“PS” To February’s Wages and Fringe Benefits Act Article

By: Claudia D. Orr

In February I wrote an article entitled “Michigan Appellate Court Calls for a Conflict Panel to Decide Issue under Michigan Wages and Fringe Benefits Act (“WFBA”).  I was pretty excited that, in Ramos v Intercare Community Health Network, the Court of Appeals not only issued a published opinion concerning the WFBA, but had called for a special conflict panel to decide whether the prior holding in Reo v Lane Bryant, Inc, 211 Mich App 364 (1995), should be overturned.

In Reo, the Court of Appeals had examined whether an employee had the right to be free of retaliation/discrimination where the employee had exercised a right on the act on his own behalf. The Reo court held that the “employee must be exercising a right afforded by the act on behalf of another employee or other person.  Simply exercising a right on one’s own behalf would not bring an employee within the purview of [MCL 408.483].”  The majority in Ramos disagreed with that holding, but was bound to follow the precedent.

The Ramos court’s request for a special panel to revisit the holding in Reo was summarily denied by an order of the Court of Appeals on February 21, 2018.  I am now slightly less excited about the Ramos opinion, but it is still a treat to have a published opinion addressing a Michigan wage law.

This article was written by Claudia D. Orr, who is Secretary of the Board of Detroit SHRM, a member of the Legal Affairs Committee, and an experienced labor/employment attorney at the Detroit office of Plunkett Cooney (a full service law firm and resource partner of Detroit SHRM).  She can be reached at corr@plunkettcooney.com or at (313) 983-4863. For further information go to: http://www.plunkettcooney.com/people-105.html.

Detroit SHRM encourages members to share these articles with others, inside and outside their organization, as long as its name and logo, and the author’s information, is included in the re-post of the article. March 2018.