Mich.: New Employment Laws Enacted

By Diane Cadrain Feb 12, 2015
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Employment preference for veterans. Gov. Rick Snyder, on Dec. 31, 2014, signed House Bill (HB) 5418, effective immediately, which allows private employers to give preference to veterans in hiring, promotion and retention when all other factors are equal.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which supported the proposal, said,

“This legislation was pursued because there are countless employers in Michigan who are ready and willing to offer a veterans hiring preference in order to help our servicemen and women upon their return home. Unfortunately, this action was never explicitly authorized under state law. House Bill 5418 provides employers solid legal ground to adopt “plus factor” policies if they wish to do so.”

Barriers to employment. House Bills 5216, 5217, and 5218, signed on Dec. 17, 2014, and effective immediately, remove barriers to employment for parolees by requiring the Michigan Department of Corrections to provide parolees with “certificates of employability” detailing completed educational programs, conduct history and work record. The bills also ensure that a record of incarceration cannot be used to establish lack of moral character during the job licensing process and immunize employers from liability for negligent hiring or retention if they hire a parolee based, at least in part, on a certificate of employability

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which supported the bills, stated that they “were pursued as a tool to address Michigan’s parolee unemployment and recidivism rates and as an alternative to a more dangerous legislation initiative that would prohibit employers from asking prospective employees important questions about their criminal history on job applications.”

Diane Cadrain is an attorney who has been writing about employment law issues for more than 20 years.

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