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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 2012

Accusing employee of “Playing the race card” keeps his case alive By Michael R. Lied March 2012 Employee's history of complaints and Plant Manager's “race card” statements were deemed enough to allow employee to survive summary judgment on his retaliation claim. The court of appeals reversed the grant of summary judgment and remanded for further proceedings in Burnell v. Gates Rubber Co.
Appeals court discusses evidence of financial status of defendant sued for punitive damages By Michael R. Lied July 2012 In Powers v. Rosine, the plaintiffs filed a complaint for injuries sustained in an automobile accident where Rosine drove under the influence.
Caselaw update By Laura D. Mruk October 2012 The Seventh Circuit found that forcing a pregnant employee to take an unpaid leave of absence due to her inability to perform essential job functions constitutes a materially adverse employment action, even if it was done pursuant to official company policy.
Court properly entered injunction during unfair labor practice proceedings By Michael R. Lied March 2012 In the case of Lineback v. Irving Ready-Mix, Inc., the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided a district court properly granted injunctive relief pending resolution of unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”).
The danger of Internet checks as part of a company’s hiring process By Peter LaSorsa February 2012 The latest endeavor by companies is to check Web sites like Facebook and Twitter to see what new information they can learn about prospective employees. Is this a good idea? Are there potential land mines that the company could step on?
Drafting enforceable customer solicitation restrictions By Arthur Sternberg July 2012 The primary drafting problem is the scope of restricted customers. A ban as to all customers risks being held overbroad and unenforceable, especially if the employer dominates the relevant market, has a large number of customers spread across a wide geographic area, or has distinct product lines or services that draw different types of customers.
Drafting enforceable restrictions on recruiting employees By Arthur Sternberg March 2012 To be enforceable, contractual restrictions on soliciting or hiring an employer’s personnel should avoid a blanket prohibition on recruiting or hiring all employees. This applies not only to employment-related agreements, but also to business-to-business agreements, such as confidentiality and service agreements. This article examines what is an overbroad recruitment restriction under Illinois law and how to narrow them.
Eliminating rotating shift not required to reasonably accommodate disabled employee By Michael R. Lied October 2012 A look at Kallail v. Alliant Energy Corporate Services, Inc.
First District finds that the Cook County Commission on Human Rights does not have the authority to award punitive damages By Laura D. Mruk October 2012 Recently, in Jimmy Crittenden v. Cook County Commission on Human Rights, the First District found that under the Cook County Code of Ordinances, the Cook County Commission on Human Rights does not have the authority to award punitive damages. 
Human resources director allegedly makes admissions of discrimination and retaliation By Michael R. Lied March 2012 A summary of the recent case of Makowski v. SmithAmundsen LLC.
Illinois courts interpret Whistleblower claims By Michael R. Lied July 2012 Summaries of the cases of Brame v. City of North Chicago and Michael, et al. v. Precision Alliance Group, LLC.
Illinois Employee Credit Privacy Act By Michael D. Gifford March 2012 Prior to the Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2011, it was increasingly common for employers to obtain credit reports on prospective employees on the theory that negative credit ratings could predict work place problems.
Illinois Human Rights Commission decision summaries By Laura D. Mruk December 2012 Recent cases of interest to labor & employment law practitioners.
Is obesity a disability? An analysis of obesity under the ADAAA By Susan A. Garver December 2012 The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act was enacted in 2008. Prior to the Amendments, the ADA specifically did not cover obesity, only morbid obesity. The Amendments Act is purposefully silent on whether obesity is covered as a disability. This leaves much room for interpretation on whether obesity is a disability for the purposes of the ADA and the ADA Amendments Act.
Plaintiff fails to provide admissible evidence to avoid summary judgment By Michael R. Lied June 2012 A summary of the Luster v. Illinois Dept. of Corrections case.
Plaintiff’s challenge to employer’s light duty policy fails By Michael R. Lied June 2012 Serednyj v. Beverly Healthcare, LLC, 656 F.3d 540 (7th Cir. 2011), involved claims of gender discrimination under Title VII, The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, (“PDA”), disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and retaliation.
Psychological counseling may be a medical examination under the ADA By Michael R. Lied October 2012 In Emily Kroll v White Lake Ambulance Authority, the court of appeals vacated the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant and remanded for further proceedings.
Servicing ISRA By Stephen F. Monroe February 2012 The Illinois Sales Representative Act is a robust piece of legislation that arms independent contractors paid commission by their principals with formidable ammunition in the event of a breach.
U.S. Supreme Court recognizes “ministerial exception” in employment cases involving religious entities By Laura D. Mruk February 2012 Although the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision has yet to be seen, despite many religious organizations touting the decision as a victory, it is not likely to greatly influence employment law or First Amendment law.
Wellness program survives ADA challenge By Michael R. Lied October 2012 A summary of Seff v. Broward County, Florida.
What is OSHA looking for? By Michael R. Lied February 2012 A list of the most commonly cited OSHA violations from fiscal year 2011.