Coronavirus

When a couple knows the marriage is over, divorce is inevitable. However, before couples can divorce, Illinois law requires them to meet a legal standard that shows they have irreconcilable differences, that past attempts at fixing the marriage have failed, and that future attempts would fail as well.  Couples can still live together, file for divorce in Illinois, and finalize the divorce on the same day – as long as there isn’t any objection from either party. But if one party does object, or denies there are irreconcilable differences, a six-month separation period is considered proof by the court that…
Contributed By Jeffrey Glass, June 11, 2021 employment law books and a gavel on desk in the library. concept of legal education. As reported in prior blogs, the Illinois legislature for several months has been considering amendments to the Illinois Freedom to Work Act that apply to non-compete and non-solicitation restrictions. SmithAmundsen attorneys worked closely with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce to protect the interests of employers as much as possible during the legislative process.  The legislature has now passed SB672. It is generally viewed as a compromise between employer and employee interest groups. It is not a ban…
The Illinois General Assembly sent a few finance-related bills to the Governor that may be of interest to local governments. TIF Reporting Requirements HB 0571 would amend the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act to require municipalities to prepare an analysis for the Comptroller and relevant taxing districts indicating the (1) nature and term of the obligation; (2) the projected debt service including required reserves and debt coverage; and (3) the actual debt service. Starting in FY-2022, municipalities will also be required to submit to the Comptroller and taxing districts certain information about job growth, property tax increment, and any identified…
Contributed By Matthew Horn, June 10, 2021 On June 10th, OSHA issued its long-promised COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).  Surprisingly, the ETS relates only to the healthcare industry, but updated guidance has been issued for all industries, as outlined below: Non-Healthcare Industries: For non-healthcare industries, including manufacturing and construction, OSHA only intends to issue guidance relating to COVID-19, including updated guidance on complying with the CDC’s latest recommendations to allow fully vaccinated workers to not wear masks or social distance in most situations. Notably, the ETS exempts fully vaccinated workers from masking, distancing and barrier requirements when in well-defined…
Staggering new data reveals just how differently workplace stressors and the pandemic have impacted the mental health of attorneys. Notably, roughly 31% of Black lawyers said they have contemplated suicide during their legal career. This is a significant increase from the approximately 23% of Hispanic and Latino attorneys, 20% of Asian attorneys, and almost 19.4% of white attorneys who reported the same tendencies. The data is part of ALM’s 2021 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Survey, which asked 3,200 law firm attorneys and staff about COVID-19’s impact on their well-being and how their firms have responded. While it’s clear…
Governor J.B. Pritzker’s administration extended a variation of the statewide ban on residential evictions for another 30 days until April 30, 2021. This halt in residential evictions is welcomed by some Illinois tenants who are suffering extreme financial hardships as a result of COVID-19’s economic displacement. | O’Flaherty Law – Learn About Law Legal Articles, Videos & Podcasts with O’Flaherty Law…
Our Lawyer Spotlight series highlights Illinois lawyers who are demonstrating the ideals of professionalism in their daily lives. These attorneys are teaching us how to adapt and thrive in the changing legal environment. Perry Browder is an Alton, Ill.-based personal injury attorney and the managing partner of the mesothelioma/asbestos group at Simmons Hanly Conroy. He manages the firm’s more than 50 asbestos attorneys who are organized into multiple asbestos trial teams. Perry also oversees all asbestos cases to ensure they are handled in an efficient manner that maximizes results and minimizes hassle for clients and their families. How has your…
When was the last time you reviewed your long-term disability (LTD) coverage? If you’re like most dental professionals, it’s been a while—and there’s a good chance you’ve outgrown your coverage. The COVID-19 pandemic has painfully reminded us how an unexpected pause in your practice can be catastrophic. That’s why I’m encouraging you to review your policy and take a proactive approach to disability planning. Dentists Face a High Likelihood of Disability Dentistry takes a toll on your body. Even if you’re not stooping all day, research shows that a dentist’s static posture, use of hand tools, repetitive motions, stress, and…
Last week, we reported that two bills that would have amended the Open Meetings Act to expand the remote meeting procedures adopted during the pandemic were not approved in this legislative session. Since then, we have received some questions about when public bodies are required to go back to in-person meetings and the traditional procedures for remote meeting attendance. While only the Governor knows how long the COVID-19 disaster declaration will stay in place, we did see that Executive Order 2021-11 (issued on May 28, 2021) extended EO 2020-07 until June 26, 2021 – that was the EO that temporarily…
This week, we read about the damage of the public charge rule and the impact of deportation on Guatemalan nationals.  To stay updated on all things immigration, follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook! 1. Low-Income US Immigrant Families Avoided Benefits During Pandemic Over Immigration Fears, Study Finds — Wednesday, May 26 In 2020, over 25% of low-income immigrant families did not seek help during the pandemic. They were afraid that it would have a negative impact on their status. The number was even higher (43.9%) among families with non-permanent resident adults.  These statistics show the legacy…
In January, the Biden administration announced plans for the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 with the goal of implementing significant immigration reform. The bill was formally introduced in both the House and the Senate in February and is currently working its way through the legislative process in both chambers. The bill contains hundreds of pages of legalese, as most congressional bills do. The goal of the bill is much more direct: “To provide an earned path to citizenship, to address the root causes of migration and responsibly manage the southern border, and to reform the immigrant visa system, and for…
This week, the Illinois Supreme Court launched a newly designed website for the Judicial Branch. The redesign is aimed at making information about Illinois’ courts and their services more accessible to the general public, court patrons and employees, and the media. “The Illinois Supreme Court is extremely excited for the rollout of this new website,” said Chief Justice Anne M. Burke in a press release. “It contains a wealth of information on the Illinois Judicial Branch including the Circuit, Appellate and Supreme Court levels. Extensive user testing was done to ensure that people are able to quickly and easily navigate…
Just hours before the conclusion of the spring legislative session, the Illinois General Assembly passed two bills that will significantly impact students who receive services until age 22.  The first, HB40, impacts students who turn 22 during the school year by allowing them to continue to receive special education services until the end of that school year rather than until the day before their 22nd birthday. This is a change we have been anticipating for some time, and will take effect upon the Governor’s signature.    The second, HB 2748, titled “COVID-19 post-secondary transition recovery eligibility,” provides an extended period of IEP services for students who turned 22 “during the time in…
Synopsis: New Law Allows for prejudgment interest in some IL personal injury and wrongful death claims. This is a “must-read” for personal injury/liability adjusters, risk managers and defense attorneys.   Editor’s comment: Governor Pritzker signed and thereby enacted this new law that I assure you was quietly sponsored by the Illinois Trial Lawyers. The law might cause multi-million verdicts to be even more painful for insurance carriers, self-insureds and physicians/hospitals defending medical malpractice claims. As I have advised many times, Illinois has overwhelming Democrat majorities in the IL House and Senate, along with our very, very liberal Governor. As Gov.…
On May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) revised its Covid-19 guidance for fully vaccinated persons.  The revised guidance now states as follows: If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic. Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.…. You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace and local business. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html (emphasis added).  The CDC, however, exempted healthcare workplaces from its…
Contributed By Steven Jados, May 28, 2021 Medicine doctor and vaccine dose On May 28, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance regarding employers offering incentives for employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The updated guidance also clarifies issues related to whether employers can mandate that employees be vaccinated before entering the workplace. Interestingly, the EEOC’s guidance on vaccine incentives is broken into two parts: (1) incentives for employees voluntarily providing proof that they received a vaccination on their own, and (2) incentives for employees who voluntarily receive a vaccination administered by the employer or its…