Case Results for Employment and Labor

Unpublished Court of Appeals #334917 (2017). Plaintiff was a contractual consultant who services were terminated by the Court. Plaintiff sued alleging violation of the Whistleblower Protection Act. RSJA attorneys obtained an early dismissal of this case with the argument that Plaintiff was not an employee entitled to protection under the WPA. Defendants also obtained sanctions for plaintiff’s filing of this frivolous suit. The ruling of the lower court, including the order that plaintiff pay sanctions was upheld on appeal.
Unpublished Court of Appeals #330689 (2017) Plaintiff Phillips was a City police officer who alleged religious discrimination after his employment was terminated for misconduct. After extensive discovery, the trial court found that Plaintiff did not have admissible evidence that he was terminated because of his religion. The Court found that the City had legitimate reasons for the dismissal and granted Summary Judgment. The Court of appeals affirmed.
United States District Court, Western District, Southern Division Case No. 1:14-cv-1285. When the city of Grand Rapids terminated the city clerk she sued, alleging race and gender discrimination. Because she was a political appointee the plaintiff was not entitled to Title VII protection, as RSJA successfully asserted in its motion to dismiss. Plaintiff’s discrimination claims were also dismissed because she was replaced by someone in the same protected classes.
304 Mich App 637; 848 NW2d 200 (2014) (briefed and argued): Although a law-enforcement agency, during internal-affairs investigations, may compel its officers, on penalty of discharge, to give statements on the subject of the investigation, the constitutional right against self-incrimination prohibits the use of those forced statements against the officers in later criminal proceedings brought against them. The Michigan Court of Appeals held that the statute limiting public inspection of law enforcement officers’ involuntary statements does not permit a private cause of action for monetary damages by an officer against a law enforcement agency.
USDC, Southern Division 15-12803. In this case, the federal District Court granted an early Motion to Dismiss on several of Plaintiff’s claims as a matter of law based upon immunity and because the Plaintiff did not sufficiently allege a valid basis for her claims. After discovery, the Court granted the Township’s Motion for Summary Judgment, finding that Plaintiff had no evidence of an unconstitutional custom policy or practice on the part of the Township. (2018)
Plaintiff was terminated from employment pursuant to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) after she failed to return to work at the end of an 18-month extended, long-term disability leave. Plaintiff was unable to return to work at the end of her disability leave due to neck and back pain, which was a continuation of the symptoms that originally caused her to take disability leave. The CBA provided that employees unable to return to work after a year of disability leave, plus a six-month extension, must be terminated from employment. Plaintiff sued the township and its officials, alleging that she was terminated for discriminatory reasons and in retaliation for exercising certain rights. RSJA attorneys successfully defended against alleged violations of the Worker’s Disability Compensation Act, Whistleblowers’ Protection Act, Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, and the Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act. RSJA won summary disposition in circuit court, obtaining an order dismissing all claims. We also obtained a favorable ruling in the Michigan Court of Appeals, affirming summary disposition as to all claims and all defendants.
2017 WL 2348719 (Mich Ct App, May 30, 2017). An elected official, even one who receives compensation, does not have access to the same remedies as a municipal employee, as demonstrated in this case, where an elected treasurer sued the township, alleging violation of the Michigan Whistleblower’s Protection Act. RSJA strategically chose to file an early motion for summary disposition instead of an answer to the complaint, which the court granted. RSJA also successfully defended the appeal from the circuit court judgment and secured a favorable appellate court ruling affirming the dismissal of all claims against our clients.