Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Employment Law

Sexual harassment and the chain of command By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2009 Lawpulse, Page 278 Under state law, employers are liable for sexual harassment by supervisors whether or not the employer knew about it and even though the employee-victim doesn't work under the supervisor.
“Rape Shield” for Civil Lawsuits By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2009 Lawpulse, Page 220 An Illinois House bill would extend the prohibition against admitting evidence of an alleged victim's sexual history to sexual harassment charges.
Drafting Enforceable Noncompetition Agreements in Illinois By Peter A. Steinmeyer April 2009 Article, Page 194 Learn how to increase the odds that your employer-client’s noncompete will pass judicial muster in Illinois’ unfriendly legal environment.
Human Rights Act doesn’t bar state, federal claims in circuit court By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2009 Lawpulse, Page 168 Someone who can bring a claim under the Illinois Human Rights Act can nonetheless sue based on federal or common law in state circuit court, the supreme court rules.
Act protects rights of detainees to access religious workers. PA 095-1022 March 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 122 Illinois lawmakers created the Access to Religious Ministry Act of 2008 to ensure that religious workers have reasonable access to immigration-related detainees held in county jails in the state of Illinois. 730 ILCS 125/26.  
Pleading Civil Rights Claims By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness March 2009 Column, Page 156 The challenges civil-rights claimants face in choosing a forum, shaping their pleadings, and more.
The Illinois Whistleblower Act’s Impact on Common Law Claims By Sang-yul Lee, Steven J. Pearlman, and Jonathan J.C. Grey February 2009 Article, Page 90 Does the Illinois Whistleblower Act preempt the common law? How can employers avoid retaliation claims? The authors offer answers.
Last Term’s United States Supreme Court Labor and Employment Decisions By Michael Robert Lied and Joseph F. Tansino December 2008 Article, Page 626 A survey of the United States Supreme Court's labor and employment rulings from the 2007-08 term.
Personnel rules for public officials and employees revised December 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 612 The Illinois Office of the Secretary of State made several changes to Title 80, Subtitle B, Chapter II, Part 420, Personnel Rules, Pay Plans, and Position Classifications. 80 Ill Adm Code 420. 
Retalitory discharge: local governments not immune under Workers’ Comp Act By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2008 Lawpulse, Page 548  Public employees can sue for being fired in retaliation for filing a workers' comp claim, the Illinois Supreme Court holds.
Fraudulent Misrepresentation in Illinois Employment Cases By Richard J. Gonzalez September 2008 Article, Page 464 More at-will employees who have been misled by employers' oral promises are suing for fraudulent misrepresentation instead of breach of contract.
R U monitoring employees’ text messages? By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2008 Lawpulse, Page 438  An employee had a reasonable expectation of privacy in private e-mail he sent during work hours on his employer-issued pager, the federal ninth circuit rules.
Court upholds penalty against employer for not withholding income for child support July 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 340 On May 1, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Lake County ordering the ex-husband's employer, Knobias, to pay $369,000 to the employee's ex-wife as a penalty for knowingly failing to pay, within seven business days, child support from wages of the ex-husband.
Fraudulent misrepresentation tort limited to business By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2008 Lawpulse, Page 278 Fraudulent misrepresentation applies only to business-related, not personal, injury, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.
No discretionary immunity for retaliatory discharge of employee June 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 284 On April 17, 2008, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's holding barring the plaintiff's retaliatory discharge claim against the Waukegan Park District due to the District's immunity under the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (Tort Immunity Act), 745 ILCS 10/1-101 et seq.
Restrictive covenant unenforceable due to termination of employment agreement May 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 236 On February 21, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County denying the plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction.
Employees or Independent Contractors? A New Test for the Construction Industry By Marc R. Poulos, Melissa Binetti, and Robert G. Reiter, Jr. April 2008 Article, Page 206 A new law makes it easier to challenge classifying construction workers as independent contractors, not employees.
Trends in Seventh Circuit Sexual Harassment Decisions By William J. Borah April 2008 Article, Page 198 Title VII is not a code of behavior, according to the seventh circuit. But the court has also expanded remedies for victims of "hellish" sexual harassment.
The CFAA: New Remedies for Employee Computer Abuse By Linda K. Stevens and Jesi J. Carlson March 2008 Article, Page 144 The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act provides a path to federal court for employer-victims of computer abuse by employees and other insiders.
Departing Executives and the Wage Payment Act By Richard L. Miller and John Haarlow, Jr. March 2008 Article, Page 138 The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act can be a powerful tool for departing executives who haven t been properly compensated.
No psych-record access for “garden variety” employee emotional distress claims By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2008 Lawpulse, Page 66 A recent ruling explains when employer-defendants can and cannot get access to employee-plaintiffs' medical and psychological records when employees sue for emotional distress cause by illegal discrimination.
The perils for employers of hiring private investigators By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2008 Lawpulse, Page 66 Employers who retain companies to investigate employee malingering or misconduct need to hire carefully and monitor appropriately.
Employer’s unilateral revisions to handbook did not convert plaintiff to at-will employee January 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On November 13, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the order of the Circuit Court of Cook County by holding that an employer’s unilateral offer of new benefits did not effectively modify an employee’s contract to convert him to an at-will employee. 
The New Illinois Right-to-Sue Law for Employment Discrimination By Stephen E. Balogh, Randall D. Schmidt, and Lindsey Marcus January 2008 Article, Page 30 The Illinois Human Rights Act now provides for a right to a jury in the Illinois circuit court in employment discrimination cases.
Assembly restricts federal government employment verification systems. PA 095-0138 December 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 632 Section 12 has been added to the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, prohibiting employers from using employment verification systems, including the Basic Pilot program. 820 ILCS 55/12. 
Disciplining Attorneys and Other FLSA-Exempt Employees for Attendance Problems By Jon D. McLaughlin November 2007 Article, Page 600 Suppose your associate or paralegal shows up late for work. Can you dock her pay without transforming her fram an exempt to a nonexempt employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act?
Guidelines passed for distinguishing employees and independent contractors. PA 095-0026 October 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 516 The Illinois General Assembly has passed the Employee Classification Act in an attempt to prevent the improper identification of employees as independent contractors.
Sexual Harassment: No More “Welcomeness” Defense Against Minors By Eugene H. Hollander September 2007 Article, Page 486 A recent case eliminates the defense that an underage sexual-harassment plaintiff welcomed the sexual contact.
Whistleblower Act does not preempt common law action for retaliatory discharge September 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 460 On July 3, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the order of the Circuit Court of Cook County dismissing Melissa Callahan's complaint for common law retaliatory discharge.
Employers win pay-disparity case in Supreme Court By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2007 Lawpulse, Page 398 In Ledbetter, the Supreme Court rules that Title VII's filing deadline bars employment discrimination claims based on decisions that occurred outside the limitations period, even if the employee's current pay is lower because of the decisions.