Publications

Articles on Employment Law

R U monitoring employees’ text messages?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2008
LawPulse
Page 438
 An employee had a reasonable expectation of privacy in private e-mail he sent during work hours on his employer-issued pager, the federal ninth circuit rules.

Court upholds penalty against employer for not withholding income for child support

July
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 340
On May 1, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Lake County ordering the ex-husband's employer, Knobias, to pay $369,000 to the employee's ex-wife as a penalty for knowingly failing to pay, within seven business days, child support from wages of the ex-husband.

Fraudulent misrepresentation tort limited to business

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2008
LawPulse
Page 278
Fraudulent misrepresentation applies only to business-related, not personal, injury, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.

No discretionary immunity for retaliatory discharge of employee

June
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 284
On April 17, 2008, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's holding barring the plaintiff's retaliatory discharge claim against the Waukegan Park District due to the District's immunity under the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (Tort Immunity Act), 745 ILCS 10/1-101 et seq.

Restrictive covenant unenforceable due to termination of employment agreement

May
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 236
On February 21, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County denying the plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction.

Employees or Independent Contractors? A New Test for the Construction Industry

By Marc R. Poulos, Melissa Binetti, and Robert G. Reiter Jr.
April
2008
Article
Page 206
A new law makes it easier to challenge classifying construction workers as independent contractors, not employees.

Trends in Seventh Circuit Sexual Harassment Decisions

By William J. Borah
April
2008
Article
Page 198
Title VII is not a code of behavior, according to the seventh circuit. But the court has also expanded remedies for victims of "hellish" sexual harassment.

The CFAA: New Remedies for Employee Computer Abuse

By Linda K. Stevens and Jesi J. Carlson
March
2008
Article
Page 144
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act provides a path to federal court for employer-victims of computer abuse by employees and other insiders.

Departing Executives and the Wage Payment Act

By Richard L. Miller and John Haarlow Jr.
March
2008
Article
Page 138
The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act can be a powerful tool for departing executives who haven t been properly compensated.

No psych-record access for “garden variety” employee emotional distress claims

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2008
LawPulse
Page 66
A recent ruling explains when employer-defendants can and cannot get access to employee-plaintiffs' medical and psychological records when employees sue for emotional distress cause by illegal discrimination.

The perils for employers of hiring private investigators

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2008
LawPulse
Page 66
Employers who retain companies to investigate employee malingering or misconduct need to hire carefully and monitor appropriately.

Employer’s unilateral revisions to handbook did not convert plaintiff to at-will employee

January
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On November 13, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the order of the Circuit Court of Cook County by holding that an employer’s unilateral offer of new benefits did not effectively modify an employee’s contract to convert him to an at-will employee. 

The New Illinois Right-to-Sue Law for Employment Discrimination

By Stephen E. Balogh, Randall D. Schmidt, and Lindsey Marcus
January
2008
Article
Page 30
The Illinois Human Rights Act now provides for a right to a jury in the Illinois circuit court in employment discrimination cases.

Assembly restricts federal government employment verification systems. PA 095-0138

December
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 632
Section 12 has been added to the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, prohibiting employers from using employment verification systems, including the Basic Pilot program. 820 ILCS 55/12. 

Disciplining Attorneys and Other FLSA-Exempt Employees for Attendance Problems

By Jon D. McLaughlin
November
2007
Article
Page 600
Suppose your associate or paralegal shows up late for work. Can you dock her pay without transforming her fram an exempt to a nonexempt employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act?

Guidelines passed for distinguishing employees and independent contractors. PA 095-0026

October
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 516
The Illinois General Assembly has passed the Employee Classification Act in an attempt to prevent the improper identification of employees as independent contractors.

Sexual Harassment: No More “Welcomeness” Defense Against Minors

By Eugene H. Hollander
September
2007
Article
Page 486
A recent case eliminates the defense that an underage sexual-harassment plaintiff welcomed the sexual contact.

Whistleblower Act does not preempt common law action for retaliatory discharge

September
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 460
On July 3, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the order of the Circuit Court of Cook County dismissing Melissa Callahan's complaint for common law retaliatory discharge.

Employers win pay-disparity case in Supreme Court

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2007
LawPulse
Page 398
In Ledbetter, the Supreme Court rules that Title VII's filing deadline bars employment discrimination claims based on decisions that occurred outside the limitations period, even if the employee's current pay is lower because of the decisions.

Local public entity immune from retaliatory discharge claim

August
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 404
On June 6, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the order of the Circuit Court of Lake County dismissing Gregory Smith's retaliatory discharge complaint against the Waukegan Park District. 

Melena and Mandatory Arbitration Agreements in Employment Contracts

By Andrew Harris
August
2007
Article
Page 418
A look at the Illinois Supreme Court's arbitration-friendly decision in Melena, complete with pointers for drafting or challenging arbitration clauses in its wake.

A Primer on Qualified Pension and Profit-Sharing Plans

By Stephen M. Margolin and Harvey S. Shifrin
July
2007
Article
Page 376
Pension and profit-sharing plans are more valuable than ever. Here's an overview for business advisors.

Arbitration panel exceeded its authority by ignoring plain language of contract

June
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 292
On March 29, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County confirming an arbitration award in favor of the plaintiffs on the plaintiffs' claim that defendants had improperly terminated their management agreement for several apartment complexes. 

Day laborers protected under Minimum Wage Law -PA 094-1102

May
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 236
The Illinois General Assembly (Assembly) has amended the Minimum Wage Law in order to protect the interests of day laborers and other short term employees. 

Liquidated Damages: The Forgotten Remedy in Noncompete Disputes

By Kenneth J. Vanko
May
2007
Article
Page 254
Damages are often difficult to prove in unfair competition cases. Liquidated damages clauses can provide an effective - and efficient - remedy.

Litigating Noncompetition Agreements: The Employee’s Perspective

By Patrick M. Kinnally
May
2007
Article
Page 250
Your client's former employer goes to court seeking a TRO to enforce a noncompete agreement against him. What do you do?

A new, stricter test for independent contractor status?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2007
LawPulse
Page 230
Has the Illinois Supreme Court embraced a test that makes it harder for employers to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees and thus avoid employee-related taxes and other expenses?

New incentives to promote jobs in the film and bioscience industries

March
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
56 Ill Adm Code 2650 has been amended by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (Department). 

The Search for Illegal Workers: When Homeland Security Comes Knocking

By Minnie Fu and Neil H. Dishman
March
2007
Article
Page 132
DHS is stepping up enforcement against companies suspected of employing unauthorized workers. Here's how to survive a DHS investigation.

State Law Tort Claims - A New Weapon in Employment Discrimination Cases?

By Eugene K. Hollander
March
2007
Article
Page 146
A recent seventh circuit case bucked convention and allowed a state tort claim in an employment discrimination action.

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