Estate Planning for Cops: A Call to Action

Police officers are out there risking their lives every day to protect the public. Yet many do not have wills or other estate planning documents in place to protect themselves and their families. Click the article below to find out more. If you or someone you love works in public safety, don’t be afraid to start this conversation.

Estate Planning for Cops

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2019 edition of Michigan Police Chiefs magazine, an official publication of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. Click here to view the full magazine.

Too Good to be True? Common Pitfalls in Commercial Real Estate Purchases

For business owners, expanding or moving operations can be fraught with a variety of costs and commissions. In the interest of saving money in the short term, it may be tempting to forego hiring an attorney to advise on the transaction. But don’t give in; hiring an attorney just might save you money in the long run. Whether you go with legal counsel or not, keep an eye out for these pitfalls.

(more…)

IRS Gives the O.K. to Offer Lump-Sum Pension Buyouts

Employers and retirees should check with their trusted advisors to determine whether a lump-sum pension buyout would be advantageous.

(more…)

Maintaining a Drug-Free Workplace

In 1988, Congress passed the Drug Free Workplace Act, which requires organizations that are awarded federal grants and contracts to establish certain drug-related policies. With the recent legalization or marijuana in Michigan, it is a good time to review those requirements. Although legal in Michigan, marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

(more…)

New Overtime Rules (…Again?)

The US Department of Labor is proposing a new rule to raise the salary threshold for overtime exemption, which would have a significant impact on employers’ budgets and employees’ salaries.

(more…)

Employment & Religion: The Basics

A 60-year-old woman made news headlines in January when she was awarded $21 million dollars by a Florida jury because her employer refused to accommodate her Catholic missionary work. The employee, Marie Jean Pierre, needed Sundays off in accordance with her religious beliefs, and for years, the company accommodated her. When the company began scheduling Pierre for Sundays, she adapted by voluntarily switching shifts with other workers. However, Pierre’s boss finally ordered her to work a Sunday, and when Pierre refused, he fired her.

(more…)

Inaugural Blog

Hello and Welcome!

With this first post, I simply want to lay out what you can expect to see from me.

As a labor and employment attorney, I focus on all aspects of workplace relationships. This may include unionized workplaces as well as non-union shops.

From the standpoint of an employer, it’s so important to structure policies, practices, and contracts in a way that increases operational efficiency and also manages risk exposure for employment practices. Once a lawsuit or an administrative charge hits, then it’s time to consider a range of dispute resolution options.

It is equally important for an employee to understand his or her role in the workplace, including the rights and responsibilities that he or she has. This all starts pre-employment. Many employees don’t have negotiated contracts, and that’s okay. But it’s still crucial for employees to know what’s on the line if things go south.

I write about labor and employment and business law issues that are relevant to current events and trends that I’m seeing. Please, if you have any general questions or comments or topic suggestions, I’m happy to discuss!

Enjoy!

Brandon M. Grysko

Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity in the Workplace

Does federal or state law prohibit employment decisions based on an employee’s sexual orientation? How about gender identity?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination against an individual “because of such individual’s . . . sex.” But many courts disagree as to what the law means. In fact, most courts still hold that gender identity and sexual orientation are not protected under Title VII. However, employers should be on the lookout for a possible policy shift.

(more…)