Publications

Articles on Employment Law

Illinois’ new WARN law

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2004
LawPulse
Page 562
There's already a federal law requiring employers to notify workers about layoffs and closing; effective January 1, there'll be a state law to go with it.

Helping Employers Respond to Social Security Number “No-Match” Letters

By Alisa B. Arnoff
August
2004
Article
Page 429
Here's how lawyers can help employer clients protect themselves from actions by the feds and employees.

All civil rights claims, whether based on federal or state law, shall be prosecuted in an administrative forum, as required by the Illinois Human Rights Act

July
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 340
On April 12, 2004, the Fifth District Appellate Court held that the Circuit Court of St. Clair County did not have subject matter jurisdiction over an employee's Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) claim.

Background Checks Required for Euthanasia Technicians P.A. 093-0626

May
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 242
Effective immediately, each applicant for certification as a euthanasia technician must have his or her fingerprints submitted to the Department of State Police in an electronic format that complies with the form.

Undocumented Workers’ Remedies for Employment-Law Violations in Illinois

By Michael K. Fridkin
May
2004
Article
Page 256
Despite a Supreme Court decision restricting their remedies under the NLRA, undocumented workers can still get relief under other employment laws, this author opines.

VESSA: unpaid leave for domestic violence victims

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2004
LawPulse
Page 118
Find out about this newly effective law that, like the Family and Medical Leave Act, grants unpaid leave to covered workers.

Constructive discharge can lead to strict Title VII liability for employers

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2004
LawPulse
Page 62
The seventh circuit ruled recently that constructive discharge can be a "tangible employment action" in a Title VII suit, in which case employers may not invoke affirmative defenses. And the employer in this case was an Illinois circuit court.

Illinois OKs speaking in (native) tongues in the workplace

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2004
LawPulse
Page 10
Habla Espanol in the workplace? You can now with impunity, as long as it's your native language and you're talking about non-work-related matters.

New law makes it easier to investigate workplace misconduct

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2004
LawPulse
Page 10
Employers are no longer required to get an alleged wrongdoer's consent to hire an outside firm to conduct an investigation of alleged misconduct on the job.

Employees Entitled to Take Leave Due to Domestic or Sexual Violence P.A. 93-0591

December
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 600
An employee who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence, or has a family or household member who is a victim, may take 12 weeks per year of unpaid leave from work to address domestic or sexual violence issues, pursuant to the Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act.

Legislature Protects Whistleblowers Against Retaliation and Provides for Recovery of Damages P.A. 93-0544

November
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 550
Employers (excluding governmental entities) are now prohibited from making, adopting or enforcing any rule, regulation or policy that prevents an employee from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency if that employee reasonably believes the information discloses a violation of a state or federal law.

Overtime Overview: A Look at the Proposed Overtime Rules

By Joseph E. Gumina and Michael J. Pulcanio
October
2003
Article
Page 521
A thumbnail sketch of the Department of Labor proposal, with a look at how the proposed regulations might affect lawyer-employers.

Small firms, big cases

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2003
LawPulse
Page 486
How three lawyers from small-practice settings and different parts of Illinois teamed up to bring a high-stakes whistleblower lawsuit.

State Lawsuit Immunity Act opens Illinois to lawsuits from state employees

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2003
LawPulse
Page 486
The new law, which allows state employees to bring race, age, and other discrimination suits, has claimants' lawyers cheering.

Coming Home: Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Job Reinstatement Rights

By Joanna G. DuPriest
August
2003
Article
Page 407
A guide to state and federal job-reinstatement laws.

Hospital Employment of Physicians After Berlin and Carter-Shields

By Saul J. Morse and Robert John Kane
August
2003
Article
Page 402
Recent developments in Illinois law governing employment of physicians by hospitals and hospital affiliates.

Workin’ overtime

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2003
LawPulse
Page 374
Proposed federal regs would redefine exemptions from overtime laws, particularly for managerial employees.

Bankrupt employees; no firing after filing?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2003
LawPulse
Page 326
Employers may not "discriminat[e] or retaliat[e] against" employees who have filed for bankruptcy. But what does that mean?

Retaliatory discharge protection extends to employees testifying in other employees’ workers’ compensation actions; scope of employment approach proper test for hearsay

June
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 280
On March 25, 2003, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, reversed and remanded the order of the circuit court of Cook County granting summary judgment for the defendant corporation.

The Illinois Supreme Court’s 2002 Civil Cases: A New Court Settles In

By Nancy J. Arnold, Tim Eaton, and Michael T. Reagan
April
2003
Article
Page 172
Our annual review of the leading cases.

Tandem state-federal claim produces big results in employment case

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2003
LawPulse
Page 162
An ISBA member combined a state common law intentional infliction of emotional distress claim with an FMLA claim to win a huge federal trial court judgment for his client.

Unfinished Business: The U.S. Supreme Court’s Recent Labor-and-Employment Cases

By Douglas A. Darch
April
2003
Article
Page 188
A review of the U.S. Supreme Court's remarkably large output of labor-and-employment cases in 2002.

What HIPAA’s Privacy Regs Mean for Employers and Group Health Plans

By Aaron W. Brooks
April
2003
Article
Page 192
Guidance for lawyers and their employer clients.

Public-employee pension pitfall

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2003
LawPulse
Page 110
Teachers, police officers, and other government workers charged with crimes related to their official duties have one thing in common ; they all face the loss of their pensions, a fact their lawyers should keep in mind.

The devil in the details of domestic-partner benefits

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2002
LawPulse
Page 578
More employers are offering benefits to their employees' nonspouse partners. Here are some of the legal and administrative issues they need to consider.

A Guide to EEOC Mediations

By Mary B. Manzo
November
2002
Article
Page 607
Pointers about the EEOC program from the Chicago office's ADR coordinator.

Fee tax turns employment-lawsuit winner into loser

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2002
LawPulse
Page 506
Taxing attorney fee awards as income to the plaintiff threatens to reduce an employee's award to less than zero.

Defendant’s failure to assign plaintiff tasks that were given to more experienced employees did not constitute a materially adverse employment action under Title VII

September
2002
Illinois Law Update
Page 454
On July 12, 2002, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) in a suit brought by an employee under Title VII.

Employers need not hire workers for jobs that threaten health

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2002
LawPulse
Page 392
The ADA does not require employers to hire employees for jobs that would pose a "direct threat" to the candidates health, the Supreme Court ruled.

New 7CA limits on arbitration agreements

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2002
LawPulse
Page 282
Employer-employee arbitration agreements that require each party to pay its own attorney fees in civil rights and sexual harassment cases are unenforceable, the seventh circuit rules.

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