Publications for Karl W. Butterer
In November 2016, I co-authored an article which discussed technologies available to employers for monitoring employee conduct, as well as some legal limitations on doing so. On the flip-side of that issue, employees may want to use technology, such as audio and video recorders on their cell phones, to record fellow employees, supervisors and events in the workplace.
As a general matter, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that an employer pay an employee the federal minimum wage plus one-and-a-half times the employee’s standard pay rate for time worked over 40 hours in a work week. The Act also creates an “agricultural exemption” from this general rule.
In the not too distant past, employers and employees had a clearer idea of what was, and was not, part of the workplace. In the past two decades, both employers and employees have blurred that distinction through changing technologies and work habits. At the same time, technological leaps have made it increasingly cheap and easy for employers to electronically monitor employee conduct. Employers must consider both the benefits and risks of electronic monitoring, and respect the legal limits on such monitoring.
A panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals has welcomed a challenge to the availability of the open and obvious defense to self-service retail stores on the theory that merchandise displays intentionally distract shoppers from hazards. In the first published appellate decision in over a year discussing the open and obvious defense, the court questioned whether the open and obvious defense applies in the retail store setting, and requested that the Court of Appeals convene a special panel of appellate judges to resolve the issue.
Townships have a state constitutional right to "reasonable control" over roads. Townships also have the statutory right to adopt truck route ordinances. What happens if one township’s truck route ordinance effectively pushes commercial traffic into a neighboring township?
The Michigan Court of Appeals has issued recent opinions on the "motor vehicle exception" to governmental immunity. These cases will be of interest to any municipality that owns vehicles.
Changes in Technology and the Law Require Some Employers to Revise Internet and Social Media Policies.
A selection of new cases, legislation, and regulations from the last quarter which may affect Michigan's road commissions both as governmental entities and as employers.
The Michigan Supreme Court issued an opinion which will make it more difficult for employers to defeat whistleblower claims before trial. Debano-Griffin v Lake County and Lake County Board of Commissioners.
The United States Supreme Court is poised to make a decision that may affect how the federal courts treat Michigan employers sued for violations of Title VII, the federal law that prohibits race and gender discrimination and harassment.
An overview of important legislation, issues, and cases from 2012 that affect Michigan county road commissions.
Effective on March 28, 2013, 2012 PA 529 amends the Motor Vehicle Code to state that an authorized agent of a county road commission (e.g. a weigh master) may act as a police officer.
The Court of Appeals has held that a no-fault insurer was not required to reimburse its insured for medical expenses the insured repaid to his health care insurer out of the proceeds of a tort settlement.