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Hertz Schram PC Legal Blog

Lawyers Join Detroit's Rising Tide of Entrepreneurial Energy

Recently, I've read a few articles about how entrepreneurship is losing its cachet among millenials. Really? I guess the authors of these articles have missed a real "boots on the ground" story in Detroit. I can attest that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and even expanding into the practice of law.

Supreme Court Decision Legalizing Same Sex Marriage Has Critical Impact on Michigan Workers and Employers

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued its 5-4 decision in Obergefell et al. V. Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, et al. pertaining to 14 same sex couples and two male same sex partners, now deceased, who challenged the constitutionality of the state laws of, Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. The Supreme Court held that the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. The Court also held that the 14th Amendment requires a State to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when that marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state.

A Dangerous Twist: Beware of Injuries Caused by Chiropractic Manipulation

A study released earlier this year by physicians at Baylor University Medical Center highlighted the risk of injury to vertebral arteries from chiropractic manipulation of the neck. The damage to the blood vessels can lead to disastrous strokes and death. This danger has been reported repeatedly in recent years by the medical profession as a means to alert both physicians and patients to the dangerous hazards frequently associated with this type of chiropractic treatment. 

Evidentiary Issues In Overtime Claims: A Cautionary Tale

A CAUTIONARY TALE: AN EMPLOYEE WHO PRESENTS NO OTHER EVIDENCE OTHER THAN HIS TESTIMONY CONTRADICTING THE EMPLOYER'S TIMESHEETS AND PAY STUBS CREATES A GENUINE ISSUE OF FACT ALLOWING THE OVERTIME CLAIM TO PROCEED TO A JURY


The Sixth Circuit's opinion in Moran v Al Basit LLC, et al, decided on June 1, 2015, provides crucial guidance to employers and employees regarding the standard of proof required to show overtime hours worked in Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") claims. Plaintiff, a mechanic, claimed that he was deprived overtime pay during the course of his employment with Defendants.

Plaintiff's sole proof of overtime was his sworn deposition testimony stating that he worked an average of 65 to 68 hours per week throughout his tenure, and that he was "required to be at work every weekday at 7:30 a.m., half an hour before the shop opened." He worked until 'the work was completed' which often meant he left work at 6:30 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. and it was not uncommon for him to work as late as 8 p.m. He provided further testimony regarding his work schedule on weekends. Plaintiff's testified that his efforts to obtain overtime payments were rejected and ultimately he was told to 'either hit the road or sty working like it is.'

Judge Edward Sosnick (Ret.) Joins Hertz Schram In Of Counsel Role

Judge Sosnick - Headshot.JPGJudge Edward Sosnick (Ret), who is Of Counsel to Hertz Schram PC, focuses his practice on Alternative Dispute Resolution, including formal and informal arbitration, mediation, and facilitation. Judge Sosnick was an Oakland County Circuit Court Judge for 24 years, during which he served in both the Civil and Family Divisions, and served two terms as Chief Judge. 

Recent Sixth Circuit Decision Expands the Scope of "Protected Activity" Under Title VII Discrimination and May Lead to a "New Breed" of Cases

In a case entitled EEOC v New Breed Logistics, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's denial of the defendant-employer's motions for judgment as a matter of law or a new trial following the jury's determination that New Breed's supervisor engaged in sexual harassment and retaliation under Title VII. During the trial, plaintiff presented evidence, that the appeals court deemed sufficient, showing New Breed's supervisors were cognizant of the sexual harassment when they terminated each employee, and that the employees' "protected activity" constituted "the but-for cause of the adverse employment actions taken against any claimant." Further, New Breed was not entitled to a new trial on the sexual harassment issue because the supervisor's harassment caused a "tangible employment action for which New Breed should be vicariously liable[.]"

Howard Hertz and Joe Bellanca Help Kick Off World IP Day

On April 23, 2015, Hertz Schram's entertainment and intellectual property team of Howard Hertz and Joe Bellanca helped kick off World IP Day celebrations in Detroit at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. This year's event was titled "Your Copy, Your Rights: Protecting Your Music" in an effort to help musicians protect their valuable creative works.

Refusal to Accommodate Telecommute Request Does Not Violate ADA...In Certain Situations

An Employer's Refusal to Accommodate an Employee's Request to Telecommute Is Not A Violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act Where Regular and Predictable On-Site Attendance Is An Essential Job Function

On April 10, 2015, an en banc panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the Eastern District of Michigan's dismissal of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) claim against Ford Motor Company (Ford).

Effective and Enforceable Noncompetition Agreements with Employees - Reasonableness is the Key

Businesses often protect their goodwill, customers, and historical and future success through requiring that key employees enter into restrictive covenant agreements that restrict the employee's activities during the employee's employment and for a period of time after the employment relationship ends. The employee is typically restricted, for example, from engaging in activities that are competitive with the business of the employer. 

Governor Signs Amendment to Michigan Expungement Statute

The Governor recently signed into law an amendment to the Michigan expungement statute which now permits convictions of two major misdemeanors or one felony even though one also has certain misdemeanor convictions to be set aside. Previously it was possible to do so if an individual had more than one conviction. The law also loosens requirements for people convicted of a low-level felony. This law is going to help give people a fresh start and avoid some of the restrictions and collateral consequences of a prior conviction as judges will have more discretion to grant expungements.