident-michigan-lawyer

How do you get around during your busy day?

Do you bike? Drive? Walk?

Well, if you are one of many who prefer biking, whether you simply enjoy the fresh Michigan air, are going eco-friendly, or for any other reason, there is now a new law that protects bicyclists from getting hit by an driver while biking down the road on your way to work.

“Give’em Three Feet”

Have you ever taken a look at the road and noticed those very small lanes with the bicycle symbol on them? Those lanes are designated just for bicyclists who are using the same road as you.

However, despite this clear cut direction for drivers on the road, there are risks that bicyclists have to deal with which can lead to accidents which then can cause injuries and death. Since 2007, bicycle fatalities have gone up 133% (wow!) and in 2016, there were a reported 1,988 bicyclists who were involved in car accidents which resulted in 42 deaths.

Why?

For a number of reasons. It could be a distraction (from either party) or, as the report also dictates, that the motorist was attempting to pass the bicyclist while they were going in the same direction.

Until this year, Michigan was a party to 10 other states who didn’t have a law that gave bicyclists a piece of mind while riding on the road alongside motorists. But now, they have joined the rest of the United States with this new 3 feet rule.

As of September 27, Michigan law now requires that, “…motorists overtaking bicyclists traveling in the same direction to pass with at least three feet of distance to the left of bicycle. If it is not possible to give three feet of space, passing must be done at a safe distance and speed.”

As well, when taking the driver’s education course in Michigan, motorists are now required to take at least 1 hour of instruction as it relates to bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.

So, if a motorist doesn’t follow this law, what happens?

According to a strategist from the Office of Highway Safety and Planning, drivers can be given points on their license, 3 points to be exact, and a fine (which varies from county to county.)

Avoid Added Stress With A Zealous Bicycle Accident Lawyer

No matter what vehicle you decide to use during your daily routine, you should be able to feel safe while on the road. However, regardless of how safe we act, there is always that one person (whether they are distracted, intoxicated, etc) that will make a mistake that could cause an accident, despite what laws might be in place.

If you do find yourself in a bicycle accident, it can be stressful, painful, and an experience that you will take for the rest of your life. It can put you out of work, leave you with mounting medical bills, and a fear of ever getting back on the bike again. Get some piece of mind and allow us to take some of the burden off your back by calling Marko Law. Our bicycle accident attorneys will fight for your rights and get you the best possible outcome for your case. Set up your consultation with us today!

Employer Persecution of the Plus-Sized: How Michigan Law Protects Against Weight Discrimination in the Workplace

work-discrimination-michigan-lawyer

work-discrimination-michigan-lawyer

We are sure that everyone is at least partly familiar with the fact that employers are not allowed to discriminate against their employees based on certain factors like age, sex, or race.

But what about if you are overweight?

Yep, you got it. Both height and weight are covered underneath the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, MCL 37.2202 which clearly states that no employer can refuse to hire, let go, fire, etc. any employee, “with respect to employment, compensation, or a term, condition, or privilege of employment, because of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, or marital status.”

Now, you might be asking –– do people really get fired if they gain a little weight or if they are overweight?

In actuality, yes, there have been many cases of employees (more specifically women) who have been fired or were denied employment simply because they were plus-sized. This is why back in 1976, the weight category was added to the act to safeguard employees against this form of discrimination.

For example, back in 2010, there was a case where a Hooters waitress was told that she either had to lose weight or face termination by her boss (even though she was a healthy weight for her height). As a result, she made a claim under the ELCRA.

The Ambiguity of Weight Discrimination Cases

However, most employment discrimination cases (including those involving weight) are not always so black and white. Some courts might be unlikely to conflict with an employer’s decision or they might decide that a employer’s decision is legal.

Why?

Either they don’t want to interfere with any regulations or policies already put in place when it pertains to appearance or grooming OR they feel that the employer had a valid reason (like that the employee’s physical fitness level is a job requirement.)

Like with Harris v. Hutcheson.

A dental hygienist was terminated from the dental practice she worked at. She filed a lawsuit claiming that the owner of the practice discriminated against her weight by constantly making remarks about her diet, her “waddling down the hall”, and her gym habits.

Come to find out, she was fired because of disagreements regarding patient care between her and another dentist (Dr. Dyras.) It was argued that the remarks about weight were a motivating factor, however, she had been employed at the practice for 22 years and (honestly) no reasonable employer would suddenly fire because of weight issues.

Hiring The Best For Your Discrimination Lawsuit

Michigan discrimination cases are never easy and it can be difficult to know whether or not you have a strong case to bring to the table. At Marko Law, we are not intimidated by the courts or sketchy employers –– we will make sure to be thorough and provide you with the best possible result for your case.

You need an employment discrimination attorney who is not only client-focused but also driven by results. Forget the billboard lawyers and give us a call instead.