BRIAN J GRABER LLC is a Michigan employment discrimination lawyer representing Michigan employees discriminated against in violation of their rights under Michigan employment discrimination law known as the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, MCL 37.2101, et seq. In Michigan, the opportunity to obtain employment without discrimination because of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status is prohibited by the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, is recognized and declared to be a civil right.
The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, MCL 37.2201(a) applies to any employer in Michigan with one or more employees. The protections from employment discrimination under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, apply to Michigan employees in both the public and private sectors. The Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act applies to employment agencies and labor organizations.
Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act – Michigan Employment Discrimination
The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, MCL 37.2202(1)(a) prohibits Michigan employers from discriminating against employees or applicants based on the following:
- National Origin;
- Sex (including pregnancy and sexual harassment);
- Weight; or
- Marital status.
An employee must prove that his or her employer took some adverse action against them because of one of the above-listed nine reasons. “Adverse employment action” includes, but is not limited to discharge or termination of employment, failure to hire, failure to promote, demoted them, or refusal to train. Michigan employees may have rights under federal employment discrimination laws. Learn more about your rights under the federal employment discrimination laws here. Contact BRIAN J GRABER LLC, a Michigan employment discrimination lawyer at (269) 230-6054, or by email to learn more about your rights to be free from employment discrimination under Michigan and federal law.
The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act covers employment discrimination based on pregnancy as follows:
Treat an individual affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition differently for any employment-related purpose from another individual who is not so affected but similar in ability or inability to work, without regard to the source of any condition affecting the other individual’s ability or inability to work. For the purposes of this subdivision, a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth does not include nontherapeutic abortion not intended to save the life of another.MCL 37.2202(1)(d)
Effective June 27, 2023, Michigan employees may have additional protections under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees unless the covered employer can prove the reasonable accommodations are an undue hardship. Click here to learn more about your rights to reasonable accommodations under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act defines discrimination because of sex to include sexual harassment as follows:
” Discrimination because of sex includes sexual harassment. Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature under the following conditions:
(i) Submission to the conduct or communication is made a term or condition either explicitly or implicitly to obtain employment, . . . .
(ii) Submission or rejection of the conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting the individual’s employment, . . . .
(iii) The conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s employment, . . . or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, . . . .MCL 37.2103(i)(i)-(iii)
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. You can learn more about your rights under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to be free from workplace sexual harassment here.
Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act – Retaliation Claims
The Michigan employment discrimination law under the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from retaliating against their employees for engaging in certain statutorily protected activities. The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act lists the following protected activities:
Two or more persons shall not conspire to, or a person shall not:
(a) Retaliate against a person because the person has opposed a violation of this act, or because the person has made a charge, filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this act.
(b) Aid, abet, incite, compel, or coerce a person to engage in a violation of this act.
(c) Attempt directly or indirectly to commit an act prohibited by this act.
(d) Willfully interfere with the performance of a duty or the exercise of a power by the commission or 1 of its members or authorized representatives.
(e) Willfully obstruct or prevent a person from complying with this act or an order issued or rule promulgated under this act.
(f) Coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with a person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of his or her having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected by this act.MCL 37.2701
An employer claiming retaliation must prove a prima facie case by proving the following elements:
- He or she engaged in protected activity as described above;
- The employer knew of the protected activity;
- The employer took adverse employment action against the employee; and
- a causal connection exists between the protected activity and the adverse employment action.
Michigan employees have rights under federal employment discrimination laws to be free from retaliation in the workplace. Click here to learn more about your federal rights to be free from retaliation under federal employment discrimination law.
Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act – Remedies
A successful employee prevailing on an Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act claim for employment discrimination or retaliation may be awarded reinstatement, back pay, front pay, emotional distress damages, and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.
Michigan employment discrimination and retaliation claims can be filed with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights or filed in court. Click here to learn how to file a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.
If you would like to learn more about your Michigan employment rights under Michigan employment discrimination law known as the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, contact BRIAN J GRABER LLC, a Michigan employment discrimination lawyer for a free consultation at (269) 230-6054 or by email using the form below.