Coronavirus

Laws are established for various reasons, mainly to keep citizens safe and provide for a fair society. The state of Illinois has several new laws taking effect in 2021, one of which affects employers and their employees. The minimum wage will increase to $11 per hour for standard workers; $6.60 per hour for tipped workers, and $8.50 per hour for workers under the age of 18 who work less than 650 hours in a calendar year. This new legislation is part of a staggered plan that will eventually raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. However, many…
During the recent “lame duck” session, a bill passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly facilitating liquor delivery by retailers. If signed by the Governor, Ill. S.B. 54 would amend the Liquor Control Act to provide that nothing in the Liquor Control Act will “deny, limit, remove, or restrict the ability of a holder of a retailer’s license to deliver alcoholic liquor to the purchaser for use or consumption,” with just a few exceptions. Except for Chicago, home rule and non-home rule units alike may not regulate the delivery of alcoholic liquor inconsistent with the proposed statutory amendments. “Delivery”…
Restaurant and bar owners in Northern Illinois are hopeful that their businesses will soon be able to resume limited indoor dining after restrictions due to the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 in the region. If they are able to open soon, as local news outlets are reporting, they will be just in time for the National Football League’s championship weekend. Unfortunately, the combination of alcohol, tension, and competing team loyalties can lead to verbal and even physical altercations. People often lose sight of the fact that no perceived slight or indignity related to a sporting event is grounds for…
In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to retired Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert R. Thomas and Circuit Court of Cook County Judge Debra B. Walker. Thomas and Walker reflect on recent events and discuss how leaders can set the tone for civility in their organizations, the role lawyer professionalism plays in our government, and how the courts have remained impartial in highly charged moments.  Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date on new episodes of Reimagining Law!      Timestamps     00:50 – How has the state of civility in the legal profession changed since the Commission was…
Save the date! The Future Is Now: Legal Services conference will return in a virtual format this spring. The Commission’s signature future law event will be held Tuesday, April 25 – Thursday, April 27, 2021, from 12 – 2 p.m. CDT.   The fourth annual The Future Is Now conference will bring together lawyers, judges, legal academics, entrepreneurs, and other professionals from across the U.S. and internationally. The conference will explore the interplay between the changing legal profession and attorney professionalism in three areas: future law; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and well-being.  Topics will include strategies for implementing new technology in your practice; policies for successfully advancing diversity, equity,…
Sometimes, no matter how promising the beginning, relationships must come to an end. When a partnership is no longer viable, and the parties involved seek a way out, divorce is the best solution. That doesn’t mean it’s the easiest solution, which can be especially true during the era of COVID-19. While much of society ground to a halt, specific industries can’t do the same – the legal system is one of them. This is good news for individuals looking for a divorce, although the process to obtain one might be a bit different than you’d imagine. But whatever you do,…
With rare exceptions, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that every person 6-months-old or older get a flu shot each year between October and March. Getting a flu shot this flu season is even more important than usual, as vaccinating ourselves could reduce the burden on our nation’s healthcare workers who are currently contending with a greater number of hospitalizations from the novel coronavirus. According to the CDC, “Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself and the people around you from flu, and to help reduce the strain on…
Getting a divorce can be one of the most difficult decisions of someone’s life. In some cases, couples may put it off if they have children because they cannot bear the thought of not seeing their kids all of the time. Parents also might worry about the negative impact the split may have on the children. However, studies show that youngsters are resilient and often handle major life transitions better than adults. Also, if spouses are unhappy, constant conflict and arguing in front of the kids does not do anyone any good, causing a lot of stress and anxiety. Learning…
Last year, the CARES Act granted businesses and nonprofits a payroll tax credit, but due to its several restrictions most clients were unable to qualify. The newly passed Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, drops many of the restrictions. In so doing, the new law frees up potentially millions in credits for qualified employers due to the expanded Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), now applicable through the first two quarters of 2021. The major changes are: increase the credit percentage from 50% to 70% of qualified wages. increase the creditable…
What’s going on with the travel bans? Can I start planning travel to the U.S.? There’s been a bit of confusion regarding the lifting of the travel bans. On Monday, January 19th, Trump signed an order lifting the travel bans from Ireland, the UK, most of Europe, and Brazil. This news was followed by an announcement from the Biden Administration, stating that they would NOT be lifting any travel bans. Jen Psaki, a Biden spokeswoman stated, “with the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel.”As…
Contributed by Carlos Arévalo, January 18, 2021 On the last day of 2020, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued an opinion letter impacting employers using telework arrangements in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  While a vaccine is now rolling out and we will hopefully get the pandemic under control in 2021, this opinion letter provides guidance to employers that have had to institute remote and hybrid work policies and/or arrangements with their workforce. Specifically, the opinion letter addressed two general scenarios: Employee has a parent-teacher conference in the middle of the day and works from the office, attends…
Financial Poise announces its 2021 Employment Law Bootcamp webinar series—Protecting Your Employee Assets: The Life Cycle of the Employment Relationship Click here for registration & more information: PROTECTING YOUR EMPLOYEE ASSETS_ THE LIFE CYCLE OF THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP 2021 MODERATOR: Charles Krugel – Charles A. Krugel, Labor & Employment Law on Behalf of Business PANELISTS: Helen Bloch – Law Offices of Helen Bloch, P.C. Max Barack – The Garfinkel Group, LLC Gary Savine  – Savine Employment Law, Ltd. #1: Welcome to the Team! Recruiting and Hiring, Including Restrictive Covenants Premiere date: 1/26/21 #2: An Ounce of Prevention: Policies, Procedures and…
Carol, a single mother of two, worked hard and never missed a day of work. Her job did not allow for paid time off, and she wanted to make sure that her boss saw her as a reliable worker. Then, early on in the pandemic, she contracted the coronavirus. Her symptoms were mild, but her fears went into high gear. She felt like she was forced to choose between her paycheck and the public health measures that were needed to combat the virus, such as staying in quarantine for two weeks. Luckily for Carol, and employees across the country, Congress…
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all in a variety of ways, but for many people and families, the most significant impact has been the loss of employment or income. If you are a parent who pays child support, and you have been laid off, had your hours cut back, or have otherwise experienced a reduction in the income you earn, you may find yourself unable to meet your court-ordered obligations. To avoid legal consequences while ensuring that you will be able to provide for your children and meet your own needs, you will want to be sure to…
After nearly a year, the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to affect people across the United States. Even though vaccines are currently being administered, they are being rolled out slowly, and it will most likely be several more months before enough people can be vaccinated to allow a return to the activities that people enjoyed before the pandemic. Unfortunately, this means that those who have been struggling financially may continue to face difficulty and uncertainty for the time being. However, federal and state government organizations have offered a variety of different forms of relief, and programs may be available to help…