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The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 is a United States labor law that gives workers the right to a minimum wage, as well as overtime pay when employees work more than 40 hours a week. It also prohibits employment of minors in “oppressive child labor.” When a company violates any of the FLSA regulations, employees can file a lawsuit against their employer. These violations can include wage and hour violations, such as unpaid overtime and wages that fall below minimum wage. Even when business owners unintentionally violate the terms of FLSA, it is important they understand how…
Starting your own business and becoming your own boss can be a dream come true for many people. Bringing your talent and creativity to fruition may allow you flexibility and financial security at the same time. As an Illinois business owner, you have several options regarding what type of company you would like to form. Important considerations include ownership, taxation, and management. Although you may have a vision of how you want your business to run, you may not be sure which business entity is the best choice. Before making this crucial decision, consult an experienced business attorney for advice…
Illinois employers must meet certain regulations set forth by the federal and local governments to operate. These include safety protocols to ensure a safe and secure working environment, as well as a minimum wage amount paid to employees. On July 1, 2020, the Illinois minimum wage was set to $10.00 per hour for those workers who are age 18 or older. For jobs in which gratuities are paid to employees, such as in restaurants, an employer is allowed to pay 60 percent of the minimum wage to its workers. In addition, overtime must be paid after 40 hours of work…
A typical workweek for employees in the United States consists of 40 hours. However, many workers actually spend more time performing their jobs. For jobs that are paid on an hourly basis, anything over 40 hours is usually considered overtime. Although many salaried (exempt) workers work 50-60 hours a week, they may not be eligible for overtime pay depending on their company or employment contract. The Illinois Overtime law (called the Illinois Minimum Wage Law) mirrors the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in many ways. Similar to the FLSA, the Illinois overtime law requires that non-exempt employees receive overtime…
A contract is defined as a legally binding agreement that recognizes and governs the rights and duties of those involved, whether it be two or more parties. An agreement typically involves the exchange of goods, services, money, or the promise of doing so later on. In today’s business world, contract disputes are fairly common, regardless of the industry. When an agreement is drafted and signed, this binds the parties together for a period of time. However, when one party deviates from the terms of the agreement, this is known as a breach of contract. Employees usually have to sign a…
The global pandemic of COVID-19 is on everyone’s minds these days. Millions of confirmed cases have been reported, and tens of thousands of people have died in the United States due to complications from the virus. Health and government officials continue to monitor the situation very closely. In countries throughout the world, non-essential businesses and schools have been temporarily closed in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a “stay at home” order through April 30. For those small business owners and employers who are struggling to maintain their livelihoods, there is some relief…
COVID-19, or coronavirus 2019, is a respiratory illness that can spread from animal to person or person to person. The virus was first identified during an outbreak in Wuhan, China. Currently, health officials are working on a vaccine for it, but that may take up to a year before it is approved. There is no doubt the virus has had a significant impact on people’s lives since it was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Here in Illinois, Governor Pritzker said he is filing emergency rules that will allow those who cannot work because they are…
Several changes to Illinois laws went into effect on January 1, 2020. This legislation affected many different areas of the criminal justice system, including employment law. Employers are required to follow certain rules and uphold standards in order to maintain a good business standing. Companies are regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which was passed in 1938 to improve workplace conditions. Since that time, there has been a much greater focus on sexual harassment prevention in the workplace. Signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker in 2019, the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA) was enacted at the first…
Owning your own business and being your own boss can be very rewarding, regardless of the field of work. In the United States, there are certain rules and regulations that control how a company should operate, and these guidelines may be different depending on the industry. All companies that operate under the Fair Labor Standards Act are required to keep specific records for a designated period of time for covered, non-exempt employees. Essential documentation may include an employee’s contact information, salary, work hours, and job duties. Record keeping might seem like a basic task, but if it is not done…
Depending on the industry or field of work, companies may hire employees or independent contractors (often called freelancers) or even a combination of both. Although either type of worker may perform similar job duties, it is important to understand the distinction between them as an employer. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) considers several factors to determine whether a worker is designated as an employee or an independent contractor. Some of the main differences between these types of workers include how they are paid, taxes, and insurance benefits. Every business is unique, and what works for one company may…
In the state of Illinois and throughout the United States, there are certain protections that are guaranteed to employees. Illinois has specific laws that apply to most employees regarding wages and payment. In addition, the federal government has laws that offer further protections to employees’ wages and workers’ rights to fairness in the workplace. Though not all employers are required to comply, the vast majority of employers are expected to adhere to these rules. If an employee feels as if they are not being treated fairly in regards to wages, they have the right to file a complaint with the…
Employment law is complex and can include many different types of lawsuits, including class action and collective action lawsuits. A class action lawsuit is a single lawsuit that is taken to court to represent a group of employees who have all experienced the same alleged actions taken by the employer. A class action lawsuit is typically used when it would be impractical to take each individual case to court. Instead, an attorney or a group of attorneys is used to represent all employees who are involved in the lawsuit. Protecting yourself as a business is extremely important if you find…
Since the Industrial Revolution that took place between the late 18th century and the mid 19th century, the United States has seen an emphasis placed on improving the lives of workers. There are numerous state and federal laws that have been enacted to protect the rights of employees, including laws about worker safety, wage and work hour standards, discrimination policies, and other things that restrict what employers can and cannot do. Like any other laws, workplace laws are always evolving. A recent public act that was signed into law in Illinois will add new employment laws and amend some…
Trying to balance work and family life can be a challenge for anyone, but when an employee’s family member is sick or there is a birth in the family, it can be even more daunting. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was created to mitigate some of the stresses that come with certain life circumstances. There are caveats to the FMLA, however. For example, in the private sector, the FMLA only applies to employers who have 50 or more employees. Employees must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked a minimum of 1,250…
In the United States, several measures have been put in place in an effort to prevent discrimination of any kind in the workplace. Workplace discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee or prospective employee in a prejudicial manner because of his or her race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or other factors. These prejudices can affect hiring, firing, promotions, salary, benefits, job training, or assignments. If any employee feels like he or she has been discriminated against, he or she has the right to file a complaint and/or a lawsuit against the company, which can result in negative consequences…