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Northville Legal Issues Blog

Potential Eel Farm Could Threaten Great Lakes

Paul Bohn, Esq.

Ben Tigay, Esq.

The African longfin eel could be coming to Michigan. A Florida-based firm plans to establish an aquaculture project to commercially raise the African longfin eel in St. Johns, Michigan. But this project could lead to the release of dangerous pathogens or diseases into the Great Lakes.

Consider Hiring for These Skills in 2019

Brandon Grysko, Esq.

From an employer's perspective, it is important to track what skills are "trending" in the job market. A savvy employer will use the information to train and reward current employees and to screen and recruit new applicants.

Employers Aren't Allowing Marijuana Use

Brandon Grysko, Esq.

Although the law allows individuals to use marijuana recreationally, employers are not afraid to enforce their rights under the marijuana law. For example, Lansing's largest employers won't allow marijuana use. Recall that the law allows an employer to enforce its workplace drug policies. For many employers, that means zero tolerance.

Stakeholders Should Share the Cost of Shortfalls in Multiemployer Pension Plans

Brandon Grysko, Esq.

Some multiemployer pension plans are in serious trouble. According to a recent article, as many as 121 pension plans are in critical status. According to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), there are around 1,400 total multiemployer pension plans, meaning that around 8-9% of multiemployer plans are in trouble. Although the PBGC was created by federal law to insure pension plans in the event of a fund failure, the PBGC itself is slotted to run out of money by the year 2025.

Michigan Teacher Union Loses Big Since Right-to-Work

Brandon Grysko, Esq.

The Michigan Education Association (MEA), the state's largest teachers union, has lost 28% of its membership since right-to-work was passed in Michigan six years ago. At least one bargaining unit, the Roscommon Teachers Association, left the MEA entirely to go it alone as an independent union. According to Jim Perialas, President of the Roscommon Teachers Association, the MEA was "mean and nasty" towards those that opted out under the right-to-work law. Perialas felt that the MEA should have worked harder to win members back, rather than using bullying and strong-arm tactics to reign in the defectors.

Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity in the Workplace

Brandon Grysko

Does federal 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.

What You Need to Know About Recreational Marijuana in Michigan

Mark Mandell, Esq.

Michigan became the 10th state to allow recreational marijuana. However, it isn't quite legal yet. The popular recreational drug will become fully legal for consumption 10 days after the election results are ratified. Marijuana won't be commercially available for sales until around early 2020, as Michigan must still approve regulations and issue licenses to potential sellers.

Vegetation Removal Act Would Give Environmental Control to Developers Over Communities

Brandon Grysko, Esq.

The vegetation removal preemption act ("Lame Duck" Senate Bill 1188 of 2018), if passed, would take environmental control away from local communities. At the moment, most developed communities have ordinances that "speak for the trees" when a developer comes in looking to clear them out. Communities have strong interests in protecting their trees. Tree-rich areas serve as much-needed habitats for animals and also purify air and stormwater and maintain the aesthetic quality of a community, among other benefits.

Thanksgiving Eve Launches Dangerous DUI Season

Brandon Grysko, Esq.

Mark Mandell, Esq.

Drinksgiving. Black Out Wednesday. Thanksgiving Eve has been given a number of names in recent years as a result of what the "holiday" has come to represent.

Because many individuals, including college students who can now legally drink, return to their hometown for the Thanksgiving Holiday, Drinksgiving has now turned into one of the biggest bar nights of the year; surpassing New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day in some areas.

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