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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 2009

Apprenticeship loan not dischargeable in bankruptcy By Michael R. Lied September 2009 Michael Kesler was undoubtedly surprised that he could not discharge a union apprenticeship program loan in bankruptcy court.
Borrowed employee has retaliatory discharge claim By Michael R. Lied 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.
Criminal prosecution under the Occupational Safety and Health Act By MIchael R. Lied 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. 
Discharge for misconduct cuts off temporary total disability benefits By Michael R. Lied May 2009 A summary of the case of Interstate Scaffolding, Inc. v. The Workers’ Compensation Commission, et al.
Editor’s note By Michael R. Lied December 2009 In October 2009, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2010. Under the NDAA, qualifying “exigency leave” now allows an eligible employee to take leave for a qualifying exigency related to the deployment of a son/daughter or parent who is a member of a regular component of the armed forces.
Editor’s note By Michael R. Lied September 2009 In St. Aubin v. Unilever HPC NA, Civil Action No. 09 C 1874 (N.D. Ill. June 26, 2009), the court considered the applicability of Pyett.
Employee’s affidavit insufficient to defeat employer’s motion for summary judgment By Megan A. Drefchinski 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. 
Expanded liability for sexual harassment in Illinois By Kenneth W. Gage and Laura R. Feldman 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.
Federal labor law preempts Illinois antitrust claim By Michael R. Lied September 2009 A summary of the case of Smart v. Local 702 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
FMLA—Qualifying Exigency Leave & Military Caregiver Leave By Jasmine V. Hernandez December 2009 Embedded in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 (“NDAA”) is a military family leave statute. It grants covered military members’ families unpaid leave to manage qualifying exigencies resulting from a family member being on, or called to, active duty (“Qualifying Exigency Leave”), or to care for a family member with a serious injury or illness (“Military Caregiver Leave”).
Hiring and Firing: A new book By Stanley J. Dale September 2009 Print copies of law books still are being published, and some good ones at that. One example is the recently released book, Hiring and Firing. Written by Frances Kulka Browne and Lauren Reiter Brody, this treatise covers in 12 chapters virtually every conceivable matter that could arise under the rubric of employment law.
“Last chance” agreement fails to bar retaliation claim By Michael R. Lied May 2009 Last chance agreements are relatively common in unionized work settings.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009: Congress responds to Justice Ginsberg’s dissent in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Inc. By Daniel K. Wright June 2009 The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 (the “Ledbetter Act” or “Act”) rejects the United States Supreme Court’s decision inLedbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Inc.
New challenges and opportunities for employer leave of absence programs By David L. Miller 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.
Preventing the misappropriation of trade secrets through proactive policies and procedures By Peter A. Steinmeyer May 2009 While there is no magic wand that will prevent a theft or stop a thief in his tracks, a company can substantially lower the risk of trade secret misappropriation through proactive policies and procedures.
Pyett: Waiver of statutory federal judicial forum rights in collective bargaining agreements By Stephen E. Balogh and Adam B.E. Lied September 2009 Recently, the Court’s ruling in 14 Penn Plaza v. Pyett, presented a complete break with the prior understanding of bargained-for arbitration clauses
Reference release overcomes tortious interference claim By Michael R. Lied 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. 
Some practical considerations when litigating under the Illinois Human Rights Act By Ferne P. Wolf June 2009 With the advent of Illinois Human Rights Act cases being filed in state court, employment law practitioners, accustomed to practicing in federal court, could become fish out of water.
U.S. Supreme Court expands employees’ ability to pursue retaliation claims By Kathryn Woodward 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 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.