Section Newsletter Articles on Employment Law

Intellectual property fundamentals for corporate employees By Peter S. Trotter Corporate Law Departments, February 2008 Intellectual property law is the law which governs and protects things that we create with our minds.
Private investigator’s actions lead to invasion of privacy claim By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, February 2008 Private investigators can be a helpful tool for business. However, it is important to assure that the investigation does not cross over the line to create an invasion of privacy.
Supreme Court decision a win for custodial parents and a warning to employers By Christina M. Webb Young Lawyers Division, February 2008 On November 29, 2007, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a $1,172,100 penalty pursuant to Section 35(a) of the Income Withholding for Support Act was constitutional as applied to an Illinois employer who failed to forward income withheld for child support in a timely manner.
401(k) Retirement fees—Are these fees being fully and properly disclosed to employers? By Jeffrey B. Feld and Theresa Piotrowski Corporate Law Departments, January 2008 The retirement plan market place has been abuzz with discussions regarding fees.
The ice person cometh By John F. Fatino Corporate Law Departments, January 2008 Increasingly, corporate counsel and other employment practitioners have become concerned about the enforcement activities of both the federal and state governments concerning the hiring of undocumented workers.
Negotiating separation agreements By Michael R. Lied Business and Securities Law, January 2008 Employers frequently seek to avoid or resolve litigation related to terminating an employee by having the other party sign a release or waiver.
Contacting an opponent’s employee and former employees By Mark Rouleau Civil Practice and Procedure, December 2007 This article addresses the scope of the attorney-client privilege with respect to counsel’s contact with employees of an opposing party.
Putting employers between a rock and a hard place with respect to verifying employment eligibility By Cindy G. Buys International and Immigration Law, December 2007 Earlier this year, the Illinois legislature passed and Governor Blagojevich signed into law H.B. 1744, which puts employers in an even more difficult position with respect to verifying their employees’ eligibility to work. H.B. 1744 amends the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act to prohibit employers “from enrolling in any Employment Eligibility Verification System, including the Basic Pilot Program, 8 U.S.C. 1324a, . . . until the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) databases are able to make a determination on 99 percent of the tentative nonconfirmation notices issued to employers within three days, unless otherwise required by federal law.”
Anti-Pretexting Statute By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, November 2007 Hewlett-Packard’s Chairman, Patricia Dunn, was allegedly upset about leaks to the media about the company’s long term strategic plans. Hewlett-Packard retained an outside firm to gain access to its directors’ phone records, believing that one or more directors were the source of the leak.
Does a manager have to express happiness that a subordinate is pregnant? By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, August 2007 Probably not. However, failure to do so was one issue considered significant in a pregnancy discrimination case. Asmo v. Keane, Inc., 471 F.3d 588 (6th Cir. 2006).
EEOC issues guidance on workers with caregiving responsibilities By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, August 2007 In May 2007, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance on workers with caregiving responsibilities.
Accommodating the religious needs of employees By Mel Muskovitz Business Advice and Financial Planning, June 2007 Over the past several years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has received an increase in the number of charges alleging religious discrimination.
The complex world of calculating overtime By Jim McGrath Corporate Law Departments, June 2007 In January of this year, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Dept. of Labor announced a settlement with a private employer that is the largest settlement in their history.
Failure to insure contraceptives was not sex discrimination By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, June 2007 Union Pacific Railroad provided health care benefits to its employees who were covered by collective bargaining agreements. While the health plans provided benefits for services such as routine physical exams, they excluded coverage for a number of things.
Mass flu outbreak: Employment implications By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, June 2007 Not “if” but “when.” According to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”), a pandemic, likely an influenza break- out, is inevitable. Some CDC recommendations have employment law implications. For example, if employees become ill, an obvious issue may be the need to satisfy Family and Medical Leave Act obligations.
Rights of veterans and duties of employers under federal and Illinois law By Joshua M. Grenard Corporate Law Departments, June 2007 As the Global War on Terror continues in both Iraq and Afghanistan, civilian-soldiers of the Reserve and National Guard are being deployed on a historic scale with the effects being felt not only by the soldiers themselves, but also family members and employers.
Sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace By James E. Snyder and Hon. Reva S. Bauch Labor and Employment Law, June 2007 Imagine being called into your employer’s boardroom and being told: “You’re a great employee, but you’re gay,’re fired!” Federal law does not prohibit this kind of conduct by the employer. And in 33 states it is not an unlawful employment practice.
Supreme Court finds patient privacy violation outside scope of employment By Hon. Kimberly L. Dahlen Civil Practice and Procedure, June 2007 The issue in Bagent v. Blessing Care Corp., was whether Illini Community Hospital could be held vicariously liable under a theory of respondeat superior for a phlebotomist’s disclosure of a patient’s confidential medical information to a third party at a tavern while off duty.
Recent cases relating to employment law By John H. Brechin Local Government Law, May 2007 Two cases involving employment law issues were recently decided. In Kelley v. Sheriffs Merritt Commission, the Second District Appellate Court considered the issue of the permissible use of polygraph examinations in investigation and whether the failure of an officer to submit to such an examination is cause for discipline.
Employers face liability for employee multitasking on the road By Sherrie Travis Corporate Law Departments, March 2007 A recent out-of-court settlement reinforces the need for employers to warn employees about the danger of electronic multitasking on the road.
Employer’s obligations under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act By John N. Maher Labor and Employment Law, March 2007   Some of the central issues that you, as an employer, may face when your employees are called to active duty are addressed in this article.
The need to accommodate workplace proselytization? By Keri A. Legg Labor and Employment Law, March 2007 There is an increase in the number of employees who desire to not only discuss their religious beliefs and practices at work, but who also hold religiously based needs to proselytize or affirmatively oppose “sin” in the workplace.
When are single-location bargaining units appropriate for health care employers? By Benjamin E. Gehrt Labor and Employment Law, March 2007 In County of Cook (Provident Hospital, the Illinois Court of Appeals was presented with the issue of what standard should be applied to determine if a single-location bargaining unit is appropriate for a health care employer with multiple facilities. 
Employees called to duty in the National Guard and Reserve—An overview of the applicable federal and Illinois laws By Brian Clauss, James Capparelli, and Lyndsey Kimber Labor and Employment Law, December 2006 The National Guard and Reserves have vital contributions to national security both at home and abroad and reliance upon the citizen soldier has only increased since September 11, 2001.
Note to employers: You can’t just take it back: An adverse employment action, that is By Karen D. Fox Labor and Employment Law, December 2006 In Phelan v. Cook County, the plaintiff claimed to have suffered an adverse employment action when she was terminated for four months and then was reinstated with back pay.
The Public Safety Employee and Employment Litigation: The effects of Police and Fire Commission proceedings on the federal case By Brian Clauss and Michelle Camden Labor and Employment Law, September 2006 When litigating Federal employment claims of public safety employees1 or proceeding in a discipline hearing before a municipal Board of Police and Fire Commissioners (the “Board”), there are special concerns that a practitioner should consider.
Employee dress and grooming policies By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, August 2006 Recently, the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, often considered a fairly liberal Court, rejected a plaintiff’s claim that the employer’s requirement that she wear makeup constituted sex discrimination.
Supreme Court expands categories of conduct that rise to retaliation claim under Title VII By Peter LaSorsa Corporate Law Departments, August 2006 On June 22, 2006 the United States Supreme Court issued a decision that corporations should pay particular attention to regarding employment law.
Employee must arbitrate retaliatory discharge claim By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, July 2006 Joann Melena joined Anheuser-Busch as a nonunion employee at its distribution center in Mt. Vernon, Illinois in February 1999.
2005 Illinois Human Rights Commission decisions By Alisa B. Arnoff Labor and Employment Law, March 2006 Recent cases of interest to labor & employment law practitioners.