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Posts from November 2016.
Image related to EEOC Updates Guidance on National Origin Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued updated guidance on Nov. 21, 2016, regarding national origin discrimination for the first time since 2002. In 2015, 11 percent of all discrimination charges filed with the EEOC included allegations of national origin discrimination. The new guidance discusses Title VII’s prohibition against national origin discrimination and its application to all types of workplace settings, including hiring, firing, and discipline, in order to prevent employment discrimination on the basis of national origin.

The EEOC update reminds employers of several important employment practices. First, all foreign nationals who are legally working within the United States are protected by Title VII, regardless of their citizenship status and have standing to bring a Title VII discrimination claim. Further, national origin discrimination may also exist in the form of an “association” claim, (where an employer treats an employee less favorably because the employee associates with someone of a particular national origin) or a “perceived as” claim, (where the employer intends to treat an employee differently because of what it believes the employee’s national origin to be, even if that belief is ultimately incorrect.) For more on the EEOC guidance, click here.

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Image related to Texas Federal Court Issues Last-Minute Injunction, Blocks Changes to Overtime Rules

Just eight days before the Dec. 1, 2016, effective date, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas entered a nationwide injunction prohibiting the U.S. Department of Labor from enforcing the recent regulatory changes issued pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The DOL had previously published a proposed Notice of Rulemaking and, thereafter, a Final Rule which, as of Dec. 1, would have raised the minimum salary level for exempt employees from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $913 per week ($47,476 annually).  In addition, the Final Rule would have established an automatic updating mechanism that would have adjusted the minimum salary level every three years; the first automatic increase was scheduled to occur on Jan. 1, 2020.

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Image related to REITS May Soon be Coming to Poland

Poland’s Ministry of Finance published a draft bill which would authorize the establishment and operation of Polish Real Estate Investment Trusts (Spółki Rynku Wynajmu Nieruchomości) in Poland. At this stage, the proposal has not been officially presented as a bill to the Parliament, so the bill proposal may still undergo significant changes before becoming effective, but the main points are outlined below. For more about the draft bill, click here.

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As we explained in our March 24, 2016 alert, on March 23, 2016, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) finalized its “persuader” rule, which would have required that employers and legal consultants report all pay arrangements regarding attempts to persuade employees, either directly or indirectly, about their right to union representation or to bargain collectively. 

The rule significantly narrowed the “advice exception” to the DOL reporting requirements, which had long held that activity relating to an attorney’s drafting of letters, speeches or other communications to employees or an attorney’s legal review of employer communications was exempt from reporting. Under the new rule, any actions, conduct, or communications on behalf of an employer that could directly or indirectly persuade workers concerning their rights to organize and bargaining collectively would have been required to be reported by employers and the attorneys providing the advice.

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Image related to Miller Canfield Client Closes on Land Deal for American Center for Mobility Property at Willow Run

Miller Canfield is pleased to announce that client Willow Run Arsenal of Democracy Land Holdings Limited Partnership (WRAD) has closed on the $1.2 million land purchase for the $80 million American Center for Mobility autonomous vehicle testing facility.

According to the State of Michigan, the center will be designed for research, education, testing, standards-convening, product development, validation and self-certification and will enable the region to be a global leader in autonomous and connected vehicles.

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Image related to Miller Canfield Hires Wendy Richards to Lead, Expand Pro Bono Practice

We are thrilled to announce that Wendolyn Wrosch Richards has rejoined us at Miller Canfield in the role of Pro Bono Counsel, a new position in the firm.

“The creation of the Pro Bono Counsel position is a reflection of Miller Canfield’s serious commitment to supporting pro bono services, and our investment in the communities where we work and live,” said Miller Canfield CEO Mike McGee. “During the past year, the firm has contributed more than $1.8 million to pro bono endeavors, including the more than 5,000 hours of pro bono services our attorneys have performed. Under Wendy’s leadership, we can do even more.”

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Image related to Miller Canfield Named on U.S. News & World Report 'Best Law Firms' List

Miller Canfield is pleased to announce that the firm has again been named in the U.S. News & World Report “Best Law Firms” 2017 rankings.

Miller Canfield was recognized as a nationally tiered firm in 16 practice areas. The firm was also ranked among the highest in the metropolitan areas of Chicago, and the Michigan cities of Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Troy. In all, Miller Canfield was recognized in 130 areas. A full list of the rankings can be found here.

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