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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 2006

2005 Illinois Human Rights Commission decisions By Alisa B. Arnoff March 2006 Recent cases of interest to labor & employment law practitioners.  
Ahmad v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, — Ill. App. 3d ___. 847 N.E.2d 810 (1st Dist. 2006) By J.A. Sebastian July 2006 The Board of Education of the City of Chicago (“Board”) terminated Rita Ahmad (“Ahmad”), a tenured public school teacher, who then filed a complaint for administrative review pursuant to the Illinois Administrative Review Law, 735 ILCS 5/3-101 through 5-3-113, as provided in the Illinois School Code at 105 ILCS 5/24-16.
Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to address electronic discovery By Michael D. Gifford July 2006 On April 12, 2006, the United States Supreme Court approved and forwarded to Congress certain revisions to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure addressing preservation and discovery of data in electronic media, sometimes known as e-discovery.
Amendments to the Illinois Employment of Strikebreakers Act (“ESA”) and the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act declared unconstitutional By Brad Wartman and Peter Andjelkovich September 2006 From time to time, state and local governments enact laws which are obviously designed to influence the course of labor disputes in favor of one party or another.
A discrimination lawsuit filed by an individual in a protected class who alleges adverse employment action may proceed even though the individual’s replacement is a person in the same protected class By Paul E. Freehling January 2006 Suppose P, a person in a protected class, alleges that an adverse employment action—such as discharge, failure to hire, demotion, or failure to promote—resulted from, for example, age, disability, gender, national origin, pregnancy, racial or religious bias.
Election Code changes affect Illinois employers By Isham R. Jones, III January 2006 2006 is an election year in Illinois and two recent changes in the Illinois Election Code will make it easier for workers to perform their civic duty. Both changes became effective on August 22, 2005.
Employee destroys computer files and violates Computer Fraud and Abuse Act By Michael R. Lied July 2006 In International Airport Centers, L.L.C., et al., v. Jacob Citrin, 440 F.3d 418 (7th Cir. 2006), Citrin was employed to identify properties that IAC might want to acquire, and to assist in any later acquisitions. IAC provided Citrin a laptop to use to record data that he collected in the course of his work.
Employee dress and grooming policies By Michael R. Lied 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.
Employee must arbitrate retaliatory discharge claim By Michael R. Lied July 2006 Joann Melena joined Anheuser-Busch as a nonunion employee at its distribution center in Mt. Vernon, Illinois in February 1999.
Employee must be paid for required off-duty mental counseling By Michael R. Lied March 2006 Kari Sehie was a former emergency dispatcher for the City of Aurora.
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 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.
Employer liability for harassment by non-employees By Stephen E. Balogh March 2006 In 1998, the Supreme Court told us that an employer would be liable, pursuant to Title VII, for conduct of its employee which creates an actionable hostile work environment.
Faulty release fails to bar age discrimination claims By Michael R. Lied January 2006 In Kruchowski, et al. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 2005 WL 2212312 (10th Cir. 2005), the group of plaintiffs signed a release of claims, in order to obtain a severance package.
Illinois employer hit with $90,600 penalty under child support law By Isham R. Jones, III January 2006 Let In re Chen, 354 Ill. App. 3d 1004, 820 N.E.2d 1136 (2d Dist. 2004), serve as a warning to Illinois employers that failing to comply with the Illinois Income Withholding for Support Act (“Support Act”), 750 ILCS 28/1 et seq., can be a costly mistake.
Mandatory arbitration clauses in employee manuals By Jon D. McLaughlin December 2006 A recent National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) decision suggests that employers should review materials that they have distributed to their employees concerning mandatory arbitration.
New VESSA rules announced By Michael R. Lied July 2006 The Victim’s Economic Security and Safety Act (“VESSA”) allows for up to twelve weeks for unpaid leave in a twelve-month period to allow employees or household members who are the victims of domestic or sexual violence to take time off to pursue such matters as court hearings, counseling, relocating, and seeking medical or legal services to insure the victim’s safety.
NLRB decides successorship issues By Michael R. Lied September 2006 In Planned Building Services, Inc., 347 NLRB No. 64, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) considered what it describes as two significant issues: (1) the appropriate analytical framework to be applied in determining whether an alleged successor employer has unlawfully refused to hire its predecessor’s employees to avoid a bargaining obligation; and (2) the appropriate make-whole remedy when a successor employer discriminatorily denies employment to its predecessor’s employees and violates its duty to bargain by unilaterally setting initial terms and conditions of employment.
NLRB issues major ruling on supervisory status By Keri A. Legg December 2006 In a major decision just issued, Oakwood Healthcare, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) clarified the guidelines for determining whether an individual is a supervisor under the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”).
No workers’ compensation benefits for injury at company-sponsored picnic By Michael R. Lied September 2006 Allstate Insurance planned a company picnic for July 21, 2000. The picnic occurred on Allstate’s grounds, it was attended exclusively by Allstate employees, and Allstate provided all the materials and equipment.
Note to employers: You can’t just take it back: An adverse employment action, that is By Karen D. Fox December 2006 Editor’s note: The White v. Burlington Northern case referenced in this article was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court last June in Burlington Northern v. White, 548 U.S. ____; 126 S.Ct. 245; 165 L.Ed. 2d 345 (2006).
Pitfalls of the new OFCCP Internet applicant regulations By Michael D. Gifford March 2006 Assume an all-too-plausible scenario: Harold Happyman is HR Manager for AnyTown Bank Corp.
Proposed rule provides employer guidance on Social Security “No-Match” letters By Michael R. Lied August 2006 Employers annually send the Social Security Administration (SSA) millions of earnings reports (W-2 Forms) in which the combination of employee name and social security number (SSN) does not match SSA records.
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 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.
Supreme Court makes retaliation claims more dangerous for employers By Michael R. Lied August 2006 Claims of retaliation have been increasing in recent years. For example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has received more than 22,000 charges alleging retaliation in each of the last five years.
Taxation of compensatory damages for emotional distress and loss of reputation is unconstitutional By Michael R. Lied September 2006 Good lawyering sometimes shakes up the law. Consider Murphy et al. v. Internal Revenue Service, et al. 2006 WL 2411372 (CA DC 2006).
Union violated labor law by photographing employees By Michael R. Lied September 2006 Randell Warehouse of Arizona, Inc., 347 NLRB No. 56 (“Randell II”), presented the issue of whether a union’s unexplained photographing of employees while union representatives distributed campaign literature to them prior to an election constituted objectionable conduct.
What happened in Vegas is not staying in Vegas By Darrell Steinberg March 2006 The labor relations world is becoming aware of what Las Vegas already knows—that “card check” neutrality agreements are the new world order for union organizing.
What have they been up to in Springfield? Recent statutory changes affecting employers and employees By Michael R. Lied January 2006 The 93rd and 94th General Assemblies made numerous changes which will impact Illinois employers and employees.