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Image related to Miller Canfield Announces Richard J. Seryak Pro Bono Award Winners

Announcing the winners of the prestigious 2017 Richard J. Seryak Award in recognition of pro bono service: Cara Houck and Kimberly Scott. 

The annual award was first given in 2015, in memory of Richard Seryak, who during his 40-year legal career at Miller Canfield exemplified the standard of pro bono service. Seryak’s widow Dr. Helene Dombrowski and children Elizabeth Seryak and Dr. Kaitlin Seryak established the award to recognize attorneys who continue Richard Seryak’s legacy. The Seryak family provides a stipend for the award winner to donate to the legal service organization of his or her choice.

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Image related to Sarah Hartman Joins Miller Canfield’s Kalamazoo Office

We are pleased to announce that Sarah Hartman has joined the firm as a senior attorney in the Employment and Labor Group in Kalamazoo. 

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Image related to Michelle Crockett Named a Leadership Oakland 2018 Leader of Leaders

Three outstanding regional leaders will be recognized at the 13th Annual Taste of Leadership Oakland event on March 22, 2018. Each year, Leadership Oakland honors alumni who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in each of the organization’s areas of focus – personal, professional and public leadership. We are thrilled to announce that our Hiring and Diversity Chair Michelle Crockett is included in this year's honorees. 

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Image related to Miller Canfield’s Kimberly Scott Named a Leader in the Law

Kimberly Scott has been named in Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s Leaders in the Law Class of 2018.

Scott, a principal attorney in the firm’s Ann Arbor, Michigan, office, is known for her work in complex and “bet-the-company” litigation that present unique challenges, such as novel issues or procedure of law. For the past year, she has also become known as one of the attorneys who was named as class counsel in the widely publicized Hamama v. Adducci. Scott is working on the pro bono case with the ACLU of Michigan, representing more than 200 Iraqi nationals who had been ordered to be deported without a hearing. The case is the first in a series of recent putative class actions nationwide urging federal courts to allow time for individual immigration hearings in light of changed conditions in the immigrants’ home countries.

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Image related to Miller Canfield Client Flushing Community Schools Closes on P3 Solar Power Project

We are excited to announce that our client Flushing Community Schools has closed on a public-private partnership (P3) project that will provide the school district with significant savings while making a long-term commitment to renewable energy to power school district buildings.

In a first-of-its-kind transaction in Michigan, Standard Solar will design, build, finance, operate and maintain eight solar arrays on-site at seven schools within the school district. The school district will then purchase the renewable energy generated on-site at a reduced rate from Standard Solar, estimated to save the school district $45,000 annually.

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Image related to DOL Endorses 'Primary Beneficiary' Test for Determining Whether Interns Qualify as Employees

The Department of Labor ("DOL") has formally endorsed a test used by several appellate courts in order to determine if an intern qualifies as an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), resolving the ambiguity between the DOL's enforcement position and the standards applied by the courts when reviewing claims for wages and overtime by individuals classified as interns.

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Image related to A New Year’s Toast to Colleagues

The legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once said, “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

His quote came to mind during the past few weeks as I have been taking stock of the past year and looking forward to 2018. In particular, I have been thinking about my colleagues who have been recognized for doing the kind of excellent work they always do. They don’t expect any fanfare or special recognition, but the kudos started coming in the form of awards and rankings for individual lawyers, teams and the firm.

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Image related to Moving the World

“If you move here, you move the world.”

That is the message in Detroit’s bid to attract Amazon to the vibrant city that has been our headquarters for 165 years. And we wholeheartedly agree.

We understand the appeal for those who want to come to Detroit and to all of the downtowns we call home. In fact, the appeal is so strong that we never left. We welcome the wave of new businesses that have opened in Detroit in recent years, and are excited to continue our relationship with the city that has always been our home and has shaped who we are as a firm.

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Image related to EEOC Launching Respect in the Workplace Training Programs

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that it will launch two new training programs: Leading for Respect (for supervisors) and Respect in the Workplace (for all employees). The EEOC is offering these programs as an alternative to harassment prevention; the training will be conducted by EEOC Training Institute staff.

According to the EEOC, the programs will focus on respect, acceptable workplace conduct, and the types of behaviors that contribute to a respectful and inclusive workplace. The Commission also noted that the programs are customizable for different types of workplaces and include a section for reviewing the employers’ own harassment prevention policies and procedures.

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Image related to DOJ Says Title VII Does Not Prohibit Gender Identity Discrimination

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in a letter to all U.S. attorneys and the heads of all federal agencies, had advised that while Title VII provides various protections to transgender individuals, it “does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity per se, including transgender status.” Sessions noted: “The sole issue addressed in this memorandum is what conduct Title VII prohibits by its terms, not what conduct should be prohibited by statute, regulation, or employer action. As a law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice must interpret Title VII as written by Congress.”

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