Labor and Employment Law Update

Welcome to the Labor and Employment Law Update where attorneys from SmithAmundsen blog about management side labor and employment issues. We cover topics including addressing harassment and discrimination in the workplace, developing labor law, navigating through ADA(AA), FMLA and workers’ compensation issues, avoiding wage and hour landmines, key legislative, case law and regulatory changes and much more! Learn more about our firm at www.salawus.com.

On June 10, 2022 Governor Pritzker signed into law two new amendments to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (“Act”) that now expose non-union general contractors to liability for the wages of their subcontractor’s employees. Essentially, the amendments open up general contractors entering into construction contracts in Illinois to potential liability for claims brought under the Act against their subcontractors, for all contracts entered into on or after July 1, 2022.
Continue Reading New Changes to Illinois’ Wage Payment and Collection Law Seeks to Pressure
General Contractors to Become Union Signatory

On January 1, 2022, we saw the Illinois minimum wage increase from $11.00 to $12.00.  Not to be outdone, the City of Chicago and Cook County are increasing their set minimum wages on July 1, 2022.
Continue Reading IL Minimum Wage 2022 Update – July 1, 2022 Increases to Chicago and Cook
County Minimum Wages and IRS Mileage Rate!

On June 15, 2022, the United States Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) partially preempts a rule of California law that invalidates contractual waivers of the right to assert representative claims under California’s Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA).
Continue Reading Are Arbitration Agreements Mounting a Comeback in California?

In today’s age of technology and innovation, more and more employers are hiring remote employees  who live and work in a geographic location outside of where their business is located.  Remote work offers advantages, including expanding access to a wider pool of employee talent and savings on overhead costs.  But managing a multi-state workforce can be challenging.
Continue Reading Hiring Remote Employees in Other States? Make Sure Your Business is
Compliant

In today’s virtual world so much has changed – we work from home, we attend meetings from home, and now, many companies are hiring from home. Virtual interviewing is on the rise, and for good reason. Companies can interview from a wide-breadth of candidates across the country without having to fly interviewees to the main office. However, video conference platforms can also open business up to potential litigation and compliance risk. 
Continue Reading Top Five Data Privacy Considerations Before Using Online Hiring Platforms

The Pandemic Era brought in droves of new challenges for employers, including The Great Resignation – an unprecedented trend of employees voluntarily quitting their jobs starting in 2021 and continuing to today.  The unemployment rate is low and employers’ demand for labor is high meaning that it is more important than ever for employers to implement strategies for employee retention. Employers may want to kick-start these retention strategies with an eye towards working parents. 
Continue Reading Seven Ways to Retain Working Parents

Courts in the United States are split on whether a company’s acknowledgment of vicarious liability for an employee’s negligence, bars a claim of direct negligence against the company. Based on appellate court decisions, Illinois had been one of the states that barred direct negligence claims against a company when the company had acknowledged being vicariously liable for its employee’s actions. However, on April 21, 2022, in McQueen v. Green, the Illinois Supreme Court rejected the earlier appellate court decisions and held that companies can be both vicariously liable for an employee’s negligence, as well as directly liable for the company’s
Continue Reading BEWARE! – ILLINOIS EMPLOYERS CAN BE LIABLE FOR AN EMPLOYEE’S NEGLIGENCE

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Commission on Human Relations (the “Commission”) recently amended and expanded the sexual harassment prohibitions set forth by the City of Chicago.  The Ordinance provides for many changes—it (i) expands the definition of “sexual harassment;” (ii) expands the requirement for written policy documents; (iii) increases the statute of limitations for reporting discrimination; (iv) increases the monetary penalty for discrimination; and (v) has caused additional “safety measures” to be implemented by employers. 
Continue Reading Chicago Employers: New Policy Requirements and Expanded Sexual Harassment
and Bystander Training Obligations Begin July 1, 2022

Perhaps flying under the radar of everyone except antitrust lawyers (and the employers who have been targeted), the Department of Justice (DOJ) has made a concerted push recently to use federal anti-trust laws as a tool to bolster workers’ rights, even going so far as to prosecute employers for alleged anticompetitive practices in labor markets. 
Continue Reading Are the Federal Antitrust Laws Now a Weapon for Employee Rights?

Many—if not most—employment discrimination and retaliation lawsuits involve a company’s decision (a) to terminate or otherwise discipline an employee or (b) not to hire a particular applicant. And the reason why the company made its decision is quite possibly the most important fact in the majority—if not all—of these cases.
Continue Reading Putting Your Business In A Strong Position To Defend Against Employment
Discrimination Claims