Savine Employment Law, Ltd.

Savine Employment Law, Ltd. provides employment dispute services and employment counsel to employers and employees.

Unlike many employment law firms, we do not represent exclusively management or exclusively individuals. Savine Employment Law, Ltd. advocates aggressively on behalf of both our business and individual clients. We’ve also experienced the workplace from every angle, not only as trusted advisors to senior management and human resources of some of the world’s largest companies, but also as business owners and as workers.

Our familiarity with both sides of the workplace makes us stronger, more informed, and more effective champions for all our clients.

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Latest from Savine Employment Law, Ltd.

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…
As we polish off the last of the Thanksgiving turkey, we’re reminded that for some, particularly those suffering from holiday-triggered depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder, the holiday season can induce a psychological decline that leaves them unable to work. And as a recent federal appeals court ruling points out, this decline may trigger FMLA rights, even if the affected employee never specifically asks for leave. On November 12, 2019, in Valdivia v. Township High School District 214 the Seventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld a jury verdict against the district for its interference with administrative assistant Noemi…
Recent Chicago News Story Highlights Problems of Going it Alone You did everything right when you left your last job: showed up on your last day, turned in your laptop and smart phone, had goodbye drinks with colleagues. And yet, you have unpaid wages. Maybe you didn’t get your last paycheck or maybe you didn’t receive all your overtime, accrued commissions or that bonus or severance payment promised to you. What should you do about it? The answer many quickly jump to is to simply go it alone by filing a complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) or…
Chain’s Decision Reminds Boards, Executives, Workplace Dating Fraught With Risk Like many HR staff, we’re pouring another cup of coffee while we Monday morning quarterback the weekend’s news from McDonald’s that the board ousted CEO Steve Easterbrook for conducting what is described in the press as a “consensual relationship” in the workplace. The board asked for Easterbrook’s resignation despite his success leading a turnaround after disappointing financial returns in 2015. McDonald’s Chief People Officer also left the company for undisclosed reasons. Why HR Struggles With Workplace Dating What difficulties does workplace dating impose on organizations and what are the particular…
Appeals Court Finds Business Successors Can Inherit Employment Discrimination Liabilities Companies or individuals acquiring an existing business should determine if the seller faces potential civil rights violations and, if so, take this fact into account in the acquisition process. If a buyer overlooks these liabilities, they could inherit them, despite longstanding Illinois precedent against such “successor liability,” at least according to one appeals court. In People ex rel. Dep’t of Human Rights v. Oakridge Nursing & Rehab Ctr., the First District Appellate Court held that the general rule of successor corporate nonliability may not apply to Illinois Human Rights Act…
Savvy Illinois Employers Will Plan Ahead for Landmark Rulings Today, the Supreme Court kicks off its new term with several employment cases, including cases on appeal from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals right here in Chicago. Illinois employers should keep tabs on these cases and anticipate how the Court’s rulings will add to a bevy of new compliance obligations going into effect in 2019-20, all discussed below. LGBT Rights Under Federal Law – Will They Catch Up To Illinois Law? The Justices will consider a trio of cases that ask whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition…
Two New Laws Encourage Employers To Overlook Past Incarceration In his inaugural address, Governor Pritzker promised to expand “true justice in our criminal justice system” and advance “economic inclusion” for Illinoisans who have previously been incarcerated. Two new laws carry out this promise and build on the efforts of 2015’s “Ban the Box” law to make it easier for the estimated 42 percent of Illinois residents with criminal backgrounds to avoid automatic disqualification and to get jobs. Illinois’ “Ban the Box” law, also known as the “Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act” prevents certain employers or their agents from inquiring…
Agency’s Action Adds To Heavy Slate Of New Employment Laws In 2020 This morning, September 24, 2019, the US Department of Labor (DOL) published its final overtime rule. You can find it in full on the DOL’s website. The final rule is effective January 1, 2020, giving employers about 100 days to review and adjust the pay of their exempt workforce to comply with the law. 4 Key Takeaways Of The New Rules The new rule increases the salary level for the white-collar exemptions (executive, administrative, and professional). New salary level for white collar exemptions will be $684 per…
Agency’s Tactics For Battling The Gender Pay Gap Now Uncertain In a not-entirely surprising September 12, 2019 notice in the Federal Register, the EEOC announced that it plans on not renewing an Obama-era rule requiring employers to provide pay data as part of their annual employer information (EEO-1) report until after it assesses whether the two years’ worth of pay data a federal court ordered it to obtain under the rule is useful to its efforts to address gender pay gap. As we reported in March, the court decided in the case National Women’s Law Center v. OMB that…
Lawmakers’ Attention Likely To Turn Back To Paid Sick Leave Legislation This Fall With so many new major Illinois employment laws already enacted this year, even the most well-informed HR professionals would be forgiven if they felt unable to predict and plan for the next wave of workplace legislation likely to come down the pike before year’s end. Fortunately, Springfield lawmakers signaled their intentions on August 2, 2019 when Governor Pritzker signed into law the Illinois Donor Protection Act (IDPA). You can read the law here. At first blush, to private sector employers, the IDPA might appear insignificant. Most…
Time is Now to Comply with Salary History Law Many Illinois employers returning from summer holiday are facing a rude awakening as they discover that they now have less than a month – until September 29, 2019, to be precise – to revamp longstanding hiring practices or face sizable liability. As we previously reported here, earlier this summer Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a bill adding new teeth to Illinois’ Equal Pay Act. The reforms aim to chip away at the persistent national gender pay gap, by prohibiting employers from inquiring into job applicants’ pay history in…
Latest Labor Board guidance may create more confusion and risk for HR On August 14, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in Cordúo Restaurants, Inc. that an employer could change its mandatory arbitration agreement to bar its workers from opting into a class action in response to being sued for wage and hour violations, and that a supervisor’s threatening statements to workers that they would be fired if they failed to sign the agreements did not violate Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). You can read the full ruling here. Curdúo isn’t a Green Light…
Agency Spotlights Existing Path to School Visit Entitlements With HR’s current focus on complying with all the new Illinois employment laws scheduled to become effective in 2019-20, which we’ve summarized here , it’s easy for employers to lose sight of existing laws and their new applications in our ever- changing world. On August 8, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor served up a useful reminder. In an FMLA opinion letter addressed to an anonymous inquiry, the DOL said that the wife of the inquirer can take intermittent leave from her job under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to…
Illinois Workplace Transparency Act Signed Into law And NLRB Hands Down New Union Election Rules The heat of the summer doesn’t seem to be slowing down State and Federal lawmakers as the Pritzker honeymoon continues, but before the doldrums of an election season can kick in. Here’s the latest: Illinois #MeToo Bill Now The Law For instance, on Friday, August 9, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed into law the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA), a bill inspired by the #MeToo movement that imposes several new obligations on employers to combat harassment, including a requirement to provide annual harassment training of workers, a…
Law Adds to Busy Summer as Many Employers Also Prepare EEOC Pay Data Disclosures On July 31, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law HB834, amending the Illinois Equal Pay Act in ways that will fundamentally alter hiring practices across the Land of Lincoln. By doing so, Illinois became one of at least 13 states that now restrict employers’ ability to use pay history in hiring and compensation decisions, as part of the effort to chip away at the persistent national gender pay gap.We previously wrote about this law here. Under the amendments, employers may no longer screen…