Employment & Labor

We all get them … and we get them all the time … and we are all tired of them … and we all cuss them out! Many of those calls are illegal.   Some of the robocalls you may have agreed to receive when you signed up for certain services – like those reminders that your prescription needs to be refilled – and those are legal.  But the automated, unsolicited calls coming from other countries are finally getting some attention from the federal government. The dead heads in the House and Senate have finally agreed on something and adopted the…
I am not sure about blog entry times for the next couple of weeks. Next week, I will be attending and speaking at the Accessibility Professionals Association conference in Round Rock, Texas. Sometime within the next two weeks, I will be testifying as an expert witness in a trial in Houston. So, not sure when or if blog entries will be posted over the next two weeks. Turning to today’s blog entry, the case of Babb v. Wilkie was recently argued before the United States Supreme Court. The legal blogosphere lit up when Justice Roberts as part of oral argument…
Contributed by Steven Jados, January 16, 2020 money and clock On January 7th, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued its first Opinion Letter of 2020, and the Letter serves as a reminder to businesses that retroactive overtime payments may be necessary if non-discretionary bonuses are paid to non-exempt (hourly-paid) employees. The scenario at issue in the Letter is that an employer had an announced policy through which employees were paid a $3,000 bonus after they completed ten weeks of training.  A particular employee worked 40 hours per week in eight of those ten weeks. But in…
Synopsis: Dr. David Fletcher and Gene Keefe Provide More Thoughts on Recreational/Medical Marijuana for Risk Managers.   Editor’s comment: Please consider the impact of recreational marijuana  on employer drug testing programs. Dr. Fletcher is a director of SafeWorks Illinois and wanted to share these thoughts and slides for your consideration in managing your workforce.   Several central IL employers are going to stop testing for MJ starting January 1, 2020. The team at SafeWorks is scrambling to get test kits that do not test for Marijuana.   Dr. Fletcher and I don’t feel this is strong advice. Contrary to many so-called “experts”…
January 15, 2020 by Leave a Comment Today’s blog entry takes on the question of what happens if a person with a disability decides they want to have a fun time at an Indian owned casino. However, the Indian owned casino does not accommodate their disability. Can the person with the disability go after the Indian owned casino? The case of the day is Drake v. Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community decided by Judge Liburdi of the District Court in Arizona on October 31, 2019. As usual, the blog entry is divided into categories and they are: facts;…
January 15, 2020 by Leave a Comment Today’s blog entry takes on the question of what happens if a person with a disability decides they want to have a fun time at an Indian owned casino. However, the Indian owned casino does not accommodate their disability. Can the person with the disability go after the Indian owned casino? The case of the day is Drake v. Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community decided by Judge Liburdi of the District Court in Arizona on October 31, 2019. As usual, the blog entry is divided into categories and they are: facts;…
Can a business ban guns from the business and workplace? If a customer walked into your retail business or professional office carrying a gun, would you be comfortable with that, or would it feel a little too much like the O.K. Corral? What if they were carrying their weapon openly? Businesses in Oklahoma (postal abbreviation: OK) have had a new reason to ask themselves those questions since November 1, when a change in state law enabled most Oklahoma residents to carry firearms without a license. That follows a 2012 law that gave licensed firearms carriers the ability to open-carry weapons. …
Question:        I am planning to retire and give stock in my business to my children in the next few years.  While I am not expecting any payments in return, I want to continue my salary following my retirement. Can the business continue to pay salary to me after I retire? Answer:           If you retire and are no longer rendering services for your company, you cannot continue to receive a salary.  If a tax audit occurs, the IRS will not respect the salary payments to you and will recharacterize your continuing payments from the company as a dividend or gift,…
Workplace Drug Testing Protections Added By 11th Hour Change to Illinois Cannabis Act On January 1, 2020, recreational cannabis use became legal in the State of Illinois. But as we previously reported here, Illinois’ new cannabis law raised questions about whether employers could continue workplace cannabis testing under circumstances previously taken for granted, including pre-employment and random testing. On December 4, 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law Public Act 101-593 (The “Amendments”) in an apparent attempt to answer those questions and include certain new protections for workplace drug testing. Today’s post describes these amendments and identifies what employers…
We’re pleased to share that Gary Savine, principal, Savine Employment Law, Ltd. was featured in the January, 2020 cover story of the Illinois Bar Journal on the topic of recreational cannabis. The article, “Ready or Not, Cannabis Is Here,” by Ed Finkel, covers the myriad of legal issues raised by the availability of legal, recreational cannabis. On the employment law side, Gary covered whether employers’ drug testing policies need to be changed, how employers might handle use of cannabis by employees outside the workplace, random and pre-employment drug testing, and his predictions for the future of employment litigation in this…
Contributed by Michael Wong, January 8, 2020 Following the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which made major changes affecting taxpayer withholding, the IRS announced it would be redesigning Form W-4. The new W-4 has officially been released, creating confusion and questions (at the time of this article the new federal 2020 W-4 can be found on the IRS website). First and foremost, employers do NOT need to get all employees to sign a new W-4. According to IRS Publication 15, employers are to remind employees before December 1 each year to submit a new W-4 form…
Happy new year everybody. Hope everybody enjoyed their holiday and is now raring to get back to work. Just to give everybody a heads up, the week of January 28 and February 3 may not see a blog entry for me at all. During those two weeks, I will be testifying in two different trials and attending and speaking at a convention. That means in that period of time I will be in three different cities (Houston-trial testimony; Austin-attending and speaking at the Accessibility Professionals Association convention; and Albuquerque-trial testimony). Also, worth noting is the 11th Circuit just came down…
Happy new year everybody. Hope everybody enjoyed their holiday and is now raring to get back to work. Just to give everybody a heads up, the week of January 28 and February 3 may not see a blog entry for me at all. During those two weeks, I will be testifying in two different trials and attending and speaking at a convention. That means in that period of time I will be in three different cities (Houston-trial testimony; Austin-attending and speaking at the Accessibility Professionals Association convention; and Albuquerque-trial testimony). Also, worth noting is the 11th Circuit just came down…
January 7, 2020:  This page provides an update for our approximately 3,300 clients who worked at Providence Life Services in Illinois.    Judge Sanjay Tailor granted final approval of our $3,000,000.00 class action settlement which sought damages for Illinois employees under the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).  Our clients should expect that their checks will arrive in February 2020.   For more information about the settlement, click here.
Synopsis: Marijuana Now Legal in Illinois—What Do Employers Do?   Editor’s comment: Marijuana became legal in Illinois last week. Illinois employers face a brave, new world on what to do about marijuana in the workplace. Crain’s Chicago Business reported the State of Illinois raked in $3.2M the first day of marijuana sales, guaranteeing the worst run State in the United States is going to latch on to this cash cow and milk it for all its worth, regardless of the dangers and costs to employers and local governments.   Drug/Alcohol Testing and Policies are Important But So Is Common Sense…