Michael R. Fortney

Mike has been practicing law since November 2014. He focuses his practice on construction law, labor and employment law, and business organization and compliance.

Mike graduated from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in May of 2014. Mike earned his undergraduate degree from Miami University in 2005. Prior to working with Fortney Law Group, Mike worked as an associate for Fortney & Klingshirn.

Prior to earning his juris doctor degree Mike was a 6th grade teacher at a Montessori school for 5 years.

Mike and his family live in Wadworth, Ohio. When Mike is not at the office he can likely be found wrestling and playing with his kids and dog.

Articles by Michael R. Fortney

Easily Create a Table of Contents for a legal brief with Microsoft Word
As a fresh law school graduate I remember well what we did and did not learn in law school. Writing was very high on the list and was a subject taught, at least in some regard, in every single law school class I took. However no one, including my legal wr...

Easily Create a Table of Authorities for a legal brief with Microsoft Word
As a fresh law school graduate I remember well what we did and did not learn in law school. Writing was very high on the list and was a subject taught, at least in some regard, in every single law school class I took. However no one, including my legal wr...

COSTCO Sued by EEOC for Sex Harassment based on Customer's Advances
Retail giant Costco, a multi-billion dollar wholesaler with operations in eight countries, has been violating federal laws by fostering a sexually hostile environment in its stores, according to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissi...

Facebook "Like"s May Be Protected Employment Activity
"Like"ing a Facebook post may be a protected concerted activity under federal labor law, meaning an employer cannot retaliate against an employee because of the "like." This is according to recent decisions of the NLRB (National Labor ...

Employers Must Submit BWC Settlement Claims by October 22, 2014
Group-rated employers who received a settlement claim form from the San Allen Inc. v. Bureau of Worker's Compensation settlement have until October 22, 2014 to mail in their completed claim form. After an $859 million dollar judgment was handed down i...

Facebook Posts by Employees Can Go Too Far and Lose Concerted Activity Protection
While some Facebook posts by employees are protected as concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act, Facebook posts by employees that advocate insubordination or undermine leadership do not receive those same protections and employees making...

Employers Face Risks When Classifying Employees As Exempt
The 6th Circuit recently held that an employee of Belle Tire with an "executive" job description was not automatically exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") when the employee's actual duties differed from...

Ohio Appellate Court Finds $277,900 Liquidated Damages Award Unenforceable
The Fourth District Court of Appeals of Ohio, in the case of Boone Coleman v. Village of Piketon , held that a liquidated damages provision of $700 per day that totaled $277,900 was unenforceable because the provision amounted to a penalty, and because th...

OSHA Expands List of Injuries Employers Must Report, Changes Exempt Industries List
On January 1, 2015, OSHA will expand the list of work-related injuries and illnesses that covered employers must report. The new list includes all work-related inpatient hospitalizations, amputations (the traumatic loss of a limb or body part), or losses ...

Errors in Mechanic's Lien Preparation Will Not Always Be Forgiven By Courts
Ohio courts have been all over the map when it comes to enforcement of the Ohio Mechanic's Lien Law. Some courts, as in a recent Ohio Court of Appeals case, have allowed parties to fix harmless errors without invalidating the lien, while other courts ...

Ohio's Minimum Wage to Increase in 2015
Ohio's minimum wage will increase again in 2015. Ohio's minimum wage is tied to inflation and has risen every year since Ohio passed the Ohio Minimum Wage Increase Amendment, also known as Issue 2, in 2006. It is incorporated into the Ohio Constit...

Right to Arbitrate Can Be Waived
Two recent Ohio cases further clarify the right to arbitration in Ohio. A lien claimant wishing to preserve his rights under R.C. 1311 by filing a Complaint as required by the statute does not waive his rights to arbitration if the Complainant expressly s...

Could the United States Supreme Court Find that Title VII Prohibits Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Discrimination?
In Price Waterhouse , the Supreme Court held that Title VII reaches claims of “sex stereotyping.” As a result, employers who make employment decisions based on a belief that women should not be aggressive, or that men should not be effeminate,...

Statutory Independent Contractor Test Only Applies to Construction Workers
Whether a worker is an "independent contractor" or an "employee" is an important and costly issue for employers. In paying employees, employers are required to make certain withholdings, pay payroll taxes, and make unemployment and wor...

Employee Handbook May Prevent Employer from Denying FMLA Leave
The Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") applies to "eligible employees" of covered employers, but it may also apply to ineligible employees who were assured by their employers of their FMLA eligibility. This is precisely what happene...

CFPB Finds That Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Provisions Hurt Consumers
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report in March detailing the results of its study on arbitration clauses in consumer contracts involving credit cards, bank accounts, payday loans, private student loans, prepaid debit cards, and...

Court Limits Right to a Mechanic's Lien
In order for a contractor to have a valid mechanic's lien on property, the contractor must have performed work or furnished materials in furtherance of an “improvement” to the land. The burden is on the party claiming the existence of a va...

Three Ohio Cases Clarify Ohio Arbitration Act
Three recent Ohio cases have further clarified when arbitration agreements apply to contractual disputes. First, arbitration agreements, even if very broad, do not control if an action could be maintained without reference to the contract containing the a...

Employer May Not Count Discretionary Payments to Employees as Prevailing Wage
Under Ohio law, employers may not count discretionary payments to employees against the prevailing wage. Only wages that are required by agreement may be counted against the prevailing wage. In a recent Ohio case an employer tried to count discretionary w...

Respondent May Not Stay Arbitration Indefinitely by Refusing to Pay Fees
If a respondent in an arbitration proceeding refuses to pay their share of the costs of arbitration the claimant typically is faced with a conundrum -- pay the respondent's costs, or delay the proceedings. However, in a recent federal case, Pre-Paid L...

Three Recent Cases Find that Workers at Uber, FedEx, and others are Employees, not Independent Contractors
When faced with the question of whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee most courts apply the common law test. Under that test the central question is "who had the right to control the manner or means of doing the work?" The...

NLRB Revises Joint-Employer Standard as Applied to Staffing Agencies
In a recent decision, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) clarified its joint-employer standard, deciding that employers do not need to exercise their authority to control employees' terms and conditions of employment to be considered a joint em...

2nd Circuit Agrees with NLRB; Facebook "like"s are Protected Activity
In 2014 the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its ruling in Triple Play Sports Bar . It decided that "like"ing a Facebook post may be a protected concerted activity under federal labor law, which means an employer cannot retaliate aga...

Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Liquidated Damages Provisions in Construction Contracts
The Ohio Supreme Court overturned the Fourth District Court of Appeals' holding that a $700 per day liquidated damages provision that totaled $277,900 in liquidated damages was unenforceable because it amounted to a penalty. The appeals court decision...

Ohio Court of Appeals Upholds Arbitrator’s Authority When Arguably Construing or Applying Contract
A recent ruling by the Ninth District Court of Appeals ruled that a trial court cannot vacate an arbitration award because the court disagrees with the arbitrator’s application of law or other merits of the arbitrator’s decision. The City of L...

NLRB Declares Chipotle Company Policies Unlawful
An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued her ruling in the Chipotle case last month, holding that Chipotle’s policies and actions violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Specifically, the NLRB ...

Most Recent Articles

NLRB Declares Chipotle Company Policies Unlawful An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued her ruling in the Chipotle case ...
Ohio Court of Appeals Upholds Arbitrator’s Authority When Arguably Construing or Applying Contract A recent ruling by the Ninth District Court of Appeals ruled that a trial court cannot vacate an arbitration award beca ...
Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Liquidated Damages Provisions in Construction Contracts The Ohio Supreme Court overturned the Fourth District Court of Appeals' holding that a $700 per day liquidated dama ...
2nd Circuit Agrees with NLRB; Facebook "like"s are Protected Activity In 2014 the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its ruling in  Triple Play Sports Bar . It decided that&n ...
NLRB Revises Joint-Employer Standard as Applied to Staffing Agencies In a recent decision, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) clarified its joint-employer standard, deciding that em ...