Coronavirus

Contributed by Michael Wong and Sara Zorich, September 16, 2021 Medicine doctor and vaccine dose syringe On August 23rd Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2021-20 requiring  health care workers, school personnel, higher education personnel and students, and state-employees and contractors who work at state-owned or operated congregate facilities to get their first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, within 10 days and be fully vaccinated within 30 days, subject to applicable medical and religious exemptions under federal and state law. Two weeks later on September 3rd Governor Pritzker issued Executive Orders 2021-22 extending…
Thursday, Sept. 9, marked a major breakthrough in the New York State opioid trial as defendant Endo International Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiaries settled with New York State and Suffolk and Nassau Counties for $50 million.  The settlement marks the conclusion of a series of recent events in which state and county representatives, including State Attorney General Letitia James, accused Endo of withholding “damning evidence” regarding its marketing and sales of prescription opioids from the discovery phase of the trial.  Endo had been held in contempt of court in an opioid trial in Tennessee for withholding similar information from the discovery…
In the age of COVID-19, video has become a dominant and ubiquitous form of communication (see TikTok). Videos are entertaining, engaging, and more expressive than photos. According to Statista, when it comes to YouTube, people upload 500 hours of video every minute and watch around 1 billion hours of content each day. At the Commission, we’ve seen our viewership on YouTube grow immensely over the past year. In fact, from September 2020 to September 2021, our channel received 43% more views than the year before. (If you haven’t checked out our YouTube content yet, you’re missing out.) Organizations are increasingly…
Homeowners may experience financial difficulties that affect their ability to make mortgage payments. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to hardship for many homeowners, and government programs have been implemented to provide homeowners with relief. In some cases, a homeowner may qualify for forbearance, which will allow them to temporarily pause or reduce mortgage payments. Homeowners who have received forbearances will need to understand how this will affect their ability to sell their home.  Addressing Forbearances During a Real Estate Transaction A homeowner can request a forbearance if they experience financial hardship, and a mortgage lender may agree to defer…
As the academic year begins and students start heading back to school, there may be no better time for parents, teachers, school administrators, instructors and coaches to help younger students make smarter decisions about their health — and that includes avoiding the use of e-cigarettes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly “1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2020.”  The CDC also notes that in the year 2020: About 3.6 million American youth reported current e-cigarette use E-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product…
This post contains another edition of our legislative updates from the most recent Illinois General Assembly session in Springfield. This post focuses on laws that impact general governance.  P.A. 102-0024 provides that a county, township, or municipality may waive any fees or costs associated with a permit, inspection, or certification of occupancy required by law for construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, movement to another site, removal, or demolition of multiple structures within their jurisdiction. These waivers (provided under the local government’s discretion) are limited to disastrous circumstances or the threat of disaster, including fire, flood, earthquake, storm, water contamination, blight, rioting,…
COVID-19 created unprecedented situations in every type of job, industry, and profession, including the legal field.  Change, evolution, and adaptation became commonplace as everyone learned how to navigate the process of operating from both work and home. Essentially, the COVID-19 pandemic turned our working lives upside down for the better part of two years. As more people become fully vaccinated, many are eagerly anticipating a return to “normalcy.”  For most, that includes returning to the office (whether full-time, part-time, or by remote or virtual means). But more than 100 million Americans have worked remotely (at least part-time) since the beginning…
Contributed by John R. Hayes, September 13, 2021 doctor hand wears medical glove holding syringe and vial bottle with covid 19 corona virus vaccine On September 9, 2021 President Biden announced sweeping new vaccine mandates for federal employees, federal contractors, and an upcoming OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard Rule for companies with more than 100 employees. In light of this, already many employers are asking the question, “Am I a federal contractor subject to the vaccine mandate?” While the Executive Order regarding federal contractors is brand new, and we are awaiting more clarification from the Safer Federal Workforce Taskforce (Task…
As a divorce attorney, I have been told many times by potential clients that “my spouse is crazy.” Are all these spouses really mentally ill? We can always find out if a spouse has mental health issues using Illinois law. “Information is obtainable as provided in these rules through any of the following discovery methods: …physical and mental examination of persons.” Ill. Sup. Ct. R. 201(a) A motion can be filed for a mental examination of a party to a divorce under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 215. “In any action in which the physical or mental condition of a party…
In a recent Chicago Sun Times article, Stephanie L. Tang shared how attorneys are increasingly seeing co-parenting parties have disagreements regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and their children. Family law professionals shared insights on how both attorneys and parents are tackling this sensitive issue in the article, “Divorce attorneys brace for exes battling over kids getting COVID-19 vaccine” Stephanie shared arguments amongst divorced parents over vaccinations are not uncommon. Even before the pandemic, she represented parents in favor and in opposition to vaccine requirements for their children. Now that COVID-19 has skyrocketed in the United States and school is back in…
The effects of the pandemic on women lawyers, especially mothers, have been documented by many surveys and articles over the last year. However, a recent American Bar Association report “Practicing Law in the Pandemic and Moving Forward” is valuable because it includes action items for employers and lawyers to cope with the challenges brought on or revealed by the pandemic. “New Normal” survey of lawyers In September and October of 2020, the ABA surveyed more than 4,200 lawyers across the U.S. about their expectations, concerns, and goals, reflecting the context of the pandemic. At that time, more than…
Contributed by guest author Matthew Horn, September 9, 2021 In a purported effort to increase vaccinations, the Biden Administration just announced its plan to have OSHA issue an Emergency Temporary Standard requiring employers with one hundred or more employees to ensure their employees are either fully vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis. The Emergency Temporary Standard will also require mandatory vaccinations for: 1) federal employees; 2) employees of federal contractors; and 3) employees at healthcare facilities receiving Medicare or Medicaid. The Emergency Temporary Standard will impact approximately 100 million American workers.  Since the announcement was made…
The Illinois Supreme Court took another step forward in prioritizing mental and behavioral health in the state’s courts with the hiring of a Statewide Behavioral Health Administrator. Scott Block will serve as a mental health voice and resource for the Illinois Judicial Branch, furthering local, state, and national behavioral health and justice initiatives that impact the courts. This includes providing guidance to the Illinois Courts’ on the intersection of behavioral health and justice and serving as project director for the Illinois Supreme Court Mental Health Task Force, according to a press release. “We welcome Scott and look forward to his…
Synopsis: IL WC Appellate Court Stunner—VocRehab in IL To Include/Require Provision of Vocational “Assessments” and Job Placement Services.   Editor’s comment: Once I think this work comp defense stuff is easy, I read decisions such as this. Please remember there are many rules and requirements in IL WC that don’t have a penalty if you don’t follow the rules. But if the Commission and Courts are going to require it, the legal and claims industry is going to have to follow. As another preliminary thought, please also note this claim is 18 years old and still not done!!!   In…