Employment & Labor

Contributed by John Hayes, July 14, 2020 On July 8, 2020 the United States Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. civil rights laws barring discrimination on the job do not apply to most lay teachers at religious elementary schools. The decision extends earlier Supreme Court rulings that shielded religious organizations from employment-discrimination claims by ministers, called the “ministerial exception.” This principle, which courts derived from the First Amendment, bars the government from telling a religious institution whom to choose as its faith leaders. Respecting that principle sometimes requires the courts to stay out of employment disputes when the employer…
Today’s blog entry is a two-for-one dealing with the fact that definitional terms still matter even after the amendments to the ADA. In the first case, Colton v. Fehrer Auto, North America, LLC, we revisit the question of whether being short is a disability without more. In the second case, Darby v. Childvine, Inc., we look at the question of whether a person with BRCA1 gene who undergo a preventive surgery to prevent breast cancer is a person with a disability. As usual, the blog is divided into categories and they are: Colton facts; Colton reasoning physical or…
Mom-and-pop stores and restaurants have been the foundation of the United States since the country’s origin. Many Americans pride themselves on their work and ability to support their families, with additional fulfillment given to those who do this by running their own business. In the best-case scenarios, family businesses will be passed down from generation to generation. While it may seem straightforward to hand your business off to one of your children, you should still have a plan set in place so that things transition smoothly and your business remains intact. This is known as a business succession plan,…
On June 24, Virginia became the first state in the country to implement workplace health and safety rules to protect workers from coronavirus infections. Could Illinois be next?   Whatever happens, these actions should serve as an example of what every  business should do. Virginia’s health and safety board agreed to create finalized rules after the state’s Department of Labor and Industry drafted an emergency temporary standard in late May. The office of Governor Ralph Northam said the idea arose because the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has received more than 4,000 complaints related to coronavirus but only issued…
In the last bit of employment news last week, the BACP reminded employers of the Anti-Retaliation Ordinance. Enacted in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Ordinance protects workers from retaliation for obeying certain health orders related to COVID-19. What Health Orders are Covered Under Chicago’s Anti-Retaliation Ordinance? The Anti-Retaliation Ordinance applies to several kinds of health orders: Stay at home to minimize the transmission of COVID-19. For example: A stay-at-home order closes your workplace and requires you to stay home. Remain at home while experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or sick with COVID-19. For example: A doctor tells you to stay home…
Earlier this week, on July 1st, 2020, Chicago enacted the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance. Coming at the same time as an increase in the minimum wage, the Ordinance supports and enforces workers’ rights to a fair and predictable schedule. The Ordinance requires certain employers to post schedules 10 days in advance and pay employees extra for sudden schedule changes, plus a couple of other requirements. Do the new scheduling requirements apply to your business? What even are they? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out. What Employees Are Covered by the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance? We’ll get to…
Synopsis: Black Lives Matter   Editor’s comment: I/We at KCB&A understand and agree with this concept. We join with lots of others across our country and the world to fight systemic racism. I want to confirm for my readers racism can’t be ignored but it isn’t a science and is one of the dopiest and most pointless things the human race has ever engaged in. I recoil to be asked my “race” in applications and anywhere. I assure all of you the goofy term “Caucasian” has nothing to do with the even goofier term “white.” If you want that analysis,…
Contributed by Suzannah Wilson Overholt, July 2, 2020 After schools and day cares closed in the spring due to the pandemic, employers and parents alike were hopeful that summer would bring a return to normalcy – especially in the form of camp for kids. Alas, that hope has not become a reality as many states have either delayed or prohibited the opening of camps. What are employers and working parents to do? On June 26, the federal Department of Labor issued guidance stating that, under certain circumstances, an employee whose child’s day camp is closed as a result of…
Contributed by Suzannah Wilson Overholt, July 1, 2020 As has come to be expected, the guidance regarding COVID-19 has changed again. This time the CDC narrowed the definition of who constitutes a “close contact” for purposes of tracing people with potential exposure to someone who has COVID-19. While a “close contact” is still defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes, what has changed is when the exposure occurred during the ill person’s sickness. The relevant time is now from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two…
Today, July 1st 2020, Chicago’s minimum wage goes up. The increase marks the second stage of a plan to incrementally reach $15.00/hour by 2021. The BACP published full rules on their website; here are the essential details: What is the Minimum Wage in Chicago? The minimum wage used to be $13.00 across the board. The rules taking effect today (July 1st, 2020) introduce a little more nuance. The minimum wage now depends on the size of your business; businesses with a workforce over a certain size pay a little bit more. Tiny (Fewer than 4 workers): $10.00 (was $9.25;…
When starting up a company in Illinois, you will research various formation options available under state law and do your research to find the right fit for your business. Many in your position lean towards a corporation because of the benefits it offers, both for owners and the entity. However, you may not realize that there are distinct types of corporations that can provide additional advantages from a federal income tax standpoint. One is the S Corporation, often referred to as a “flow-through” entity for how profits and losses are distributed among owners. It is essential to get your business…
In Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2020-4, issued June 26, 2020, the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, recognized a number of ways an employee can establish eligibility for Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) leave based on the closure of a summer camp or program that the employee claims would have been the place of care for the employee’s child over the summer. In addition to proof of actual enrollment or application to a camp or program, if an employee’s child attended a camp or program in the summer of 2018 or 2019 and the child…
Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), employees may be entitled to up to two weeks of paid sick leave and up to 12 weeks of expanded family and medical leave, of which 10 weeks are paid to care for a child based on the closure of the child’s school or place of care. When the spread of COVID-19 accelerated in March, most schools and daycares closed, creating problems for many parents who relied on these facilities to care for their children while the parents worked. As the summer months approached, a new question arose: whether parents would be…
  Today’s blog entry comes from the Fourth Appellate District of the State of California. It is an Internet accessibility case. The difference with this case is that there is a focus on the California’s Civil Rights Act, what they call the Unruh Civil Rights Act. The facts are pretty straightforward. The plaintiff is permanently blind and requires screen reading software to vocalize visual information on the computer screen that allows him to read website content and access the Internet. Of course, the credit union’s site was not accessible. So, he sues under the Unruh Civil Rights Act alleging both…
Contributed by Michael Wong and Sara Zorich, June 26, 2020 It’s that time of year and even a pandemic will not stop Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago from increasing their minimum wages on July 1, 2020 as follows: Non-Tipped Employees Tipped Employees(Claiming the Tip Credit) Illinois (all employers) $10.00 per hour $6.00 per hour Cook County (employers in municipalities that did not opt-out) $13.00 per hour $6.00 per hour* *Technically, the Cook County Minimum Wage Ordinance for tipped employees only increases to $5.30. However, since that is less than the new State minimum wage for tipped…
Small Businesses Reopening As of today June 26, Illinois has reached Stage 4 of coronavirus reopening, which allows essentially all types of businesses to reopen provided they observe public health safety guidance and capacity limits, with no more than 50 people allowed in one place. What does this mean for businesses, and how can they protect themselves—and their employees and customers—medically, financially and legally? Continue reading