Employment & Labor

Seven in ten Americans use social media, according to the Pew Research Center.  They connect with one another, access content, share information, and entertain themselves through social media.  When the Pew Research Center first surveyed the use of social media in 2005, only five percent of American adults used at least one form of social media.  By 2011, half of all American adults used social media.  Today, 72% of adult Americans interact with some form of social media. In other words, social media has gone mainstream.  It no longer involves a cutting-edge technology.  Thus, for good reason, employers have adapted…
Today, Governor Pritzker signed HB0834 into law, amending Illinois’ Equal Pay Act to now prohibit employers from inquiring into job applicants’ salary or wage histories or using an applicant’s wage history, if volunteered, to screen them out of a position. Employers may still, however, ask applicants about their wage expectations. Unlike certain other jurisdictions’ wage history laws, it is unclear if the Illinois law will permit employers to ask applicants in commissions-driven fields what their current production or revenue numbers are as a backdoor to calculating or estimating their wages. Applicants whose rights under the Act have been violated may…
You might not realize it’s happening, and you definitely might not realize you have the right to object. But when you enter an airport in 2019, it’s possible that your airline—or the federal government—are scanning images of your face for their security-related purposes. Say No to Airport Facial Recognition This facial-recognition technology can be used during check-in, baggage drop, security and boarding. For the most part so far, it’s mostly only been deployed for international flights, to confirm passenger identity at the behest of Customs and Border Protection. But airlines and the Transportation Security Administration are considering doing so for…
On July 25, 2019, New Jersey Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver signed a bill prohibiting employers from asking job applicants their previous salary history. The new law aligns with Governor Murphy’s first official act as governor in 2018, when he signed Executive Order No. 1 prohibiting state agencies and offices from asking job candidates their previous salaries. The new law applies to all employers in New Jersey. The new law takes effect in six months. The new law states it is an “unlawful employment practice” for an employer to (1) screen a job applicant based on the applicant’s salary history, which…
A Small Business Guide to Unemployment Insurance By Sue Marquette Poremba, Contributing Writer; July 26, 2019 12:30 pm EST Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock No one plans to lose their job. However, when a small business owner closes their doors because of retirement, relocation or poor sales, employees quickly become former employees. Unemployment insurance gives your employees some financial security while they look for a new job. There is a lot of confusion surrounding unemployment insurance, such as who pays for it, who is eligible, and if you can opt out of providing this benefit. Our guide answers questions about unemployment insurance, the tax…
Illinois metropolis fourth US city to require notice of work shifts As we predicted here, the Chicago City Council passed the “Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance” on July 26, 2019. The Ordinance replaces a similar predictable scheduling ordinance that had been proposed and tabled earlier this year. It aims to curtail employers’ use of so-called “standby time” work scheduling practices that often result in wide, unpredictable fluctuations in workers’ work hours and income from week to week. Here are a few of the most notable aspects of the Ordinance: It covers employers in the retail, hotel, manufacturing, restaurant, building services…
July 26, 2019 by Leave a Comment Today is the 29th anniversary of the ADA. Things have gotten much better, but there is a long way to go. Also, we can’t forget about the effect that the amendments had as well. Hats off to both George H.W. and George W. <!– –> Filed Under: General Reader Interactions This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.…
Synopsis: When Is a Loss Covered by the IL WC Act?   Editor’s comment: The first thing an attorney, risk manager or adjuster must do when a new claim has been made is to evaluate whether the loss is covered by Illinois workers’ compensation law versus the various federal acts, general liability, or some other common law or other statutory remedy. If so, the next inquiry is whether Illinois workers’ compensation law applies versus the law of some other state or the federal system. Finally, if the case is properly an Illinois workers’ compensation claim, the adjuster must determine whether…
Unlawful workplace retaliation can take many forms, and an employee may even have a claim for activity outside of work. For example, as explained by the EEOC in his June 2019 press release, an employer can be liable where it prohibits or otherwise harasses an employee for participating in a Title VII investigation, lawsuit or other proceeding – even if the participation has nothing to do with the employee’s current job. As explained by the EEOC, the employer in the case at issue sought to prevent its current employee, a coal miner, from testifying in a Title VII (national…
On June 2, 2019, both houses of the Illinois legislature passed Senate Bill 75, the Workplace Transparency Act (“WTA”), and Governor Pritzker is expected to sign the bill into law shortly. The WTA amends the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”), expanding protections for Illinois workers against discrimination and harassment by: Extending the IHRA to prohibit discrimination and harassment against “nonemployees” in the workplace (e.g. contract workers and consultants); Clarifying that the “work environment” is not limited to the physical location an employee is assigned to work, expanding coverage to incidents that occur outside the office; and Prohibiting discrimination and harassment…
I am back from the Windy City. We had a good time. We did the family thing. We got some time to ourselves as well. The weather was not too bad. Before moving on to the blog entry of the day, my wife and I are huge Queer Eye fans. A new season of the show dropped on Friday. We have been busily watching. An episode we just watched talked about an organization called disabled but not really, headed by a remarkable person who truly believes that becoming a person with a disability/disabled turned around his life in positive…
William Valle’s commission lawsuit against Powertech Industrial Co. Ltd. offers a little bit of everything. Two versions of a contract, changing commission rates, enforceability questions, and the duty of good faith and fair dealing are all raised in this dispute. (So too is the perennial employee v. independent contractor battle, but that part of their contest will be saved for another day.) The case recently went to trial before the Hon. Diane J. Casper, who years ago demonstrated her mettle while presiding over the criminal trial of Boston mobster and FBI “most wanted” list mainstay James “Whitey” Bulger. The beginning…
Last month, Maryland joined a growing list of states that restrict the use of noncompete agreements for low wage employees. This month, the list of states grew yet again with New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island joining the trend. Generally speaking, a noncompete agreement is a contract between an employer and employee that restricts the employee from working for competitor companies after their employment ends, subject to certain time and geographic limitations. The three New England states have now joined the trend by restricting the enforcement of these types of agreements for low wage employees. New Hampshire: On July 11,…
It’s a Friday in the middle of summer. So, approximately half of your workforce called off today due to an FMLA-related absence. [Well, not really, but I’m not that far off, amirite?] Take heart. At least you’re not the City of Chicago. As reported this week by the City’s Inspector General, three employees in the City’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications all took FMLA leave at the same time for various co-called ailments. Instead of laying up on the couch and recuperating, however, the employees took the first plane they could out of Chicago and headed down to…
Synopsis: Illinois WC Death Claim Bungled and Employer Penalized.   Editor’s comment: Please consider asking the defense team at KCB&A or me about any IL/IN/WI/IA or MI death claim/concern you might have. I have handled dozens of such significant claims and I know the ropes backward and forward. Getting a newbie defense attorney to handle these multimillion dollars risks who doesn’t know the ropes can cost thousands of unneeded claims dollars. If you aren’t sure, my law partner Shawn Biery’s IL WC Rate Chart outlines most IL WC Death claims are worth $700K+ to a widow/widower and can be over…