As of September 2017, Steven Schwartz merged his firm, Steven H. Schwartz & Associates, P.L.C. with Keller Thoma, P.C. and became a partner in that firm.  Mr. Schwartz continues his practice as an employment and labor relations attorney, and as an arbitrator.  For further information, please go to the Keller Thoma website.

Steven H. Schwartz & Associates to Become “Of Counsel” to Keller Thoma

Keller Thoma, P.C. and Steven H. Schwartz & Associates are happy to announce that they have formed an “Of Counsel” relationship, effective July 1, 2015.  Steven H. Schwartz and Associates and Keller Thoma are both leaders in the representation of public and private sector employers in labor relations and employment matters.  This new arrangement will […]

Award for Retroactive Grievance Arbitration

Court of Appeals rules on retroactive grievance arbitration The Court of Appeals ruled that an Act 312 arbitration panel may issue an Award for retroactive grievance arbitration. In Ottawa County v Police Officers Association of Michigan (“POAM”), the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that an Act 312 Arbitration Panel’s adoption of the POAM’s proposal for […]

Making Arbitration Work

The takeaway A detailed arbitration agreement defines the arbitrator’s authority is the best way to ensure a fair, expeditious process. Benefits of arbitration In the mid-1990’s, alternative dispute resolution, particularly arbitration, was considered by many plaintiff and defense attorneys to be the answer to costly, lengthy litigation. Courts embraced the concept of arbitration and found […]

Covenants Not to Compete

Employers frequently require employees to enter into agreements limiting the employee’s ability to work for a competitor or to operate a competing business within a certain amount of time after departing the employer’s business. Following the Michigan Antitrust Reform Act (“MARA”), Michigan courts enforce non-compete agreements that they find to be reasonable. The MARA requires […]

DOL Issues Final Rule on FMLA Regulations

In 2008, the Department of Labor (DOL) published its final rule to implement amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides new military family leave entitlements and to update the regulations under the 15 year-old FMLA. The following are highlights of the regulations. A. Military Family Leave:  Section 585(a) of the NDAA […]

Amendments to the FMLA – Military

Amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act provide (1) up to six months of leave for family members caring for military veterans injured while on active duty in the Armed Forces and (2) 12 weeks of leave to family members of armed services personnel called up to active duty under certain circumstances. The amendments […]

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”)

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”) became effective November 21, 2009. GINA broadly prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information in employment and health insurance. GINA also amended the Fair Labor Standards Act concerning child labor, increasing penalties for such violations. GINA likewise amends existing statutes, including Title VII of the Civil […]

Five Things to Look for in Your Next Employment Contract

Employees often view the terms of their employment only in dollars and cents. While getting the highest compensation for what you bring to the table in knowledge, skills and ability is important, often the terms of the employment agreement may add to the value of an offer or, conversely, make it less appealing or even […]

Michigan Codifies Garrity Rights for Law Enforcement Officers

On December 29, 2006, Michigan enacted M.C.L. 15.391, codifying the protection of involuntary statements made by law enforcement officers. Such protection has been in place since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Garrity v. State of N.J., 385 U.S. 493 (1967). In Garrity, the Court ruled that public sector employees are in fact under duress and […]

Free Speech in Public Sector Employment

Free speech: Is a public employee’s speech protected if it is not related to a matter of public concern? When should a public employer take action? Free speech: Implications for public sector employers On May 30, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, modified free speech in public sector employment by ruling that […]