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Labor and Employment LawThe newsletter of the ISBA’s Section on Labor & Employment Law

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Newsletter articles from 2003

Civil [war] trial By Donald R. Tracy August 2003 Hagerstown is the county seat of Washington County, Maryland. Hagerstown is in Civil War country.
Court finds assignment to harder job is not an adverse employment action By Michael R. Lied February 2003 In White v. Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Company, 310 F.3d 443 (6th Cir. 2002), White was a track maintenance worker who primarily operated a fork lift. White complained the employer treated her differently because of her sex and said her foreman had twice made inappropriate remarks
Court refuses to limit jury’s damages award on disabilities claim By Michael R. Lied February 2003 In Gagliardo v. Connaught Laboratories, Inc., 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 23953 (3rd Cir. 2002), Gagliardo worked as a customer service representative for Connaught Laboratories, Inc., (CLI).
Employer may lawfully terminate jailed alcoholic employee By Michael R. Lied February 2003 George Bailey was an alcoholic who worked for Georgia Pacific Corporation.
Employer need not hire helper to provide reasonable accommodation for alleged disability By Michael R. Lied April 2003 In Peters v. City of Mauston, 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 23869 (7th Cir. 2002), the employee sued, alleging disability discrimination after he was fired.
Executive loses stock options by working for competitor By Michael R. Lied April 2003 Michael Tatom worked as Vice-President of Operations in the Custom Business Services unit of Ameritech Information Systems.
High court sets limits on punitive damages By Michael R. Lied June 2003 On April 7, 2003, the United States Supreme Court decided a significant case which seems to, for the first time, establish some constitutional limits on awards of punitive damages.
The Illinois Appellate Court, First District, expands the tort of retaliatory discharge By Daniel S. Alcorn June 2003 In Pietruszynski v. The McClier Corporation, Architects and Engineers, Inc., the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, held that an employee who is discharged based on his participation as a witness in the workers' compensation proceeding of a co-employee can state a cause of action for retaliatory discharge.
Illinois enacts equal pay legislation: New obligations for Illinois employers By Gerard A. McInnis August 2003 On May 11, 2003, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed the Equal Pay Act of 2003 (the Act) into law.
Illinois Whistleblower Act becomes effective January 1, 2004 By Michael R. Lied November 2003 This summer, the Illinois legislature passed the Whistleblower Act. The Act applies to employers in Illinois, including individuals, sole proprietorships, partnerships, firms, corporations, associations and any other entity having one or more employees in Illinois
Labor department proposes new rules for determining whether an employee is exempt from overtime By Jill P. O’Brien June 2003 The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed new regulations altering the rules under which it determines whether or not employees are entitled to receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a work week
Michigan court jails supervisor for job-related fatality By Michael R. Lied August 2003 J. A. Concrete Construction Company contracted with another company to deliver gravel to a construction site.
Minimum wage changes By Michael R. Lied November 2003 The Illinois minimum wage rate increases to $5.50 per hour on January 1, 2004. It next rises to $6.50 per hour January 1, 2005.
National Labor Relations Board extends Weingarten rights to non-union employees By Bruce C. Beal February 2003 The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in a three-to-two vote, extended the Weingarten rule to non-union workers.
The new Illinois Equal Pay Act By Alisa B. Arnoff August 2003 The Illinois Equal Pay Act (IEPA), Public Act 93-0006, was recently signed into law.
New leave rights for victims of domestic violence By Michael R. Lied November 2003 The Illinois Victims Economic Security and Safety Act ("VESSA") became effective August 25, 2003. VESSA has similarities to both the Family and Medical Leave Act as well as the Americans With Disabilities Act.
An overview of the whistleblower provisions of The Sarbanes-Oxley Act By Robert T. Bernstein and Jill P. O’Brien June 2003 The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, also known as "The Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act," was implemented to provide for sweeping reforms in both corporate governance and within the accounting industry.
Proposed changes to employment laws winding their way through the 93rd General Assembly By Alisa B. Arnoff June 2003 SB1492: This bill provides an individual with the right to file an action arising under the Illinois Human Rights Act (the Act) in Circuit Court.
Public sector employers and the FLSA’s salary test By Trisha Crowley February 2003 The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has recently issued an opinion with the most comprehensive discussion to date on the Department of Labor's regulation of the FLSA's salary test concerning deductions for partial-day absences for sickness or personal reasons.
SB 1492-Right to sue legislation fails in the House By Glenn R. Gaffney November 2003 The ISBA Labor & Employment Law Section Council previously resolved to support the concept of proposed legislation which would amend the Illinois Human Rights Act so as to allow complainants the right to file suit in circuit court for an employment action (Article 2) under the Illinois Human Rights Act.
SB 266 modifies Unemployment Insurance Act attorney fee provision By Glenn R. Gaffney November 2003 Section 1200 of the Illinois Employment Insurance Act (820 ILCS 405/1200), entitled "compensation of attorneys," provides that an individual claiming benefits in a proceeding before the IDES or the Board of Review can be represented by counsel but that the fee charged can be no more than an amount approved by the Board of Review or by the Director.
Seventh Circuit upholds Title VII Laches defense By Glenn R. Gaffney November 2003 In National RR Passenger Corp v. Morgan, 536 US 101, 122 S.Ct. 2061 (2002) , the United States Supreme Court clarified and expanded the "continuing violation doctrine."
Undocumented workers—Do they have any employment law rights? By Lorna K. Geiler April 2003 On March 27, 2002, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, 533 U.S. 137, 122 S.Ct. 1275, 152 L.Ed. 271 (2002).
Unforeseeable business circumstance excuses plant closing without WARN notice By Michael R. Lied April 2003 In Watson et al. v. Michigan Industrial Holdings, Inc. et al., 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 23889 (6th Cir. 2002), Michigan Industrial Holdings, Inc. (MIHI) provided new and aftermarket forgings for Dana Corporation
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 and the Service Men’s Employment Tenure Act: What every employer should know By Joanna G. DuPriest and Jill P. O’Brien April 2003 It is certainly time to "brush up" on the law regarding the rights and obligations that exist in the workplace when employees need time off to serve our country in the military.