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  Friday, March 27, 2020     Just a reminder to Municipal Minute readers to subscribe to or follow Ancel Glink’s labor and employment law blog, the Workplace Report with Ancel Glink, for up-to-date information on employment-related issues relating to Covid-19.  You can check out the blog here.   You should pay particular attention to a few of our most recent blog posts that answer some of the most common questions regarding the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA), which you can find by clicking on the links below:…
  Thursday, March 26, 2020     On Tuesday, March 31, 2020 from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm, join Ancel Glink attorneys to discuss local government coronavirus response in a web conference hosted by Ancel Glink’s Quorum Forum podcast. State Rep. Chris Welch will review what the state’s ongoing efforts mean for you, while Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, Julie Tappendorf, and Matt DiCianni answer your questions about managing employees, open meetings, essential services, and the other COVID-19 issues facing local governments.  Space is limited, so click here to register and claim your spot today!…
  Wednesday, March 25, 2020     Many municipalities are fielding complaints and questions from residents and other business owners about certain businesses that remain open during the Governor’s stay at home order. Police departments and other municipal staff are being asked by residents and others to enforce the Governor’s order and require these businesses to close down. The issue turns on whether a business falls within the definition of an essential business or operation which is allowed to remain open or whether employees of a non-essential business are performing permissible “minimum basic operations.” We reported earlier this week on the…
  Tuesday, March 24, 2020     Last week, in response to the COVID-19 global health crisis, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an executive order requiring the closure of all bars and restaurants for on-premises consumption. To ease financial hardships imposed by the order and to promote social distancing, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission issued new guidance to local liquor commissioners across the state. The new guidance temporarily authorizes the delivery of alcoholic liquor subject to local approval, and defers to local liquor commissioners whether a municipality will allow “on-premises only retailers” to engage in off-premises sales. Under these conditions, the Illinois…
  Monday, March 23, 2020     Last week we reported on the Governor Pritzker’s “Shelter in Place” Executive Order, which became effective on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 5:00 pm. Today, we wanted to provide more details about what that EO means to local governments and their officials and employees and how it may affect your operations and activities, both professionally and personally. You can access the Governor’s Order on the state’s website here. What is not allowed during the effective period of the order The general purpose of the shelter in place order is to require individuals in…
  Friday, March 20, 2020     As many anticipated, this afternoon Illinois Governor Pritzker issued a “shelter in place” order for the entire state of Illinois. In general terms, it means that people are expected to stay at home with limited exceptions for essential activities and essential business. The order takes effect at 5:00 pm on Saturday, March 21, 2020, and ends on April 7, 2020. The order defines essential activities to allow residents to leave their homes to shop for groceries, go to the bank, laundromat, restaurant for take-out, or gas station, receive medical treatment, and care for the…
  Friday, March 20, 2020     As Illinois residents and businesses prepare for a possible state-wide “shelter in place” order, we have been receiving a number of questions related to the scope of government’s powers related to a shelter in place order or a quarantine, as well as related to the enforceability of such orders, so we put together a summary of the applicable laws. In addition to serving as medical functions, isolation and quarantine also are “police power” functions, derived from the right of the state to take action affecting individuals for the benefit of society. Federal Government Authority…
  Friday, March 20, 2020     Ancel Glink’s labor & employment law blog “The Workplace Report with Ancel Glink” posted an article summarizing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which was just passed by Congress and signed by the President. That law becomes effective April 2, 2020, and applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees. You can visit The Workplace Report blog here. We’ve also reposted the article below: Many clients have been asking about “emergency sick leave” which had been mentioned in various press conferences, but until last night, not finalized. On March 18, 2020, President Trump…
  Wednesday, March 18, 2020     Many of the questions we receive from local government officials and employees relate to compliance with the Open Meetings Act and FOIA during a time where social distancing is encouraged and limited staff and resources are available.  As we reported earlier this week, the Governor issued an Executive Order (EO) suspending certain aspects of the OMA relating to electronic attendance so that public bodies can meet electronically. As a follow up to the Governor’s EO, the Illinois Attorney General issued guidance on the OMA and FOIA which you can find here.   Here’s a…
  Wednesday, March 18, 2020     Many of the questions we receive from local government officials and employees relate to compliance with the Open Meetings Act and FOIA during a time where social distancing is encouraged and limited staff and resources are available.  As we reported earlier this week, the Governor issued an Executive Order (EO) suspending certain aspects of the OMA relating to electronic attendance so that public bodies can meet electronically. As a follow up to the Governor’s EO, the Illinois Attorney General issued guidance on the OMA and FOIA which you can find here.   Here’s a…
Monday, March 16, 2020     As a follow up to our post this afternoon about concerns about compliance with the OMA during the Covid-19 crisis, we can now report on a new Executive Order (issued just this afternoon) that temporarily relaxes the in-person requirements for meetings of public bodies. As you know, the Open Meetings Act requires members of a public body to be physically present at the location of an open meeting, and only allows remote participation by video or audio conference in limited circumstances, such as personal illness, work, or a family emergency. In order to promote…
  Monday, March 16, 2020     As a follow up to our post this afternoon about concerns about compliance with the OMA during the Covid-19 crisis, we can now report on a new Executive Order (issued just this afternoon) that temporarily relaxes the in-person requirements for meetings of public bodies.  As you know, the Open Meetings Act requires members of a public body to be physically present at the location of an open meeting, and only allows remote participation by video or audio conference in limited circumstances, such as personal illness, work, or a family emergency.  In order to promote the…
  Monday, March 16, 2020     We continue with our article series on best practices for local governments in navigating COVID-19 issues. This afternoon, we discuss governmental meetings, Open Meetings Act issues and Freedom of Information Act issues. As we disclaimed before, we are not virologists. We’re just attorneys trying to help local governments establish a framework to stay out of legal trouble during this unprecedented time of national emergency. In general, it’s probably best to keep your local government functioning as normally as possible to the extent possible – even though we’re currently developing a new normal.  The first issue…
  Monday, March 16, 2020     We continue with our article series on best practices for local governments in navigating COVID-19 issues. This afternoon, we discuss governmental meetings, Open Meetings Act issues and Freedom of Information Act issues. As we disclaimed before, we are not virologists. We’re just attorneys trying to help local governments establish a framework to stay out of legal trouble during this unprecedented time of national emergency. In general, it’s probably best to keep your local government functioning as normally as possible to the extent possible – even though we’re currently developing a new normal.  The first issue…
  Monday, March 16, 2020     While socially distancing, we have received a number of calls and emails from local government clients, friends, and attorneys asking about legal issues related to Coronavirus – COVID-19. We have been compiling questions and best practices related to local government legal issues. We are not doctors or infectious disease specialists, so we make no attempt to advise you on public health policy issues. However, we want to make public bodies aware of their legal obligations and responsibilities to minimize potential liability for failing to follow laws during this public health crisis. We will address these topics…
  Monday, March 16, 2020     While socially distancing, we have received a number of calls and emails from local government clients, friends, and attorneys asking about legal issues related to Coronavirus – COVID-19. We have been compiling questions and best practices related to local government legal issues. We are not doctors or infectious disease specialists, so we make no attempt to advise you on public health policy issues. However, we want to make public bodies aware of their legal obligations and responsibilities to minimize potential liability for failing to follow laws during this public health crisis. We will address these topics…