News from Thrun Law

July 18, 2016

As reported in the May 26, 2016, edition of School Law Notes, the U.S. Department of Labor recently announced final rule changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (effective December 1, 2016) that significantly increase the salary amount an employee must earn to meet the administrative, executive, and professional exemptions from overtime pay. This article addresses proactive steps school officials should take to audit compensation practices to avoid legal liability under the...

July 1, 2016

Employees with disabilities are not exempt from maximum leave policies. Such policies, however, may need to be modified as a reasonable accommodation for disability-related absences, unless the employer can show that doing so would cause undue hardship to the employer.

  1. Sixth Circuit Requires Timely Request for Extended Leave under the ADA

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently dismissed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims of a school...

June 30, 2016

Public Act 194 was signed by Governor Snyder on June 21, 2016, amending Section 2a of Michigan’s Public Employment Relations Act (PERA), effective September 19, 2016, to revise the penalties and procedures for teacher strikes, MCL 423.202a.

New Procedures

A public school employer, or the State...

June 20, 2016

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor announced final rule changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act that significantly increase the salary amount an employee must earn to meet the administrative and executive exemptions from overtime pay. The final rule, however, does not make any changes to the “duties test” that also must be satisfied for administrative and executive salaried employees to be considered exempt. While these rule changes do not take effect until December 1, 2016...

June 13, 2016

The Michigan Finance Authority’s (“MFA”) August state aid note pool application materials, including the loan application, cash flow form, instructions, and calendar, are now available on MFA’s website at www.michigan.gov/mfa. Click on “Finance Programs,” located on the left-hand...

June 6, 2016

Since January of this year, our Thrun Evaluation Tracker articles have addressed the performance eval­uation system under Section 1249 of the Revised School Code. As the school year comes to a close, administrators may receive an appeal or protest from a teacher regarding a teacher’s evaluation. Section 1249 provides a narrow appeal procedure for certain teachers. Outlined below are the appeals process and common mistakes to avoid during the evaluation process.

Evaluation...

May 23, 2016

Michigan law requires that public schools adopt their budgets before the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1). A taxing entity, including a school district or ISD, must follow a “truth-in-taxation” process if its tax revenue will exceed what it collected in the prior fiscal year (with exceptions for certain taxable additions). This process includes a newspaper notice, a truth-in-taxation public hearing, and resolutions proposing and adopting additional millage rates. A school district or...

May 16, 2016

On November 5, 2015, the Legislature enacted PA 173 which requires school districts to take specific action during the summer months to remain compliant with Section 1249 of the Revised School Code. School administrators must plan ahead to effectively implement the new mandates, and should prioritize this project to have all...

May 9, 2016

Voluntary severance plans (“VSPs”) or early retirement incentive plans are a valuable tool schools can use to adapt to their changing workforce needs. Generally, VSPs offer a financial incentive to qualified employees in exchange for their resignation. VSPs are typically offered to individuals who meet contractually prescribed years...

May 2, 2016

As the end of the school year quickly approaches, school administrators are reminded that they must make important personnel decisions about the contin­ued employment of probationary teachers and follow the timelines and procedures to nonrenew a proba­tionary teacher’s contract. Acting outside of those timelines and procedures may...

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