Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Employment Law

I-9 Compliance: Information for employers By Scott D. Pollock International and Immigration Law, September 2012 Common questions and answers for employers dealing with Form I-9.
What consequences does an employer face when there is a refusal to authorize treatment? A petitioner’s perspective By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, July 2012 A summary of the recent case of Hollywood Casino – Aurora v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Plaintiff fails to provide admissible evidence to avoid summary judgment By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, June 2012 A summary of the Luster v. Illinois Dept. of Corrections case.
Plaintiff’s challenge to employer’s light duty policy fails By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, June 2012 Serednyj v. Beverly Healthcare, LLC, 656 F.3d 540 (7th Cir. 2011), involved claims of gender discrimination under Title VII, The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, (“PDA”), disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and retaliation.
Accusing employee of “Playing the race card” keeps his case alive By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, March 2012 Employee's history of complaints and Plant Manager's “race card” statements were deemed enough to allow employee to survive summary judgment on his retaliation claim. The court of appeals reversed the grant of summary judgment and remanded for further proceedings in Burnell v. Gates Rubber Co.
Drafting enforceable restrictions on recruiting employees By Arthur Sternberg Labor and Employment Law, March 2012 To be enforceable, contractual restrictions on soliciting or hiring an employer’s personnel should avoid a blanket prohibition on recruiting or hiring all employees. This applies not only to employment-related agreements, but also to business-to-business agreements, such as confidentiality and service agreements. This article examines what is an overbroad recruitment restriction under Illinois law and how to narrow them.
Human resources director allegedly makes admissions of discrimination and retaliation By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, March 2012 A summary of the recent case of Makowski v. SmithAmundsen LLC.
Illinois Employee Credit Privacy Act By Michael D. Gifford Labor and Employment Law, March 2012 Prior to the Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2011, it was increasingly common for employers to obtain credit reports on prospective employees on the theory that negative credit ratings could predict work place problems.
The danger of Internet checks as part of a company’s hiring process By Peter LaSorsa Labor and Employment Law, February 2012 The latest endeavor by companies is to check Web sites like Facebook and Twitter to see what new information they can learn about prospective employees. Is this a good idea? Are there potential land mines that the company could step on?
U.S. Supreme Court recognizes “ministerial exception” in employment cases involving religious entities By Laura D. Mruk Labor and Employment Law, February 2012 Although the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision has yet to be seen, despite many religious organizations touting the decision as a victory, it is not likely to greatly influence employment law or First Amendment law.
Public employees and free speech By Matthew Feda Government Lawyers, January 2012 An overview of the history and current trends in the law regarding public employee free speech, as well as practical advice for bringing a claim.
Avoiding “blanket prohibitions” on competition in employment agreements By Arthur Sternberg Labor and Employment Law, December 2011 A contractual restriction on competition by a former employee must avoid a “blanket prohibition” on competition to be enforceable. This article examines Illinois law on what is a blanket prohibition and how to avoid it.
How similar is similar? By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, December 2011 In Eaton v. Indiana Dep’t Corrections, the Seventh Circuit found that similarly situated employees must be directly comparable to the plaintiff in all material respects, including rule or policy violations.
Public employees and free speech By Matthew Feda Labor and Employment Law, December 2011 An overview of the history and current trends in the law regarding public employee free speech, as well as practical advice for bringing a claim.
New W-2 reporting requirements: What employers need to know By Derek A. Schryer Employee Benefits, November 2011 All employers that provide applicable employer-sponsored coverage during a calendar year are subject to the reporting requirement set forth in Code Section 6051(a)(14).
Case dismissed when plaintiff fails to sign settlement agreement By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, October 2011 In this case, the parties intended to enter into a settlement agreement and did so at the conclusion of an April 25, 2009 conference. In fact, the plaintiff affirmed her understanding of the settlement terms and indicated her acceptance of those terms on the record.
Court rejects employee’s discrimination and retaliation claims By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, October 2011 The court of appeals wrote that no reasonable jury could find that the delivery of a verbal warning, based on a complaint from a coworker, constituted an adverse employment action or created an objectively hostile work environment.
Plaintiff’s case for overtime pay founders on the “administrative exemption” By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, October 2011 In this case, the plaintiff’s primary duty was directly related to the general business operations of both MediaBank and its customers, and the “administrative” exemption applied, defeating her claim for overtime pay.
Emerging issues for Illinois employers in wage and hour law By Richard L. Samson and Michael D. Ray Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, September 2011 A list of issues that Illinois employers commonly face regarding wage and hour laws, and practical advice for minimizing liability and exposure in light of the burgeoning wave of related lawsuits.
Executive fired for false cause obtains multimillion defamation award By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, July 2011 In the case of Leyshon v. Diehl Controls North America, Inc., the Illinois appellate court upheld significant compensatory and punitive damages.
Double whammy—Employers engaged in systematic wage theft best beware By Glenn R. Gaffney Federal Civil Practice, June 2011 A January, 2011 Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision now allows plaintiff class action lawyers to combine FLSA collective “opt-in” actions with state law “opt-out” class actions.
Southern District Of California finds home delivery drivers to be independent contractors, not employees By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, June 2011 The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California analyzed each of the ten "common law factors" relating to the drivers’ employment/contractor status, ultimately concluding that plaintiffs’ evidence was insufficient to overcome the Georgia law presumption of independent contractor status for the plaintiff drivers.
Covenants not to Compete in Illinois—The assault on the legitimate business interest test By Harold B. Oakley Health Care Law, May 2011 Covenants not to compete are common in employment contracts, including those of physicians. Recent decisions from the Illinois Appellate Court have introduced some controversy regarding the proper analysis of such covenants. This article explores these recent cases.
Employer cannot terminate employee based on conflict between independent medical examination and employee’s doctor By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, May 2011 In Grabs, et al. v. Safeway, Inc., et al., the appellate court concluded that when an employer is faced with conflicting medical opinions from the employee’s doctor and the employer’s Independent Medical Examiner, it may not rely solely on the IME report in terminating an employee for failing to return to work.
Illegal aliens and the balancing of immigration reform with the “in terrorem” effect By Glenn R. Gaffney Labor and Employment Law, May 2011 A look at some of the “undocumented worker” issues raised in state and federal courts, as well as the “in terrorem” effect of a defendant’s inquiry into an illegal alien’s status.
The “Facebook Firing” case—Employer limits on restricting employee use of social media By Julie Krupa and Gregory G. Thiess Corporate Law Departments, April 2011 The issue in this case stemmed from an employee’s negative comments about her employer posted on the employee’s Facebook page.
Health care reform—Guidance and then some By Michael J. Powers Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, April 2011 A look at those aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the related Health Care Education and Reconciliation Act of 2010 that are most important to employers who sponsor healthcare plans for employees.
Torts at work—Some thoughts on negligent hiring By Jim McGrath Corporate Law Departments, April 2011 Each year companies pay millions of dollars to victims harmed by their employees, based on the doctrine of vicarious liability, and more and more frequently, based on the emerging tort of negligent hiring, which is now recognized in most states.
Will disqualifying job candidates based on their current unemployment soon be prohibited? By Julie Crabbe and Gregory G. Thiess Corporate Law Departments, April 2011 Until the EEOC clarifies the circumstances under which employment status is an appropriate or inappropriate criterion for job selection, employers should evaluate carefully whether to consider an applicant’s status as unemployed in making such decisions.
Double whammy—Employers engaged in systematic wage theft best beware By Glenn R. Gaffney Labor and Employment Law, March 2011 Effective January 1, 2011, new amendments to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act establish a two percent penalty of the unpaid wages due an employee for each month of underpaymen, and also now provides that employees need not file a claim with the Department of Labor prior to filing a private right of action.