State Flag of Michigan

Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – July 7, 2023

  1. NLRB’s Atlanta Opera Ruling Imposes Stricter Independent Contractor Test on Employers

On June 13, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) ruled in the closely watched The Atlanta Opera, Inc. case, restoring the multifactor common-law framework the NLRB established in 2014 for worker classification.

Why it Matters: The ruling is significant because it establishes the test for classifying workers as either employees or independent contractors under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”); the test—a return to pre-2019 standards—makes it harder to classify workers as independent contractors, and independent contractors are excluded from the NLRA’s protections for labor organizing activities. Learn more on the subject.


  1. New Federal Law Expands Rights for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers in the Workplace

The federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“PWFA”) took effect on June 27, 2023, and requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers, such as providing more frequent bathroom breaks.

Why it Matters: The PUMP Act requires employers to provide a private lactation space and break times during work for nursing mothers. Contact a Fraser Trebilcock employment law attorney with questions or for assistance.


  1. U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Affirmative Action

The United States Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in a ruling recently, when they ruled against the admissions plans of two colleges, Harvard and the University of North Carolina.

Why it Matters: The ruling is causing higher education institutions to review their own admissions process in seeking out a diverse student body. Contact your Higher Education Fraser Trebilcock attorney for any questions.


  1. $82 Billion State Budget Approved for Fiscal Year 2024

Last week, the Michigan State Legislature with some bipartisan support approved the $82 billion state budget that will take effect later this year on October 1.

Why it Matters: Looking into the budget, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will receive more than $36 million more in funding than last year, the public universities located across the state will receive $2.2 billion, including $482 million from the School Aid Fund under the School Bus budget bill. Community colleges will receive $544 million from the School Aid Fund.


  1. Michigan’s New Distracted Driving Law Took Effect June 30

In an effort to mitigate the risks associated with distracted driving, Michigan recently enacted legislation meant to deter and punish instances of distracted driving. Michigan is the 26th state in the United States to pass a hands-free driving law, signifying the growing national consensus around the importance of focused driving.

Why it Matters: The new law, which took effect June 30, 2023, makes holding and using a mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle illegal. Learn more about the new law from your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Labor, Employment & Civil Rights | Dave Houston
Higher Education | Ryan Kauffman
Business & Tax | Ed Castellani
Insurance Law | Gary Rogers