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Publications | September 29, 2015
3 minute read

HR Focus – News Digests – Fall 2015

NLRB Rejects Union of College Football Players

On August 17, the NLRB unanimously decided not to assert jurisdiction over the representation petition filed by Northwestern University football players. The primary basis for the decision was the nature of sports leagues, particularly where most members of the league (such as the Big Ten) are public entities over which the Board does not have jurisdiction. Asserting jurisdiction over a single school in such a league would not promote stability in labor relations, which is what the National Labor Relations Act is intended to do.  

Workers’ Compensation Reminder

The Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation Act provides employees injured on the job with three types of benefits: wage loss, reasonable and necessary medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation.  The employer (and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier) has the right to control medical treatment for twenty-eight days following the work incident. The goal is to provide quality care so the employee returns to maximum health and resumes employment.  An employer should select clinics and specialists familiar with the workplace to assist with light-duty work programs. 

Online Pilot Program for EEOC

The Detroit Field Office of the EEOC is participating in a new pilot program for online submissions in response to a Notice of Charge. The online system allows employers (or their lawyers) to elect mediation, request extensions of time, and file position statements. If you receive a Notice of Charge of Discrimination from the EEOC indicating that you are part of the pilot program, we encourage you to talk to your attorney before taking action.

Reducing the Risk of OSHA Complaints

Complaint inspections (usually triggered by an unhappy employee) conducted by the OSHA increased by three percent in FY 2014, with most of these inspections being in General Industry.  Complaint inspections now account for over one-quarter of all inspections conducted by OSHA. Here are some measures an employer can take to reduce the risk of an employee contacting OSHA: (1) ensure safety concerns reported to the employee’s supervisor are promptly addressed, (2) have an internal reporting procedure for employees to report safety concerns that are not resolved to the employee’s satisfaction, (3) have an active safety committee that includes representatives from all levels within the organization and (4) conduct safety audits that include discussions with employees. 

New Guide for Compliance with Disability Discrimination Laws

The White House has published a guide listing various resources and best practices for employers complying with disability protection laws. According to the guide, “It is designed to answer common questions raised by employers and to identify relevant resources for employers who want additional information on specific topics. The goal of this guide is to help employers implement commonsense solutions to ensure that people with disabilities, like all Americans, have the opportunity to obtain and succeed in good jobs and careers.”