Blanchard & Walker PLLC

Blanchard & Walker PLLC A law firm dedicated to standing up for the rights of Michigan workers.
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Operating as usual

“Em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees should be mo­ti­vated to be cre­ative right now more than ever to al­low a wide mix of peo­...
08/09/2020
Your Job Rights During Coronavirus if You Have Vulnerabilities

“Em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees should be mo­ti­vated to be cre­ative right now more than ever to al­low a wide mix of peo­ple to work safely in this un­prece­dented health sit­u­a­tion,” says An­gela Walker, an em­ploy­ment lawyer in Ann Ar­bor, Mich., who spe­cial­izes in ADA cases.

An HIV-positive flight attendant can legally argue for an ‘accommodation,’ but the airline’s rights are broad too.

We celebrate and commemorate thirty years of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Yet we acknowledge the shortcomings, t...
07/27/2020
Beyond the Law’s Promise: 30 Years Since the Passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act

We celebrate and commemorate thirty years of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Yet we acknowledge the shortcomings, the intersectionality with race and gender discrimination, and so much work for true equality in the workplace (and beyond). Some good reads here to explore the complex history of the ADA. #ADA #workplacejustice , #bwjustice

This series explores how the Americans With Disabilities Act has shaped modern life for people with disabilities in the 30 years since it was passed.

We've all been there - lawyers included - working restaurant jobs for sub-minimum wages and scraping for tips.  But we d...
07/07/2020
Pizza Delivery Drivers Shorted on Vehicle Reimbursements Achieve Class Settlement in Largest Michigan Lawsuit of its Kind - Blanchard & Walker FLSA and Michigan Wage Lawsuits result in Minimum Wage Recovery for Pizza Drivers Deprived of Fair...

We've all been there - lawyers included - working restaurant jobs for sub-minimum wages and scraping for tips. But we didn't sign on to pay out-of-pocket for business expenses. It's too easy for big pizza chains to take advantage of workers by shifting operational costs to employees. We're proud we can be on-call for Michigan workers who stand up against all forms of wage theft. We fight just as hard whether for one delivery driver or hundreds.

FLSA and Michigan Wage Lawsuits Result in Class Action Settlement for Pizza Drivers Claiming they were Cheated on Reimbursement for Vehicle and Mileage Expenses

Thanks to our Supreme Court and Chief Justice Bridgett McCormack for confronting the challenges head-on... while being m...
06/29/2020
Leveraging technology for long-term change in the face of COVID-19

Thanks to our Supreme Court and Chief Justice Bridgett McCormack for confronting the challenges head-on... while being mindful about recognizing the opportunities this new way of doing business may present.

Making these improvements to our criminal justice system includes changing decades-old practices and committing to the necessary costs of technological improvements and training.

Sadly we are hearing this story way too often right now.   Workers with good faith safety concerns or underlying health ...
06/23/2020
Workers Fearful of the Coronavirus Are Getting Fired and Losing Their Benefits

Sadly we are hearing this story way too often right now. Workers with good faith safety concerns or underlying health conditions may still qualify for unemployment if they can't yet return. It all turns on what is reported and how it is documented. There is not enough clarity for workers making life-changing and career-changing decisions.

Thousands who refuse to return to work are being reported to the state to have their unemployment benefits potentially revoked.

06/03/2020

We stand with those speaking out on behalf of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others senselessly killed by acts of racial violence. We recognize that the recent acts of violence are part of a bigger picture of systemic racism in our country. We oppose racism and abuse of power in all of its forms, and we call upon others to do the same. As a law firm, we pledge to do our part, individually and collectively, to help be part of the solution in the fight for equality for people of color.

The challenge of the COVID-19 outbreak is monumental. Michigan workplaces need support to keep up with the latest guidan...
06/01/2020
RETURN-TO-WORK: WORKPLACE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS DURING COVID-19 - Blanchard & Walker

The challenge of the COVID-19 outbreak is monumental. Michigan workplaces need support to keep up with the latest guidance and legal requirements. That is why Blanchard & Walker has compiled a comprehensive resource database for Michigan workers and workplaces confronting return-to-work. Continuously updated materials - including industry specific and county-level guidance - are available on our website www.bwlawonline.com. #covid #healthcare #workers #legalhelp

These COVID-19 resources are compiled to help reopened businesses and their workers navigate the challenge of reopening and coming back to work.* The wise choices are made using the best available information and with the assistance of good legal advice. As a business or an employee needing to under...

Attorney David Blanchard contributes on WXYZ tonight regarding our long battle to support Michigan workers in need of un...
05/06/2020
Past issues with Michigan's unemployment system affecting people today

Attorney David Blanchard contributes on WXYZ tonight regarding our long battle to support Michigan workers in need of unemployment benefits. Now more important than ever.

Carolyn Beachamp-Serour has been a nurse and healthcare manager for 38 years. She never thought she would get laid off during a healthcare crisis.

According to the Michigan Medicine announcement: "The plan includes organizational restructuring and a combination of fu...
05/05/2020
Michigan Medicine announces economic recovery plan – Michigan Medicine Headlines

According to the Michigan Medicine announcement: "The plan includes organizational restructuring and a combination of furloughs and layoffs totaling approximately 1,400 full-time employees. This is in addition to a hiring freeze that will leave 300 current vacancies unfilled." We are closely watching the local impact to the workforce. These layoffs, at one of the county's largest and historically stable employers, are going to be a big blow.☹️

Faced with projected financial losses of up to $230 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, which we expect will continue into fiscal year 2021, Michigan Medicine announced an economic recovery plan that strives to minimize impact on employees and ensures high standards of patient care.

When first responders and essential employees stand up for workplace safety, they need a law firm that will stand up for...
04/23/2020
Standing Up for COVID-19 Workplace Safety Whistleblowers - Blanchard & Walker

When first responders and essential employees stand up for workplace safety, they need a law firm that will stand up for them. Blanchard & Walker filed a whistleblower complaint today on behalf of Azanean Petty. Our client spoke up about COVID-19 risks and inadequate sanitation practices at the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility. Then she was forced to resign when she refused to work without a mask. Another lawsuit on file.

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Azanean Petty was forced to choose between her safety and her job at the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility when her employer denied her request to wear a protective mask while working in an environment with insufficient sanitation measures and inadequat...

COVID-19 Employment Rights Law is changing fast.  In order to help stay on top of the changes, Blanchard & Walker has cr...
04/15/2020
COVID -19 EMPLOYMENT LAW INSIGHTS AND RESOURCES - Blanchard & Walker

COVID-19 Employment Rights Law is changing fast. In order to help stay on top of the changes, Blanchard & Walker has created a resource center pulling together links to various agencies and authorities on leave rights, unemployment and other COVID-19 issues.

Michigan Unemployment Benefits have been expanded to account for the unique circumstances presented by pandemic crisis.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Blanchard & Walker
03/25/2020
Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Blanchard & Walker

Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Blanchard & Walker

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act has temporarily expanded paid leave rights in two important ways: creating a paid sick leave benefit for certain workers affected by the outbreak and a 12 week paid caregiver leave for parents caring for minor children during school closures. How does it w...

As Congress moves forward with the Coronavirus Stimulus package we are starting to get some clarity on how it could help...
03/25/2020
5 Key Things in the $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Package

As Congress moves forward with the Coronavirus Stimulus package we are starting to get some clarity on how it could help American workers. Here are a couple take-aways to expect in the final bill:
1) $1200 direct payments to individuals with additional per child amounts, 2) a massive unemployment expansion adding up to an ADDITIONAL $600 per week and extending the number of weeks of available benefits, and 3) unemployment benefit eligibility for "self-employed" including workers in the so-called "gig economy" who have traditionally been left out of the safety net. Also, special small business loans and grants for employers that pledge not to layoff workers.

The largest economic stimulus measure in modern history would authorize direct payments to taxpayers and loans to small businesses, and create a $500 billion corporate bailout fund.

All Michigan Court hearings are to be limited drastically statewide.  Most matters adjourned until after April 3, or to ...
03/19/2020
Michigan Courts and COVID-19 - Blanchard & Walker

All Michigan Court hearings are to be limited drastically statewide. Most matters adjourned until after April 3, or to be held by video-conference.

Michigan Courts limit almost all in person hearings, order hearings to be held with video-conferencing or adjourned until after April 3, 2020.

State and federal occupational safety laws generally protect workplace safety and prohibit retaliation for raising the a...
03/19/2020
Michigan workers would be protected from employer retaliation during coronavirus pandemic under House bill

State and federal occupational safety laws generally protect workplace safety and prohibit retaliation for raising the alarm about dangerous conditions in the workplace. (OSHA: Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf). More is needed. Michigan workers need clear assurance that raising coronavirus related safety issues or following the Governor's executive order will not put a job at risk. Thank you State Rep. Rabhi for leading the charge.

A Michigan lawmaker is proposing additional protections from workplace retaliation during public health emergencies as COVID-19 continues its spread in the state.

Payroll fraud and tip credit violations can be found in every dark corner of the restaurant industry. And sometimes righ...
02/14/2020
Tipped Workers Winning Wage Suits as Courts Scrap Trump Guidance

Payroll fraud and tip credit violations can be found in every dark corner of the restaurant industry. And sometimes right out in the open too.

Restaurant chains have lost at least seven decisions over the last year in which federal district court judges refused to give deference to a 2018 Labor Department opinion letter advising restaurants to pay a lower minimum wage to tipped workers for tasks that don’t yield gratuities.

Thank you to the Michigan legislature for considering common-sense reforms to Michigan law on non-compete agreements.  A...
01/24/2020
Proposal Would Limit the Reach of Non-Compete Agreements for Low-Wage Workers - Blanchard & Walker

Thank you to the Michigan legislature for considering common-sense reforms to Michigan law on non-compete agreements. At a recent committee hearing, David Blanchard shared his experience representing Michigan workers held back by such agreements.

A bill under consideration in the Michigan Legislature would limit the most abusive forms of overreaching of “non-compete agreements” and end unfair restrictions on low-wage workers. At a recent committee hearing, B&W Attorney David Blanchard was on hand to testify on behalf of the Michigan Asso...

12/12/2019

University of Michigan Employees 2019 Pay database now available. Because of the University's status as a public institution annual pay transparency disclosures serve as a laboratory study in the value of pay transparency for employment rights. Armed with this type of information, every employee is empowered to compare and investigate pay disparity within their department or across the University. Employment rights advocates continue to push for this type of pay disclosure to be legally required for all employers whether public or private. From experience advising many U employees, we can confirm the value of this information for faculty and staff uncovering and understanding equal pay violations and other wage discrimination concerns.

https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2019/12/search-salaries-for-all-49000-university-of-michigan-employees.html

Women Lawyers Association of Michigan
01/16/2019
Women Lawyers Association of Michigan

Women Lawyers Association of Michigan

Thank you to the WLAM Gender Equity Committee, especially co-chairs Angie Walker and Susie Chalgian, and WLAM Past President Julie Gafkay @ Gafkay Law, PLC for working with the State Court Administrative Office and Michigan Department of Civil Rights to get this very important guideline published.

Rajendra Political Prosecution.  ACLU legal team.
01/11/2019

Rajendra Political Prosecution. ACLU legal team.

Blanchard & Walker update: Criminal charges dismissed.  In a free and fair election there is no room for a criminal pros...
01/11/2019
Judge dismisses charges over Michigan Senate candidate’s campaign literature

Blanchard & Walker update: Criminal charges dismissed. In a free and fair election there is no room for a criminal prosecutor to stand as an intermediary second guessing verb tense in campaign speech. Not under our Constitution. #1A Glad Judge Hines agreed.

Criminal charges against a Michigan Senate candidate over her campaign literature are now dismissed.

Attorneys David Blanchard and Frances Hollander are proud to join the pro bono legal team sticking up for the First Amen...
12/06/2018
First Amendment Prohibits Prosecution for Campaign Speech

Attorneys David Blanchard and Frances Hollander are proud to join the pro bono legal team sticking up for the First Amendment and for Ms. Rajendra. In the Motion to Dismiss filed this week, lawyers for Rajendra argue that recent Supreme Court rulings make clear that the First Amendment does not allow for content based regulations of political speech such as MCL 168.994

When the law overreaches into constitutionally protected speech, ACLU cooperating attorneys step forward. Attorneys David Blanchard and Frances Hollander are proud to join the pro bono legal team sticking up for the First Amendment and for Ms. Rajendra. In the Motion to Dismiss filed this week, lawy...

Michigan Minimum Wage Increase Goes to Voters. Appeals Court Says. Restaurant lobby groups ask Supreme Court to suppress...
08/24/2018
Appeals Court orders minimum wage proposal on Michigan ballot

Michigan Minimum Wage Increase Goes to Voters. Appeals Court Says. Restaurant lobby groups ask Supreme Court to suppress Minimum Wage Ballot Initiative.

Dealt with an unsurprising rejection of desperate arguments, restaurant lobby groups have wasted no time Thursday seeking an appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. But rational minds wonder why they are so afraid of voters deciding? Reasonable Michigan voters should make the decision whether minimum wage law should catch up to the cost of living.
https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/08/22/michigan-minimum-wage-order-ballot/1067574002/

The state Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a ballot initiative seeking to increase the state’s minimum wage should be included on the ballot.

The WBH Hospital Settlement announced by the Department of Justice is one of the largest ever announced against a Michig...
08/03/2018
Blanchard & Walker PLLC: Department of Justice Announces $84.5 Million Qui Tam Lawsuit Settlement With Beaumont Hospital

The WBH Hospital Settlement announced by the Department of Justice is one of the largest ever announced against a Michigan hospital. It sends an unmistakable message that health care fraud and abuse will not be tolerated in Michigan hospitals. My client and I worked alongside dedicated investigators and prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District. We saw first hand their commitment to uncovering the full scope of wrongful conduct over a multi-year investigation. Under this settlement, and the resulting oversight agreement it puts in place, Michigan patients and taxpayers are going to be better protected. All because a few fearless whistleblowers spoke up - and the U.S. Attorneys in the Eastern District of Michigan were listening.

The Department of Justice’s healthcare fraud settlement with William H. Beaumont Hospital is among the largest against any Michigan hospital. The settlement resolves claims that the health care giant of southeastern Michigan maintained improper referral relationships with doctors and other medical...

"Last-minute scheduling, no-poaching and noncompete clauses, and the use of independent contractors are popular tactics ...
07/14/2018
Paychecks Lag as Profits Soar, and Prices Erode Wage Gains

"Last-minute scheduling, no-poaching and noncompete clauses, and the use of independent contractors are popular tactics that put workers at a disadvantage." We might add the broad use of arbitration clauses and court sanctioned waivers of class action rights to the list. But this article pretty much encapsulates what we see going in the employment market right now. It's refreshing to see the occasional article like this that recognizes the relationship between degradation of employment rights/policies/law and the actual paycheck stagnation that people are facing. Rare, but it is real news you can use.

Fears of an overheated economy could prompt the Federal Reserve to cut short a recovery in which incomes have already struggled to gain traction.

Address

221 N Main St, Ste 300
Ann Arbor, MI
48104

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(734) 929-4313

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