Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Employment Law

Retailer crowd control—OSHA steps into the picture By Frank M. Grenard Corporate Law Departments, February 2010 In 2008, a Wal-Mart employee died after being knocked down and trampled by a crowd of “Black Friday” shoppers in New York. In July of 2009, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OSHA”) cited Wal-Mart, claiming it should have foreseen the possibility that crowds of shoppers could crush employees and it proposed a $7,000 fine, the maximum penalty amount for a serious violation.
Editorial comment By J.A. Sebastian Administrative Law, January 2010 Discussed at length in the December Illinois Bar Journal (vol. 97 at page 636) (“Yes” to Nonlawyers in Illinois Administrative Adjudications, by Jeffrey A. Parness) is an Illinois Appellate Court, First District, Fourth Division, case, Grafner v. Department of Employment Security, found at the court’s Web site as No. 1-08-1858 (released August 6, 2009); 2009 WL 242420 (1st D 2009). 
Employers asking for employee passwords for private Web sites like Facebook and Twitter By Peter LaSorsa Legal Technology, Standing Committee on, January 2010 Scenario: Prospective employee arrives at the interview and is asked to give a list of the private Web sites he has along with the passwords so the company can review before hiring. Is this legal? 
Headquarters’ headaches—Extraterritoriality and the courts By Douglas A. Darch and Miriam Geraghty Labor and Employment Law, January 2010 The mobility of workers and the dispersion of employment sites has generated a new issue for employers—which state’s law controls an employment relationship and in which state may an aggrieved employee file suit against his or her employer when the employer conducts business in multiple states.
Punitive damages award proper in retaliation, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotion distress lawsuit By Megan A. Drefchinski Labor and Employment Law, January 2010 With regard to the defendants’ arguments that testimony adduced violated their First Amendment rights and the Noerr Pennington doctrine, which provides certain defenses to antitrust claims. 
Employee’s affidavit insufficient to defeat employer’s motion for summary judgment By Megan A. Drefchinski Labor and Employment Law, December 2009 Employee-side practitioners should use this as a cautionary note to avoid extraneous allegations of bias in such actions, and employer-side practitioners should be mindful of the ability to use such extraneous allegations to argue against allegations of discriminatory-based bias. 
Pay your law firm employees properly or risk falling into a financial snakepit By James B. Zouras Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, December 2009 As wage-and-hour practitioners who have represented thousands of employees in actions against employers of every size, from multi-billion-dollar corporations to small businesses, our firm is well-versed on the ways employers violate the labor laws.
Reference release overcomes tortious interference claim By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, December 2009 Under Illinois law, if a written release is clear and unambiguous, the court determines the parties’ intent from the plain language of the document. 
Can I review my boss? By Melissa Schroeder and Toby Paulose Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, October 2009 The answer to that question is, YES!
Pay your law firm employees properly or risk falling into a financial snakepit By James B. Zouras Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, October 2009 As wage-and-hour practitioners who have represented thousands of employees in actions against employers of every size, from multi-billion-dollar corporations to small businesses, our firm is well-versed on the ways employers violate the labor laws.
Advising your clients regarding their Unemployment Insurance Act obligations By Anthony R. Phelps Business Advice and Financial Planning, September 2009 Clients looking to form a new business are often surprised regarding the vast amounts of regulation controlling their new activities.
Criminal prosecution under the Occupational Safety and Health Act By MIchael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, September 2009 Employers do not typically think about the possibility of criminal liability under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. However, Section 17(e) of the Act punishes any employer convicted of willfully violating any standard, rule, order or regulation prescribed pursuant to the Act, if that violation caused an employee’s death. 
Borrowed employee has retaliatory discharge claim By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, June 2009 In a case of first impression, the Illinois Appellate Court determined that an employee of a staffing company could sue the company’s customer for retaliatory discharge.
Court strikes down Illinois law prohibiting employers from using E-Verify By Cindy G. Buys International and Immigration Law, June 2009 In late 2007, Illinois enacted Public Law 95-138 prohibiting Illinois employers from enrolling in the federal government’s Employment Eligibility Verification System or E-Verify until the federal government could certify that the results of the E-Verify system were 99% accurate.
Expanded liability for sexual harassment in Illinois By Kenneth W. Gage and Laura R. Feldman Labor and Employment Law, June 2009 On April 16, 2009, the Illinois Supreme Court expanded Illinois employers’ exposure to damages for sexual harassment and distinguished Illinois law from federal law.
International HR economic downturn toolkit: What you need to know to project-manage cross-border restructurings, pay-cuts, and reductions-in-force By Donald C. Dowling, Jr. Corporate Law Departments, June 2009 When a U.S.-headquartered employer suffers economic difficulties and needs to cut back its human resources costs, the first strategies that will likely come to mind are U.S.-style retrenchments like restructurings, pay-cuts, and reductions-in-force. This “toolkit” addresses how American-based multinationals can project-manage a cross-border human resources retrenchment across operations outside the U.S. 
The COBRA subsidy and what it means to employers By J.J. McGrath Corporate Law Departments, May 2009 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law February 17. It expands COBRA by offering eligible individuals a 65 percent subsidy of their required COBRA premiums and an additional enrollment period to re-elect COBRA coverage and pay only 35 percent of the COBRA premium.
Discharge for misconduct cuts off temporary total disability benefits By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, May 2009 A summary of the case of Interstate Scaffolding, Inc. v. The Workers’ Compensation Commission, et al.
U.S. Supreme Court expands employees’ ability to pursue retaliation claims By Kathryn Woodward Labor and Employment Law, May 2009 The United States Supreme Court recently decided that an employee who answers questions about alleged harassment during an internal investigation may later pursue a retaliation claim even where the employee did not initiate the complaint.  
Your IT personnel have become child porn cops By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, May 2009 Under a recent amendment to the Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, there is a new obligation on certain Illinois workers to report child pornography which they discover on the job.
Form I-9: Delay of another Interim Rule By Maryann Bullion International and Immigration Law, April 2009 All employers, whether they are individuals, corporations, government entities, or a small family business, have an affirmative duty to ensure they are not hiring aliens who are unauthorized to work in the United States.
Employment agreements By Herbert J. Klein Business Advice and Financial Planning, March 2009 Key points to consider in advising a client considering an employment agreement.
New challenges and opportunities for employer leave of absence programs By David L. Miller Labor and Employment Law, March 2009 Recent changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act raise new challenges and opportunities for employers when managing employees who are ill or injured.
You’ve got to play to win: Employers and the H-1B visa lottery By Sonya Som Administrative Law, March 2009 Due to the statutory limits placed on issuance of new H-1B visas each fiscal year, businesses that want to take advantage of this option must be prepared to enter the annual H-1B visa lottery.
Two new laws require employers to extend health benefits By Jim McGrath Corporate Law Departments, January 2009 Recently President Bush signed Michelle’s Law, prohibiting health insurance companies from terminating coverage for dependent college students who are forced to leave school due to a medical condition or serious injury.
Employment claims based on association with another person By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, December 2008 You can imagine the unseen narrator on Desperate Housewives, Mary Alice Young, saying something like this: Relationships: From birth we begin to form relationships with others. Our deepest relationships are usually with close family members. Those relationships can bring incredible joy, but sometimes also carry legal entanglements.
Illinois acts to protect biometric information By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, December 2008 Illinois recently enacted the Biometric Information Privacy Act, Public Act 95-0994.
EEOC issues ADA guidance on applying performance and conduct standards to employees with disabilities By Mary Theresa Metzler and Karen D. McCarthy Corporate Law Departments, October 2008 On September 3, 2008, the EEOC issued “a comprehensive question-and-answer guide addressing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to a wide variety of performance and conduct issues.”
Employee has claim for harassing workplace behavior not directed at her By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, September 2008 Reeves worked as a Transportation Sales Representative for C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (“CHRW”) in its Birmingham, Alabama branch office. She was the only female TSR in the office.
Employee lawfully discharged after objecting to disclosing protected health information By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, September 2008 Rockwell Lime Company, seeking competitive bids for group health insurance, requested its employees authorize the disclosure of their protected health information to insurance companies for the purpose of pre-enrollment underwriting and risk rating.