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Latest from Savine Employment Law Blog

Your Employment Lawyer Can Help You Strategize In A Changing Climate
This week, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the lead NLRB attorney responsible for the prosecution of unfair labor practice cases, announced that most non-compete agreements likely violate the National Labor Relations Act, absent limited “special circumstances.”  Here’s a quick review of non-competes and what your employment lawyer can do to help your business in this changing climate.
What Are Non-Compete Agreements?
Non-compete agreements typically prohibit employees from competing against their former employer in a designated geographic area for a specific period.  Employers have long
Continue Reading MOST NON-COMPETE AGREEMENTS ARE UNLAWFUL, NLRB GENERAL COUNSEL ANNOUNCES

1/11/23: Last night, the Illinois Legislature passed the Paid Leave for All
Workers Act. The Act requires almost all private employers to provide
paid leave to employees to use for any purpose.
“This is a significant expansion of the legal obligations facing Illinois employers,” says Gary Savine, Principal, Savine Employment Law, Ltd. “Proper compliance will require careful advance planning.  Chicago and Cook County employers should be aware that the new legislation does not mirror existing sick pay ordinances.  The new law expands on rights afforded under those ordinances by providing paid time off for any personal reason, even if it’s
Continue Reading NEW ILLINOIS PAID LEAVE LAW!

On June 10, 2022, Illinois signed and amended the Family Bereavement Leave Act (“FBLA”), formerly known as the Child Bereavement Leave Act.  The act will take effect on January 1, 2023.  With the FBLA, employees can take bereavement leave for the deaths of immediate family members, in addition to children, and the act expands to address grief related to pregnancy loss and failed adoptions.
New Procedures
The FBLA expands the Child Bereavement Act in several of the following ways:

  • FBLA guarantees bereavement leave following the death of a:
    • child
    • spouse
    • domestic partner
    • sibling
    • parent
    • mother-in-law or father-in-law
    • grandchild,
    • grandparent,
    • stepparent.


Continue Reading Illinois Bereavement Act Expands

Employers Have A Brief Window To Grant Conscience-Based Exemption Requests
Employer COVID-19 vaccine mandates are the subject of amendments to the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act.  The amendments will  go into effect this summer, preventing employees from relying on the Act to avoid employer COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The Act, which was first passed in 1977 to protect health care workers who assisted, or refused to assist, in care services that were “contrary to their conscience,” has recently been asserted in several lawsuits by workers.  The lawsuits claim the Act also provides protection outside the healthcare setting to those
Continue Reading COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates: Illinois to Limit Objections

Illinois Gender Violence Act Amendments To Clarify Employers’ Responsibility For Gender-Related Violence, Underscore Risk For Ignoring Workplace Violence
The Illinois Gender Violence Act imposes liabilities against “persons” who commit gender-related violence; that much is clear.  But, as we previously reported, what remains unclear for Illinois employers is whether a “person” can include an employer, and under what circumstances.   Earlier this month, proposed amendments to the IGVA passed the Illinois House that, if signed into law, will bring needed clarity to these questions.   

Under what conditions will employers be considered liable for gender-related workplace violence?

The current draft amendments, if
Continue Reading Workplace Harassment Focus Of Changes To Gender Violence Act

Illinois Employers Must Now Inform Employees of Availability of Essential Health Benefits
Illinois’  “Consumer Coverage Disclosure Act” is now in effect for all employers who provide group health insurance coverage to their employees.  This new law requires employers to share a comparison of their plans’ health benefits against the essential health benefits (EHBs) regulated by the State of Illinois.
Employers’ plans do not need to contain all EHBs.  The reason for the comparison is simply to show how employer coverage stacks up against the State’s list of essential benefits.  The State of Illinois provides a template for use in complying
Continue Reading Tell Them About It: Essential Health Benefits

Chicago Employers Must Plan for Phase-in of New Fair Workweek Ordinance This Summer!  
Starting July 1, 2022, Chicago employers covered by the Fair Workweek Ordinance (CFWO) face stricter limits on their ability to change certain workers’ work schedules, and on their ability to command workers to work heavy schedules without meaningful breaks between shifts. 
Specifically, covered workers may not be forced to work any scheduled hours for which they did not receive at least 14 days’ advance notice.  If they accept work scheduled after the 14-day deadline, they must be paid one hour of “predictability pay” for each shift
Continue Reading Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance Heats Up

Starting March 2022, Illinois companies must submit Equal Pay Certificates to IDOL. 
Recent amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act (EPA) take effect this month.  Beginning in March, private employers that file EEO-1 reports with the EEOC and that have more than 100 employees in Illinois, must apply for and obtain an equal pay registration certificate from the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL).  

The application requires compiling wage and demographic information and certifying in writing there are no pay disparities for minority and female employees.

Companies will receive notices from IDOL setting a deadline for filing their first certificate between
Continue Reading Illinois Equal Pay Act: Important Update

In an uncommon bipartisan move, the House and Senate have sent to President Biden’s desk for signature the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021.  The Act will empower workers who have signed agreements requiring that they pursue all employment claims in private arbitration, to nonetheless elect to take claims of sexual harassment and sexual assault directly to court.  The new law will similarly enable such workers to elect to pursue class action lawsuits in such cases and override pre-dispute agreements with their employers that purport to waive the right to bring such group actions.  
Continue Reading Biden to Sign into Law a Ban on Forced Arbitration of Sex Harassment Claims

 As of January 1, Illinois law prohibits employers from placing workers who earn or are expected to earn less than $75,000.00 per year under non-compete agreements, and similarly prohibits placing customer non-solicitation obligations on workers who earn or are expected to earn less than $45,000.00 per year.  The law adds a slew of other requirements that must be met to render non-competes and non-solicitation agreements enforceable and authorizes the Illinois Attorney General to investigate and sue employers that violate the law.  Contact us to schedule a free assessment of your employment agreements and protect your business.  
Never miss an
Continue Reading Illinois’ New Freedom to Work Law Dramatically Regulates Non-Competes

Employers in Illinois who use employees’ biometric data (e.g., fingerprint swipes, temperature screens and retina scans, to name a few) should check their compliance with the state’s biometric privacy law, or face getting crushed in a wave of lawsuits expected to follow a State’s Supreme Court’s February 3, 2022 ruling that clears the way for employees to bring more claims.   Contact us for a free checklist of signs that your business might be at risk.  
Read more about this topic here: 
https://www.law360.com/articles/1461918 
https://www.venable.com/insights/publications/2021/05/dos-and-donts-of-using-biometric-data-in-the-work 
https://www.isba.org/barnews/2022/02/quicktakeonillinoissupremecourtopin
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Continue Reading Tsunami of Biometrics Lawsuits Headed Towards Illinois Employers

Check out our discussion about empathy in the workplace with our HR colleague, Erich Kurschat, principal and founder of Harmony Insights, LLC.  Gary shared how HR managers can use empathy to support workplace policies in order to help employees successfully navigate their workplace. Whether you’re back at your desk for lunch or (still) lunching from home, this conversation can help you improve your ability to use empathy to manage!

 
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Continue Reading Empathy In The Workplace – A Discussion

Return To The Office Safely – OSHA COVID-19 Guidance Updated
Although many companies are on a path to return to work after Labor Day, some are slowing their roll as the Delta variant of COVID -19 continues to spread.  However, for those still planning an early fall return, this month, on August 13th,  the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued updated guidance intended to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace.  The updated guidance (which can be found here: OSHA Covid-19 Guidance) mirrors the Center for Disease Control’s (“CDC”) own recently updated recommendations on the issue.
Continue Reading Return To Work: OSHA Announces Updated COVID-19 Guidelines

The unprecedented nature of the Coronavirus pandemic brought forward many questions about infectious disease policy and procedure in the workplace.  Companies used a variety of tactics to keep operations going and employees active during the pandemic and many are still working on bringing employees back to the workplace.
To help human resources managers take a more strategic approach to their infectious disease policy and procedure, Financial Poise and co-producer West LegalEdcenter will present a live webinar The Impact of Communicable Diseases, Including Coronavirus, On the Workplace as part of its series, Protecting Employee Assets: The Lifecycle of the Employee Relationship,
Continue Reading Infectious Disease Policy And Procedure – Learn More!

Involuntary terminations are an unpleasant, but unavoidable fact of the workplace.  Whatever the reason for the termination – poor performance, misconduct or absences – employees often take issue with the reason they are being let go.  Employers can and should learn how to minimize risk when saying goodbye so they can avoid costly, distracting, deflating experiences with the employees they need to let go.  Join an expert panel of legal minds, including Gary Savine, principal, Savine Employment Law, Ltd. as they discuss this complex topic during “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye:  Minimizing Risk When Terminating Employees”, the latest webinar
Continue Reading Involuntary Terminations: Reduce Risk When Saying Goodbye

Human Resources Management Students Ask An Employment Lawyer
Gary Savine returned for the third time to lead the “Ask an Employment Lawyer” discussion as part of the Human Resources Management Certificate Program offered by the College of DuPage (COD).
“Human resources and employment law are about what happens in people’s working lives.  We deal with complex issues that can affect someone’s livelihood,” says employment lawyer, Gary Savine, principal, Savine Employment Law, Ltd., “I enjoy talking to human resources management students about real issues I’ve dealt with.  They always give me something to think about, as well.”
Jane Murtaugh, program
Continue Reading Human Resources Management Program