Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Public Employees

Issues of domestic-violence crimes within governmental employment By Paul Thompson Government Lawyers, December 2014 A look at the ways the government workforce may be affected by domestic-violence convictions and restraining orders.
Constitutional challenges made to the Pension Reform Act By Aaron Maduff Labor and Employment Law, October 2014 This article starts with a discussion of the state of the law prior to the Constitutional Convention of 1970 and what led to the addition of the Pension Protection Clause in the Illinois Constitution. It then proceeds to discuss the various challenges made to the law, and finally provides an update on the status of the suits, including the order of injunctive relief entered by the Court on May 14, 2014.
Militarization of American police By Kathryn E. Eisenhart Human Rights, October 2014 American police have become increasingly militarized through federal programs providing both military weapons and military tactics training. But who is holding them accountable?
Police training By Peter LaSorsa Human Rights, October 2014 A look at the training that police officers receive prior to obtaining a badge and gun.
Co-owner or creditor? That is the question when dividing a marital public pension By Hon. Mark J. Lopez Family Law, August 2014 The Circuit Court of Cook County - Domestic Relations Division recently determined in a post-decree order that members of a public pension can be ordered to execute a consent to QILDRO.
Legislative summary of the 98th General Assembly Government Lawyers, January 2014 Recent cases of interest to government lawyers.
Military leave for governmental employees By Paul Thompson Government Lawyers, January 2014 An overview addressing state government attorneys who may also serve in the military reserve or National Guard.
Recent litigation Local Government Law, January 2014 Recent decisions of interest to local government law practitioners.
Legislative summary of the 98th General Assembly Government Lawyers, September 2013 A summary of Public Acts 98-001 through 98-300 that may be of interest to the government bar.
The pension conundrum delivers even more constitutionality issues as legislators are denied their pay By Tiffany Elking Government Lawyers, September 2013 On July 10, 2013, Governor Quinn used his line-item veto power on an appropriations bill, House Bill 214, to eliminate General Assembly members’ salaries, effectively vetoing legislator’s paychecks, until a pension reform bill is signed into law. In response, Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan have filed a joint lawsuit against Governor Quinn, challenging the constitutionality of his line-item veto.
Animus and the “class of one” claim under the 14th Amendment: Swanson v. City of Chetek, U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit No. 10-1658 (2013) By Steven A. Andersson Local Government Law, August 2013 The Swanson v. Chetek case provides a strong reminder of the need for local officials to be even- handed in their treatment of the people they deal with on a daily basis.
A recent PSEBA decision: Lifetime benefits they are not! By Carlos S. Arévalo Labor and Employment Law, March 2013 The Fifth District Appellate Court recently held in Pyle v. City of Granite City that a firefighter was not entitled to the so-called “lifetime” health insurance benefits from his employer, the City of Granite City.
Tort Immunity Act protects public employees operating emergency vehicles from negligence liability: A summary of the recent decision in Harris v. Thompson, 2012 IL 112525 By Kathryn Rolewick Bench and Bar, February 2013 There is no conflict between section 11-205 of the Vehicle Code and section 5-106 of the Tort Immunity Act as applied to immunity for non-willful actions of public employees responding to emergencies. As such, the Tort Immunity Act granted defendants immunity from negligence liability.
Is an elected official an employee? By Paul N. Keller and Donald W. Anderson Local Government Law, January 2012 There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to the question of elected official as employee—An individual elected official is not an employee for purposes of FLSA, IPLRA, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, ADEA, the Illinois Human Rights Act, and the Unemployment Insurance Act, but may opt into IMRF, and is an employee for purposes of the Tort Immunity Act.
Is information on privately-owned electronic devices subject to FOIA?—What Public Access Binding Opinion No. 11-006 means to you and your government clients By John Redlingshafer Government Lawyers, January 2012 Opinion 11-006 of the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Bureau firmly establishes that electronic communications, whether shared on publicly or privately-owned devices, can be considered “public records” and therefore, may be subject to FOIA.
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.
Is information on privately-owned electronic devices subject to FOIA?—What Public Access Binding Opinion No. 11-006 means to you and your government clients By John Redlingshafer Local Government Law, December 2011 Opinion 11-006 of the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Bureau firmly establishes that electronic communications, whether shared on publicly or privately-owned devices, can be considered “public records” and therefore, may be subject to FOIA.
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.
Case law updates By Michael D. Bersani, Rita Edsner, and Adam Margolin Local Government Law, August 2011 Recent cases of interest to local government lawyers.
Line of duty disability pensions—What is an act of duty? By John H. Brechin Local Government Law, August 2011 Two recent cases illustrate the difficulty in resolving an application for a line of duty disability pension.
Official misconduct—What constitutes a law? By John H. Brechin Local Government Law, August 2011 Defendant maintained that he was not guilty of official misconduct because the regulations he violated are not “laws” within the meaning of the Statute.
Case notes and civil case summaries Local Government Law, June 2011 Recent cases of interest to local government lawyers.
The Public Safety Employee Benefits Act – What is an emergency? By John H. Brechin Local Government Law, December 2008 On November 4, 2008, the Second District Appellate Court issued its unanimous opinion upholding benefits for a police officer under the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act.
The State of Illinois Retirement Systems: Funding history and reform proposals Employee Benefits, September 2008 As we go to press, Governor Blagojevich has called the legislature into special session to deal with the budget mess in Springfield. 
Pension funds vs. municipalities: Soon at a courthouse near you? By James E. Schrempf Local Government Law, August 2008 By now, most of us have probably seen the reports on the critical condition of Illinois’ public employee retirement funds. 
Enforceability of contractual severance provisions in the public sector By John H. Brechin Local Government Law, February 2008 In Village of Oak Lawn v. Faber, 1-06-2622, decided December 21, 2007, the 1st District Appellate Court considered whether a severance package offered to Mr. Faber passed legal muster.
Illinois Supreme Court puts an end to appellate courts’ varied interpretations of Pension Code Section 3-115 By Krysia W. Ressler Young Lawyers Division, February 2008 A police officer, while on duty, was escorting a handcuffed prisoner down an embankment when the prisoner stumbled and caused that police officer to fall and injure his right knee.
The Fourth Amendment and drug testing in the public employment sector: A review of Krieg v. Seybold, 481 F.3D 512 (7TH CIR. 2007) By Seth L. Ellis Administrative Law, December 2007 The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches conducted by the Government, including when the Government acts as an employer.
Reppert v. Southern Illinois University—employment contracts and the Freedom of Information Act By Lisle A. Stalter Government Lawyers, December 2007 There are surprisingly few cases discussing the Freedom of Information Act1 and its exceptions—particularly when it comes to personnel files.
Who is in charge of determining disability for police officers—Pension boards or witnesses? By Jenette M. Schwemler Local Government Law, September 2007 For more than 15 years, Illinois appellate courts have been struggling with the interpretation of section 3-115 of the Illinois Pension Code regarding the requirement of a pension applicant to submit three certificates of disability to the pension board in order to receive benefits.