Free tools + Join the new membership: MWC + WELCOA


By: Michigan Wellness Council



two is better than one!

MWC members can now receive access to WELCOA tools and resources!

Michigan Wellness Council is excited to offer an opportunity to our members where you have access to leading national resources and tools through WELCOA and continue to receive discounted access to our regional events. We hope that the combined membership will allow you to enhance your work in the workplace wellbeing field and engage with practitioners on both a national and regional level.

Our mission at MWC is to continue to look for ways to inspire implementation of leading workplace wellness strategies through thought-leadership and education. Our partnering with WELCOA is another way to fulfill our goals and have an impact in our communities. And by Joining both WELCOA + Michigan Wellness Council you will save… A combined WELCOA + MWC memberships is $400. Already a WELCOA member? Add MWC membership for $75. Already a MWC member? Add the WELCOA membership for $325. We hope you take advantage of this great opportunity!

New to WELCOA? They offer more than 40 training and certification courses included in the cost of membership, and hundreds of resources aimed at improving your worksite wellness outcomes. As a way to get to know the WELCOA’s resources, we are excited to be able to make available to share a tool to use as a guide to consider compliance issues. (WELCOA members have monthly access to a legal webinar to hear the latest news on compliance, and to ask questions of a legal expert.)

Become a member today to further develop and celebrate your organization as a healthy place to work. Start today by taking advantage of another resource – WELCOA’s Checklist by clicking here .The Checklist is a 150-item organization-facing assessment which measures the extent to which an organization is following WELCOA’s 7 Benchmarks. Upon completion,  customized reporting is provided with recommendations and links to the corresponding WELCOA resource.


Save the date: Check out our 2019 Calendar

Scholarship: Students apply for the Fred Zimmer Memorial Worksite Wellness Scholarship by Feb 1st

WellBites Podcast: “Top 50 Podcasts Every HR Professional Should Be Listening To”!

Enjoy your day!
Contact: Rita Patel, Executive Director

Michigan Wellness Council Premier Sponsors

Early Christmas Present for Michigan Employers: Earned Sick Time Act Overhauled and Wage Hike Delayed


By: Miriam L. Rosen


Early Christmas Present for Michigan Employers:
Earned Sick Time Act Overhauled and Wage Hike Delayed


The Michigan legislature just gave employers an early Christmas present by scaling back on the terms of broadly-worded minimum wage and earned sick time laws that started out as citizen-initiated ballot proposals.

When the Michigan legislature adopted the minimum wage increase and earned sick time proposals in September 2018, the intent was to keep both provisions off the November ballot.  By adopting the proposals “as is”  before putting them to a popular vote, the legislature hoped to preserve the opportunity to amend the terms of both acts by simple majority votes during the post-election lame-duck session.  In contrast, if the provisions had passed by popular vote in November, a 75% vote by the legislature would have been required to amend the provisions.

As originally passed in September, the acts would have raised the minimum wage to $12 by 2022 and would have given many full time employees the opportunity to use up to 72 hours of paid sick time a year.

The Amended Terms

The amended bills, passed by the Michigan legislature on December 4, 2018, significantly scale back on the timing of the original minimum wage increase and the scope of the earned sick time law.

The amended minimum wage bill gradually increases the state’s $9.25 minimum wage to $12.05 an hour by 2030 as opposed to $12 by 2022.   As a first step, the minimum wage would increase to $9.45 in 2019.

The legislature also took a machete to the Earned Sick Time Act.  As originally passed in September, the broadly-worded law allowed for paid time off for sickness as well as a host of other reasons. The law, which encompassed employers with as few as 11 employees in the requirement to provide up to 72 hours of paid sick time annually, also included other provisions that would have made administration difficult for employers.

As amended, sick time law now excludes employers with under 50 employees.  In addition, under the amended law, employees working 35 hours per week can earn up to 40 hours of paid leave per year, instead of the 72 hours in the original act.  In terms of administering the law, the amended act now requires that employees comply with an employer’s “usual and customary notice, procedural, and documentation requirements for requesting leave.”  The Earned Sick Time Act includes many other provisions with which employers will want to familiarize themselves.

The two amendments will now go to Governor Snyder for his signature.  If signed, the new acts will be effective 91 days after adjournment of the 2018 legislative session, which will make them effective at the end of March 2019.  

 There will be Challenges

The amendments by the lame duck legislature are sure to face challenges.  In a legal opinion issued on Monday, December 4, 2018, outgoing Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette advised that the state constitution requires a 75% vote in both chambers to change voter-approved laws, but that it imposes no “express limitations” on amending citizen-initiated laws passed by the legislature.

Democratic legislators are, however, crying foul.  They note that a 1964 opinion by a Democratic attorney general determined that changes cannot be made in the same legislative session in which the law was passed.  And, advocates for paid sick time have already promised another ballot initiative in 2020 to restore the original terms.

All of this means that these “gifts” will likely come with some headaches for employers.  Employers should consult with their employment lawyers about the status of the amended legislation and for advice for implementation.

This article was written by Miriam L. Rosen, who is Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee of Detroit SHRM and Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group in the Bloomfield Hills office of McDonald Hopkins PLC, a full service law firm. She can be reached at or at (248) 220-1342.

 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. December 2018.

American Society of Employers (ASE) Releases Preliminary Results to its Drug Testing and Marijuana Legalization Survey


By: American Society of Employers

American Society of Employers (ASE) Releases Preliminary Results to its Drug Testing and Marijuana Legalization Survey – Employers are Confident in Responding to New Marijuana Law

Media Contact: Heather Nezich, Communications Manager, ASE, 248.223.8040,

Livonia, Mich. —November 26, 2018 — The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, has released a new survey around the legalization of Marijuana in Michigan – its Drug Testing and Marijuana Legalization Survey.  The survey results were released by ASE President & CEO, Mary E. Corrado.

 “ASE has reacted swiftly to this new law with this survey as well as several briefings for our members,” stated Corrado.  “We don’t expect employers to make any sweeping changes to their drug policies and our preliminary results confirm that.”

Michigan is the first Midwestern state to legalize the use of recreational marijuana by a vote of 56% to 44%. What does that mean for Michigan employers? The preliminary data from ASE’s Drug Testing and Marijuana Legalization Survey provides insight into employers’ first thoughts on where their policies and practices currently stand and what changes, if any, they are considering.

183 organizations from across Michigan have participated in ASE’s Drug Testing and Marijuana Legalization Survey.  66% of these organizations are located in the metro Detroit region. 90% of the organizations that responded have 1-500 employees, and nearly 66% of the respondents are classified as manufacturers.

68% of employers have confidence that their organizations’ policies will be able to successfully address their employees’ marijuana usage.  Additional insights include:

  • 15% of employers will likely change their policies, while 51% of employers will not.
  • Of those contemplating change, 42% will remove marijuana testing from their policies altogether, and 31% will ignore any positive marijuana results.
  • Similar to the stance taken with drug testing policies, half of surveyed employers will not consider making changes to their workplace drug or substance abuse polices/practices. 36% remain unsure, and only 14% will consider making a change.

Although the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act has triggered much interest amongst businesses in Michigan, employers feel confident that their current policies and practices are equipped to handle this new law. “ASE recommends that employers treat marijuana similar to how they treat the use of alcohol amongst employees.  Any substance abuse policies should refer to working while under the influence of marijuana, since it will now be a legal substance similar to alcohol,” stated Mary E. Corrado, ASE President & CEO.  “We don’t advise employers to alter their current polices at this time.”

Some additional points to consider:

  • Workers’ Compensation – Employers will have to consider the impact that their drug testing policies may have on Workers’ Compensation premiums. The removal of marijuana testing could lead to hesitation from the carrier to provide the best rates. This will most certainly lead to higher premiums.
  • Medical Review Officer – When conducting a drug test, results should be certified by a Medical Review Officer who will analyze and validate the results.
  • Safety Sensitive Positions – If an employee is hired into a safety sensitive position, it would be beneficial to continue drug testing, including marijuana.


About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization

The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers for over 115 years. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at


Federal Appellate Court Reminds Employers That Fourth Amendment Standards Must Support Agency Inspections


By:  Julia Turner Baumhart, Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton, P.L.C.


Federal Appellate Court Reminds Employers That Fourth Amendment Standards Must Support Agency Inspections


            Employers routinely encounter demands from the alphabet soup of Department of Labor sub-agencies:  OSHA, OFCCP, OWCP, W & H (including FLSA and FMLA variations), among others.  Not always as obvious or recognizable, however, are agency attempts to overreach in their demands.  This is often found in the case of on-site inspections or audits.

            Recently, an Eleventh Circuit federal appellate panel reminded employers that they may be overlooking a basic fundamental right.  Simply because a DOL inspector shows up after a workplace accident or to audit an employee complaint does not entitle the agency to unfettered access to the employer’s premises.  Specifically, in United States v. Mar-Jac Poultry, Inc., the court reminded employers of their Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches.

            The Mar-Jac case arose out of an electrical injury at a poultry processing plant in Georgia.  As required by law, Mar-Jac reported the electrical accident to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), the following day.  Several days later, an OSHA inspection team arrived and demanded access, not only to the alleged hazards involved in the accident, but to the entire facility.  Mar-Jac refused access except to the accident site and any tools involved in the accident, but did provide access to certain paperwork including its “OSHA 300 logs,” in which it recorded work-related illness and injuries.  Based on this limited access, OSHA found nine potential OSHA violations, only three of which related to the accident.  The remaining six citations involved areas allegedly common to the poultry processing industry.

            Using these findings, OSHA secured a federal warrant to expand its earlier inspection to again include the entire facility.  Mar-Jac, however, successfully quashed the warrant as to five of the nine potential violations.

            Affirming the lower courts, the Eleventh Circuit again reminded employers that the DOL and its sub-agencies do not have a right to unlimited access to inspect employer premises.  Rather, an agency’s rights extend to two types of on-site inspections or audits.

  • First, the DOL can select the facility based on a general administrative or legislative plan where the selection is based on neutral criteria.
  • The second, and only other basis for inspection, is where the agency has specific identifiable evidence of an existing violation.

While the DOL does not need a warrant to initiate either type of inspection, it must obtain a warrant if the employer refuses to consent on Fourth Amendment grounds, i.e., that the search is not a reasonable one in its inception or scope.  And the required probable cause to overcome the employer’s objection is a higher burden for the government where the agency is relying on the second basis – the specific evidence of an existing violation.  Somewhat higher scrutiny applies to alleged existing violations because, absent legislative or administrative standards, there is a greater possibility that the agency has either targeted the employer or unreasonably expanded the search for purposes of harassment.

            The court agreed in this case that OSHA had unreasonably expanded the search, primarily by using the OSHA 300 logs to equate the existence of a workplace injury or illness with an OSHA violation, without regard to causation.  As the court observed, “the [OSHA] Regulations provide that ‘recording or reporting a work-related injury, illness, or fatality does not mean that the employer or employee was at fault, that an OSHA rule has been violated, or that the employee is eligible for workers’ compensation or other benefits.’”

The same standard pertinent to OSHA audits applies to on-site inspections by the other DOL sub-agencies.  Two caveats to bear in mind, however.  First, once the employer consents to the inspection – whether or not the consent is informed – it probably has waived its Fourth Amendment protection, at least to the extent of its consent.  And second, employers should carefully consider the potential impact on their agency relationships before objecting.  Both caveats suggest a reasoned approach based on fulsome advice and counsel before committing to either path.

This e-blast was written by Julia Turner Baumhart, who is a member of the Detroit SHRM Legal Affairs Committee.  Ms. Baumhart is a partner in the labor and employment firm of Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton, P.L.C. in Birmingham, Michigan and can be contacted at or (248) 645-0000. 


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.  November 2018. 





DBusiness names Plunkett Cooney attorneys among Top Lawyers

Plunkett Cooney


By: Plunkett Cooney


DATE: November 20, 2018

CONTACT: John Cornwell (248) 901-4008


DBusiness names Plunkett Cooney attorneys among Top Lawyers


Bloomfield Hills, MI — November 20, 2018 —DBusiness magazine recently named 20 metro Detroit attorneys from Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, to its 2019 list of “Top Lawyers.”

The DBusiness Top Lawyers list was compiled based on a peer-review survey open to all metro Detroit lawyers. Each year thousands of votes are cast to honor attorneys for excellence in 48 practice areas. There is no commercial relationship to the listings, and no payment is required to be listed and listings cannot be purchased. The list was published in the October/November edition.

Below is a list of the Plunkett Cooney attorney who received the Top Lawyer honor from DBusiness:

Jennifer Andreou (Partner, Detroit) – Medical Malpractice Law
Michael P. Ashcraft, Jr. (Partner, Bloomfield Hills) – Legal Malpractice Law, Professional Malpractice Law
Karen Beach (Associate, Bloomfield Hills) – Appellate Law
Douglas C. Bernstein   (Partner, Bloomfield Hills) – Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights Law, Banking & Financial Service Law
Charles W. Browning    (Partner, Bloomfield Hills) – Insurance Law
Dennis G. Cowan           (Partner, Bloomfield Hills) – Land Use & Zoning, Municipal Law
Jeffrey C.  Gerish           (Partner, Bloomfield Hills) – Appellate Law
James R. Geroux           (Of Counsel, Detroit) – Workers Compensation Law
Jeffrey S. Hengeveld    (Partner, Bloomfield Hills) – Legal Malpractice Law
Marc Jerabek                 (Partner, Bloomfield Hills) – Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights Law
Robert G. Kamenec      (Partner, Bloomfield Hills) – Appellate Law
Mark S. Kopson             (Partner, Bloomfield Hills) – Health Care Law
David A. Lerner           (Partner, Bloomfield Hills) – Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights Law
Mary Massaron              (Partner, Bloomfield Hills) – Appellate Law
Saulius K. Mikalonis      (Senior Attorney, Bloomfield Hills) – Environmental Law
Kenneth C. Newa           (Partner, Bloomfield Hills) – Insurance Law
Stanley A. Prokop          (Of Counsel, Detroit) – Insurance Law
Mary Catherine Rentz    (Partner, Detroit) – Insurance Law
Jeffrey M. Schroder       (Senior Attorney, Bloomfield Hills) – Municipal Law
Matthew J. Stanczyk      (Partner, Detroit) – Product Liability

DBusiness is the region’s only independently-published, general-interest business magazine. It provides timely, local business intelligence and insights to over 150,000 readers, including business owners and decision-makers throughout metro Detroit.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney employs approximately 150 attorneys in eight Michigan cities; Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms and is listed among the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” in 2018. Plunkett Cooney has also received numerous awards naming the firm as a top place to work within the legal industry.

For more information about Plunkett Cooney’s 2019 DBusiness “Top Lawyers,” contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008;

2018 DBusiness Top Lawyers 2019 press release- Academic and Professional Affiliations

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Merces Consulting /MMA Health & Welfare Benefits in MI survey is now available for purchase.



By: Merces Consulting 


“Merces Consulting /MMA Health & Welfare Benefits in MI survey is now available for purchase.  The report contains information from over 150 manufacturing, banking and federally quality health centers.  If you are interested in purchasing a report, please contact Linda Budd, Merces Survey Administrator at 248.721.9561 or by email at”

Plunkett Cooney named among ‘Best Law Firms’ In America

Plunkett Cooney


By: Plunkett Cooney



Date: November 16, 2018

Contact: John Cornwell (248) 901-4008


Plunkett Cooney named among ‘Best Law Firms’ In America


Bloomfield Hills, MI — November 16, 2018 — For the 9th consecutive year, Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, has been ranked as one of the “Best Law Firms” in the nation by U.S. News and Best Lawyers® for 2019.

 Four of the firm’s offices received tier-one ratings in multiple practice areas. Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for its scope of practice, understanding of business and needs, expertise, responsiveness, integrity, cost-effectiveness, civility and client reference.

“Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a combination of law firm leader and client feedback, independent research, and responses gathered from Best Lawyers peer-reviews. To be eligible for a ranking, a law firm must have at least one lawyer who has received high enough peer-review to be listed in the current edition of Best Lawyers. Firms are eligible in the practice area(s) and metro region(s) in which they have listed lawyers.

Awards were given to law firms in 122 metropolitan areas and eight states based on rankings of more than 14,600 firms in 75 national practice areas. Using a tiered rather than a ranked system, Plunkett Cooney was recognized in the following first- and second-tier metropolitan categories:

  • Metro Detroit
    • Appellate Practice
  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Labor Law – Management
  • Litigation – Construction
  • Mortgage Banking Foreclosure Law
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
  • Kalamazoo
    • Banking and Finance Law
  • Lansing
    • Litigation – Municipal

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected attorney ranking service in the world. For more than 30 years, the Best Lawyers in America list recognizes the top lawyers in each practice area and metropolitan region in the country. U.S. News & World Report is a multi-platform publisher of news and information.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of transactional and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 150 attorneys in eight Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, another leading, international directory of law firms. The firm was also recently selected by Crain’s Detroit Business as its inaugural Law Firm of the Year winner.

For more information about Plunkett Cooney’s recognition as a 2019 “Best Law Firm,” contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008;

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Followup: Nov 6-7 Training + Conference


By: Michigan Wellness Council 



Nov 6-7 Training + Conference
Exploring Pathways to Positive Workplace Culture


“This week’s conference was so great, my colleague and I feel bursting with inspiration and new ideas to get rolling. Thank you so much for all your work putting this all together! So valuable!”

On November 6-7, 2018 Michigan Wellness Council hosted a two-day conference. The first day was the workshop training Workplace Wellness that Works (Sponsored by Marsh And McLennan) by Laura Putnam  and the second day were the conference presentations focused on Exploring Pathways to Positive Workplace Culture.

November 6th Pre-Conference Training —Below are links to summaries of the Laura Putnam’s 10 steps of Workplace Wellness that Works and also check out our interview with her on our WellBites podcast:

November 7th Conference Presentations —Below are the links to each set of slides that are available from the conference presenters:

CLOSING KEYNOTE A New Way of Thinking: Wellbeing as the Foundation of Employee Experience by Mindi Cox, Senior Vice President, People & Great Work at O.C. Tanner

Save the date: Check out our 2019 Calendar

Membership: Two Is Better Than One! Join Both WELCOA + Michigan Wellness Council And Save

Scholarship: Students apply for the Fred Zimmer Memorial Worksite Wellness Scholarship by Feb 1st

Enjoy your day & Happy Thanksgiving!
Contact: Rita Patel, Executive Director













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Your Dose of Vitamin Z


By: Detroit Zoological Society 


Make an Impact Today!


Be a champion for wildlife and make a year-end donation to the Detroit Zoological Society. Your gifts help us provide excellent care for the animals who live at the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center.

Photo Credit: Patti Truesdell

Make a Gift




Zoo Hours: Open 362 Days a Year
(Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.)
October through December 31: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Make Wild Lights a Holiday Tradition!

Beginning November 17

Wild Lights is bigger and brighter this holiday season! Experience the magic during 24 select nights. More than five million LED lights will illuminate trees, buildings and 265 sculptures – more than 220 of which are animals. Buy online and save.

Visit Your Affiliates Store and Purchase Your Wild Lights Tickets Today!

Wild Lights Flyers

Administrators, to assist you in getting the word out about this special offer, access your personalized flyer. Once you log in, click “overlay flyer” located to the left of your screen under “marketing materials” and select the 2018 Wild Lights flyer. If you have forgotten your login ID or password, please contact Jenise Collins at (248) 336-5841 for assistance.

Give the Gift of Vitamin Z

This Holiday Season

When shopping malls become a zoo this holiday season, consider making the Detroit Zoo your shopping destination. A Detroit Zoological Society membership provides a year’s supply of Vitamin Z with free daytime admission to the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center, free parking during public hours and many other benefits. Prices range from $63 to $200. Residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties receive $10 off all categories and can purchase up to four gift memberships at the discounted rate. Proceeds support the care and welfare of animals at the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center and further our mission of Celebrating and Saving Wildlife. Purchase or renew your membership at your Affiliate Store Today.

Send a Link to This Email


Zmail is the monthly newsletter of the Detroit Zoological Society. © 2018 Detroit Zoological Society. The Detroit Zoological Society – a renowned leader in humane education, wildlife conservation, animal welfare and environmental sustainability – operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center.