Employment & Labor

Contributed By Jeff Risch and Peter Hansen, May 7, 2021 hand signing contract on white paper Contractors beware – the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) has ramped up audits of contractors as labor unions and related organizations flood the IDOL with “complaints. Remember, under the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act (IPWA), a prevailing wage “complaint” need not be verified or even submitted to the IDOL under penalty of perjury. The IDOL will investigate each and every “complaint” regardless of merit and, while historically the main focus of the IDOL was to ensure proper and full payment of the actual prevailing…
Contributed By Jeffrey Glass, May 6, 2021 employment law books and a gavel on desk in the library. concept of legal education. In the typical non-compete lawsuit, an employer seeks to block the defendant, often an ex-sales representative, from calling on or doing business with the company’s clients. However, in some cases, the defendant succeeds in taking some business, thereby raising the issue of monetary damages.  So, how are damages calculated in a non-compete case?  In a recent decision, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois addressed this issue. In Zurich American Ins. Co. v. Hill,…
Contributed By Carlos Arévalo and Molly Arranz, May 4, 2021 fingerprint scan provides security access with biometrics identification For the past several years, we have periodically reported regarding the proliferation of class actions and other litigation under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Under BIPA, entities may not “collect, capture, purchase, receive through trade or otherwise obtain” or store a person’s biometric information without informing an individual in writing about the collection or storage of said information. Entities collecting biometric information must also specify the purpose for its collection and storage and how long it will be kept.…
Synopsis: Trip and fall denial while leaving work in IL WC may hang on a “shoe-string”! Research and writing by Michael Palmer, J.D., KCB&A’s most recent addition.   Editor’s Comment: In their solid ruling, the IL WC Commission delineates the subtle differences which may trigger compensability vs. denial in fall-down cases.   In Weston v. Illinois State Department of Children & Family Services, Petitioner was going to her employer’s orientation program and instructed to park in the lot in front of the building or in the alternative, a second lot nearby. The claimant parked in the lot in front of…
Contributed By Kelly Haab-Tallitsch, April 30, 2021 The Illinois General Assembly is considering a bill (H.B. 117) that would make several amendments to the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act, including extending the requirement to offer employees a retirement savings plan to employers with 5 to 24 employees. H.B. 117 was passed by the Illinois House of Representatives earlier this month and is currently pending in the Illinois Senate. Currently, Illinois employers that have 25 or more employees and have been in business at least two years are required to participate in the state-run Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program…
Human Resources Management Students Ask An Employment Lawyer Gary Savine returned for the third time to lead the “Ask an Employment Lawyer” discussion as part of the Human Resources Management Certificate Program offered by the College of DuPage (COD). “Human resources and employment law are about what happens in people’s working lives.  We deal with complex issues that can affect someone’s livelihood,” says employment lawyer, Gary Savine, principal, Savine Employment Law, Ltd., “I enjoy talking to human resources management students about real issues I’ve dealt with.  They always give me something to think about, as well.” Jane Murtaugh, program…
The reality cuts like knife: the United States of America is one of the only countries in the world that doesn’t maintain a federal paid leave program for its workers. Last night, President Biden made clear his desire to change this reality. In his first address to Congress since his election, President Biden unveiled an aggressive plan to provide federal paid family and medical leave to employees at workplaces across America. What’s the Plan? According to a White House fact sheet, the President’s proposal, dubbed the “American Families Plan,” calls for the following: The program would provide for partial…
Contributed By Beverly Alfon and Michael Hughes, April 28, 2021 COVID-19 Pandemic Allows Unions to Make Inroads with Health Care Workers For health care workers, the issues of staffing, wages and benefits are typically what unions have focused on in their organizing campaigns. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, these issues are heightened with the added urgency of worker safety. The realities created by the pandemic have and will likely continue to make their impact on health care workers – even prompting some who never may have considered union representation – to reconsider their position. For example, in September 2020, nurses…
City of Chicago outlaws employer retaliation for COVID vaccine-related time off To prevent employer retaliation against workers who must take time off to get the COVID vaccine, the city of Chicago issued an ordinance prohibiting retaliation, or taking any action, against workers who take time off to get their COVID vaccine.  The ordinance, passed by the Chicago City Council on Wednesday, bolsters last May’s anti-retaliation ordinance, which protects workers from retaliation if they are unable to work because of a COVID stay-at-home order, by making vaccination a protected activity. Employers in the city of Chicago are now prohibited from retaliating…
As more workplaces reopen and Covid-19 vaccinations become available to everyone over the age of 16 years, employers must decide whether to establish mandatory or voluntary vaccination policies. See “What Questions Do Employers Need To Ask About Covid-19 Vaccinations?”  A recent poll conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management (“SHRM”) reveals that 52% of workers support policies that require Covid-19 vaccinations as a condition of employment. It further discloses that 63% of the employees surveyed stated their intention to get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available.  [SHRM Survey: Some Workers Favor Required Vaccinations].  Employers with…
Synopsis: Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana Is Going Down For a Week Starting April 29th, as CAUSE takes a Pause. This is a “Must Read.” Comment by Kevin Boyle of Keefe Campbell Biery & Associates, LLC.   Editor’s comment: The Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana just published a very important notice that you need know about if you use the Indiana CAUSE system, as part of claims handling.  Please spread the word: At noon this coming Thursday, April 29th, 2021, the Accident Tracking system used by the IWCB will go down and remain inoperable for one week. On Wednesday, May 5th,…
Contributed By Suzanne Newcomb, April 22, 2021 As we previously discussed, Illinois has moved beyond “ban-the-box” and now significantly restricts employers’ ability to consider criminal convictions when making employment decisions. (For more details see our employer’s guide and join our complimentary webcast on April 29, 2021.) Illinois is not an outlier. Several states have enacted or are considering similar legislation. Below is a short summary of these state laws applicable to private employers. All of these statutes have exceptions. Note too, the fact that a state is not listed does not necessarily mean it has no restrictions. These…
What Can Small Businesses Do About the Maskless? As more states lift requirements that people wear COVID-19 masks indoors when in public, what can small businesses do to protect their employees—and other customers who still prefer to wear masks? As of April 5, more than one-third of states (18) lacked mask requirements, some of which never had them in the first place, according to the Associated Press. But business owners are certainly legally entitled to require them if they so choose, given that their public-facing spaces are still private property that they either rent or own, as long as…
Synopsis: Lots of My Readers are Asking—What is Up, Are You Still Writing the KCB&A Update?   Editor’s comment: The problem I am facing during the Great Pandemic of 2020-2021 is there isn’t much news that I feel is of interest to the greater WC community. There have been very few IL WC Appellate Court rulings to report on. I am not a “news-creator” and don’t feel it necessary to stretch to find headlines. When I have news that is “fit to print,” I promise to publish.   Here are a couple of thoughts that may be of interest to…
Contributed By: Jeffrey Glass, April 19, 2021 In recent years, many states have enacted legislation directed at employment contracts containing non-compete and non-solicitation clauses. Illinois first did so in 2016 with the Freedom to Work Act (the Act), which bans certain Illinois employers from entering into non-compete agreements with low-wage employees. Now, the Illinois General Assembly has taken the matter up again with additional proposed amendments to the Act. Although the new legislation has not been finalized, some provisions that appear likely to be included in the final version are: income thresholds for employees who are not “low wage,”…