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Workplace discrimination is against the law and workers who suffer it should be familiar with their rights and the legal protections available to them. Employment law provides valuable protections for workers who have suffered harm because of workplace discrimination.

Under federal law, employers with 15 or greater employees are prohibited from discriminating against an employee on the basis of race, national origin, gender or religion. Employers are prohibited from taking certain hiring and firing actions based on the race, national origin, gender or religion of the employee and if they fail to abide by the law, they may be liable according to a claim for workplace discrimination.

Employers are prohibited from refusing to hire an employee on the basis of their race, national origin, gender or religion; prohibited from disciplining an employee based on their race, national origin, gender or religion; prohibited from firing an employee based on their race, national origin, gender or religion; prohibited denying training to an employee on the basis of race, national origin, gender or religion; prohibited from failing to promote, paying less to or demoting an employee on the basis of race, national origin, gender or religion; and are prohibited from harassing an employing based on their race, national origin, gender or religion.

Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against an employee who has complained about illegal or discriminatory actions taken by the employer. There are a variety of different types of protections afforded to workers through employment laws that they should be familiar with and know how to assert when necessary to ensure a non-discriminatory workplace.

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This blog recently discussed how to apply for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. Knowing how to apply for SSD benefits is half the battle but understanding how to qualify is equally important so that disabled individuals can receive the Social Security disability benefits they need. You may wonder how to qualify.

There are two components to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The first component is that the disabled applicant has the necessary work history to qualify for SSD benefits. This means that they worked in jobs that paid into social security and that they have the number of work history credits needed which is why it is important to be familiar with how many are required at any given time.

In addition, the disabled individual must meet the Social Security Administration's definition of disability which generally means that the disabled individual suffers from a medical condition that is severe enough it prevents them from working. In addition, it must prevent them from performing their current work or adjusting to any other type of work. The disability must also be expected to last for 12 months or longer or result in death. Disability can be established through medical records or if the medical condition the disabled individual suffers from is on the list of qualifying medical conditions maintained by the Social Security Administration.

Social Security disability benefits are paid into and may be something that disabled individuals and their families rely on to get them through hard times while they are unable to work because of their disability. As a result, it is important for disabled individuals and their families to be familiar with how to qualify for, and apply for and obtain, Social Security disability benefits.

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Miller Cohen, PLC by On Behalf Of Bruce Miller - 1M ago

When individuals in Michigan are struggling because of a disability, it is not always easy to ask for help. While Social Security disability benefits are designed to help those unable to work because of a disability, some are worried about the application process. No one likes hearing no or being denied; however, many first time applicants have their applications denied. Thus, it is important for disabled individuals to understand what they can do to increase their chances of being approved.

The application process can be confusing and complex. If living with a disability is not already hard enough, it can be overwhelming to navigate the application process on one's own. At Miller Cohen, PLC, our experienced legal team understands how difficult a disabling injury or condition can be. Therefore, we not only take the time to help our clients understand their options and rights, but we also take the time to work through the details of the application process.

The Social Security Administration strictly defines disability, and in order for an applicant to meet this definition, he or she must provide evidence. Our law firm will take the time to collect all necessary information and documents that will help prove our clients are eligible for disability benefits. Whether it is work related documents or medical documents, ensuring the application is complete is vital.

To learn more, check out our law firm's Social Security disability website. Obtaining SSD benefits can be necessary for some, making it imperative that one work through the application process. This could also mean taking steps to file an appeal if one is denied. SSD benefits could help provide one with the funds to cover basic living costs, which is necessary for one unable to work because of a disability.

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Miller Cohen, PLC by On Behalf Of Bruce Miller - 1M ago

The workplace can be a very busy and complex place. Employees take on many tasks, and get acquainted with co-workers, supervisors and the interworking of the business. Thus, when an employee sees something going on that isn't right, they may seek to speak up about it. However, they may also be hesitant about saying or doing something as it could compromise his or her job, as employment law matters can be challenging to take on.

When an employee observes a violation and reports it, this is known as whistleblowing. The type of violation reported could range greatly, and it could include sexual harassment, violating state or federal regulations or unlawful business practices. Because an employee is putting his or her employer on the spot with regards to doing something wrong, many things could hold an employee back from blowing the whistle.

The major issue is retaliation. An employee is fearful that they will be fired or retaliated against for reporting a violation. Thus, there are laws designed to specifically protect whistleblowers. And in order to enjoy these protections, a whistleblower must have a good faith belief that his or her employer is violating the law. Additionally, the employee must complain about this violation to the employer or to a federal agency.

Being a whistleblower is no easy task to take on. However, it is a protected act and one that employees can do. Thus, it is important to understand what it means to be a whistleblower and what protections have been put in place. This information could also help one take action if retaliation occurs one blows the whistle.

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We often share a lot about ourselves on-line. In a world where social media takes priority over in person interactions, it is easy to uncover many details about a person's life on these platforms. While this is common for individuals in Michigan and other states across the nation, one does not often consider how the information they share on social media could impact his or her ability to recover disability benefits.

Living with a disability can be challenging; thus, when obstacles occur during the application process for Social Security disability benefits, this can become a very overwhelming and discouraging situation. According to recent reports, it is suggested that the Social Security Administration may look to Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms when one files a disability claim.

The reason for suggesting such steps to be taken is to determine if those seeking or receiving SSD benefits are in fact living with a qualifying disability. Because some are prone to post everything on-line, the idea is that if someone is not living with a disability, this could be observed through these social media platforms.

However, social media is a poor measure of one's life and cannot be considered foolproof. Thus, if such facts are used against an applicant or a recipient for SSD benefits, it is important to understand that these does not mean one cannot obtain these benefits. It is imperative that one understands their rights and what steps he or she could take if they are not approved for disability benefits.

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Living with a disability can pose various challenges for individuals in Michigan and elsewhere. Whether one was born with a disability or acquired one later in life due to an injury or illness, one needs to consider his or her needs and if they are currently being met. When a disability prevents an individual from working, this can create additional problems, as one may no longer be able to afford food, clothing and even shelter. This is where Social Security disability benefits can be very valuable. This program was designed to help those living with disabilities afford their basic living needs.

Applying for SSD benefits can seem daunting, as many initial applications are denied. For the fear of being denied, many put off the application process; however, because it can be a lengthy process, it is important to timely seek these benefits. The attorneys at Miller Cohen, PLC, understand how complicated the application process can be, especially now that the government is looking to cut costs.

Our law firm takes pride in helping individuals in the Detroit area understand what they can do to increase their chances of being approved. This means ensuring the application is complete and all necessary documentation is included. Providing clear and accurate evidence can help one illustrate that they are suffering from a qualifying disability, making them eligible for these benefits. Even if one is initially denied, our attorneys are prepared to help explain the reconsideration and appeals process, assisting our clients with this part of the process if they believe it is the right step for them to take.

To learn more, check out our law firm's Social Security disability website. Whether you are in the beginning phases of applying for these benefits, are ready to file, were denied benefits or are dealing with an issue associated with current SSD benefits, it is important to understand your situation and what options you might have. This can help you obtain the benefits you are entitled to and take the steps necessary to protect your rights and interests in the matter.

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Employees in Detroit may wonder if there is anything they can do about wrongdoing they witness while on the job. Is there any way to report violations of law without being fired? The Michigan Whistleblowers' Protection Act protects employees who report certain kinds of illegal activity. This blog post will provide some basic information on this law and on what kinds of reporting is protected in the Wolverine State.

If an employee reports or is about to report a violation or suspected violation of federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations to a public body, the Act prohibits the employer from discharging, threatening or discriminating against the employee regarding the employee's compensation, terms, conditions, location or privileges of employment. Employees also receive this protection if they participate in a public hearing, investigation, inquiry or court action.

It is important to note that the reporting of wrongdoing is limited to violations of laws, rules and regulations. Reporting other kinds of wrongdoing may not be protected under our state's law. The law does not protect employees who make reports to public bodies knowing the report is false. It also does not require employers to compensate employees for the time they spend participating in a public hearing, investigation, inquiry or court action.

If an employee believes their employer has violated their employment law rights under the Michigan Whistleblowers' Protection Act, the employee has 90 days to bring a civil action in circuit court. Employers in violation of the act could face a civil fine of up to $500. Employers may also be ordered to reinstate employees, pay back wages and reinstate fringe benefits and seniority rights to employees harmed in violation of the act. Employees may also be awarded actual damages and reasonable legal fees and witness fees for whistleblower claims.

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Wayne County area workers living with certain kinds of disability may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. Social Security operates as an insurance program to help people who meet the eligibility requirements. When workers work and pay payroll taxes, they can and should apply for benefits when they have a qualifying disability.

A few months ago, we told our readers what steps a Social Security Disability claimant can take to make the claims process go as smoothly as possible. If a claimant lives with a severe impairment that is anticipated to last at least 12 months and restricts the ability to work, or if they live with an impairment may lead to the claimant's death, they can apply for benefits. They should make sure they have the necessary medical evidence, and they should apply as soon as they are eligible.

The unfortunate fact is that many claimants are denied the first time they apply for benefits. This is not the end of the story, however. Many claimants have better outcomes when they undertake the appeals process. At Miller Cohen, PLC, we have a high level of knowledge and experience with the administrative and court system. We have helped many clients persuade officials of the validity of their Social Security Disability claims.

By marshaling a documentary record to support a Social Security Disability claim, and by using the art of persuasion, we are prepared to help our clients through the process. We are happy to meet with potential clients in a free consultation. We can be reached by phone or online. For more information on the services we provide, please see the Social Security disability page on our website.

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Miller Cohen, PLC by On Behalf Of Bruce Miller - 4M ago

Students seeking experience, an attractive addition to their resume or even unique academic credits may seek an internship that provides little or no wages. While internships have benefits, their potential for misuse and employment law violations are obvious. However, the United States Department of Labor issued guidelines this month governing internships.

For-profit employers must comply with wage and hour laws contained in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). An employee is entitled to at least the federal minimum wage and overtime wages.

But, an economic reality test on the intern-employer relationship, developed from court rulings, is used to determine whether a worker is an intern or employee. This test considers whether the intern or employer is the beneficiary of their relationship.

The economic reality test is comprised of seven elements. First, it considers whether the intern and employer clearly understand that there is no compensation for the position. Any expressed or implied promise of payment means that the worker is an employee entitled to wages.

Other factors include whether the internship has instruction that is similar to educational courses, such as clinical and hands-on training. And, whether it is connected to education program through coursework or academic credit.

A related factor is whether its duration is linked to a college or educational institution academic time period like a semester. Another time period that is evaluated is whether the internship's duration coincides with the time that the intern receives beneficial instruction.

The remaining elements are whether the intern's work adds to and does not take the place of the work of paid employees while the intern receives significant educational benefits. Finally, whether the intern and employer understand that there is no guarantee of a job when the internship ends.

Each specific situation must be specifically analyzed to determine whether it constitutes a valid internship under FLSA. No single element of the primary beneficiary test determines whether there is an internship and it must be evaluated in a flexible manner that is adaptable to a situation.

In addition to FLSA, Michigan law governs internships and other employment matters. Workers who are considering an internship or any employee who believes they did not receive their earned wages should seek legal assistance to protect their rights under these laws.

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Miller Cohen, PLC by On Behalf Of Bruce Miller - 4M ago

Federal disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) are intended to serve as a financial safety net for recipients who have a qualifying disability. Unfortunately, many Michiganders have died after applying for Social Security Disability benefits and while awaiting their appeals of denied claims.

Approximately 8.8 million Americans rely on Social Security disability insurance. The maximum monthly amount is $2,800 which makes a difference for many claimants and exceeds the national poverty level.

There are 800,000 Americans awaiting the resolution of their appeals. During the 2016 fiscal year, 8,699 claimants died while on the waiting list for disability insurance. One year later, this grew to 10,002 claimants. If this trend continues, this number can rise to 11,000 people in 2018. The average rate for an appeal to be heard and adjudicated is 540 days.

The SSA claimed that it received a record number of requests for hearings. The increase was caused by aging baby boomers who reached their disability-prone age and an economic recession.

Approximately 10,000 people file disability claims each day and the need for Social Security grew by 16 percent over the last 10 years. However, the SSA's resources did not keep and its budget dropped by approximately 11 percent over that time adjusted for inflation. Though, the SSA said it reduced the waiting list for 11 consecutive months under a new plan and an $190 million appropriation.

Determining eligibility can be difficult. SSA must calculate work credits that are based on total earnings and work activity. It must also find that the claimant has a disabling condition that is strictly defined as being unable to engage in a substantial gainful activity because of a medically-determinable physical or mental impairment that is expected or lasted over one year or lead to death.

The disabling conditions are contained in a vast listing. Medical evidence must include a doctor's visit within the previous year, the doctor's opinion that there is a disabling condition and, in some cases, more evidence from a doctor or medical reviewer and a vocational specialist.

Attorneys can help claimants gather required evidence and pursue their claims. Seeking legal representation may also assure that claims are processed as expeditiously as possible.

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