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Employers who collect biometric information such as fingerprints, face scans, or retina or iris scans from employees—or even customers—need to ask permission and explain why the data is being collected, or they could well face legal liability. The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which regulates how employers must handle biometric data, received a relatively liberal interpretation from the Illinois Supreme Court, which means that state-level lawsuits have wider latitude than federal ones—but even suits dismissed at the federal level can sometimes be refiled in state court.   The law remains in flux when it comes to what, exactly, constitutes…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down one opinion on Thursday, Aug. 1. In People v. Johnson, the court held that the act of shoplifting could be prosecuted as burglary as opposed to retail theft. People v. Johnson By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender In July 2014, Darren Johnson and another man entered the Rock Falls Walmart, placing two backpacks on top of a coin counting machine in the vestibule on their way into the store. Inside, they gathered some items of clothing and then, without paying for the clothing, returned to the vestibule, retrieved the backpacks,…
If a veteran has a service-connected disability, the VA will rate it according to the “Schedule for Rating Disabilities.” In this document, which is in the Code of Federal Regulations, the VA listed every disability or condition they could think of that might affect a veteran.  If a veteran’s disability is not listed, the VA will rate it by using a comparable disability.  The ratings range from 0% to 100% and are meant to compensate the veteran for how much the disability affects her ability to work.  The rating corresponds to how much compensation she will get each month.  For…
Law aims to close legal loopholes that hide harassment concerns from public view. In the past few weeks, Illinois Legislators have been working feverishly to advance SB1829, the Workplace Transparency Act. In an already busy legislative session filled with worker-friendly initiatives, the bill has already passed the Senate and is advancing rapidly through the House, picking up scores of sponsors along the way. The bill would: Mandate annual sexual harassment training and prescribe the content for such training. Extend the IHRA’s protections against harassment to independent contractors. Grant victims of sexual harassment up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for…
Print Dorothy Crawley was a tenured teacher at Wells Preparatory Elementary School.  After receiving an anonymous tip that she had used sick days to take a Caribbean cruise, the Chicago School Board investigated and then filed charges against her alleging that, among other things, she made false representations in her employment record, violated Board policy prohibiting the use of sick days for personal time and engaged in conduct unbecoming of a school employee. The Board recommended immediate dismissal for cause. At a hearing on the charges, Ms. Crawley first admitted that she knew about the sick leave policy but claimed…
Revamped “Illinois Lawyer Now” to highlight member blogs, ISBA content The ISBA is excited to announce the launch of a new blog aggregation site, the newly minted Illinois Lawyer Now. Powered by LexBlog, the site hosts original ISBA substantive legal news, as well as content from members’ legal blogs. By aggregating ISBA and members’ legal blogs, Illinois Lawyer Now will be the preeminent site for up-to-date, Illinois-specific legal content. Do you have a legal blog? Legal blogs are eligible for inclusion if the author of the blog is an ISBA member or the blog is associated with a firm…