Browse articles by year:

2011 Articles

Appeals court nixes jury’s $1 million-plus jury verdict By Michael R. Lied February 2011 A look at the recent case of Casanova v. American Airlines, Inc.
Avoiding “blanket prohibitions” on competition in employment agreements By Arthur Sternberg December 2011 A contractual restriction on competition by a former employee must avoid a “blanket prohibition” on competition to be enforceable. This article examines Illinois law on what is a blanket prohibition and how to avoid it.
Case dismissed when plaintiff fails to sign settlement agreement By Michael R. Lied October 2011 In this case, the parties intended to enter into a settlement agreement and did so at the conclusion of an April 25, 2009 conference. In fact, the plaintiff affirmed her understanding of the settlement terms and indicated her acceptance of those terms on the record.
Court rejects employee’s discrimination and retaliation claims By Michael R. Lied October 2011 The court of appeals wrote that no reasonable jury could find that the delivery of a verbal warning, based on a complaint from a coworker, constituted an adverse employment action or created an objectively hostile work environment.
Double whammy—Employers engaged in systematic wage theft best beware By Glenn R. Gaffney March 2011 Effective January 1, 2011, new amendments to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act establish a two percent penalty of the unpaid wages due an employee for each month of underpaymen, and also now provides that employees need not file a claim with the Department of Labor prior to filing a private right of action.
Employer cannot terminate employee based on conflict between independent medical examination and employee’s doctor By Michael R. Lied May 2011 In Grabs, et al. v. Safeway, Inc., et al., the appellate court concluded that when an employer is faced with conflicting medical opinions from the employee’s doctor and the employer’s Independent Medical Examiner, it may not rely solely on the IME report in terminating an employee for failing to return to work.
Employers and their attorneys left wanting more guidance after first major post-Sunbelt decision regarding reasonableness of restrictive covenants By Michael P. Tomlinson June 2011 The Steam Sales Corp. v. Summers decision is significant because it indicates that there may be cases in which the courts will evaluate whether protectable interests other than the already-recognized legitimate business interests can suffice to show the reasonableness of a restrictive covenant.
Executive fired for false cause obtains multimillion defamation award By Michael R. Lied July 2011 In the case of Leyshon v. Diehl Controls North America, Inc., the Illinois appellate court upheld significant compensatory and punitive damages.
Fitness-For-Duty exams upheld By Michael R. Lied February 2011 As the recent cases of Brownfield v. City of Yakima, Washington and Wisbey v. City of Lincoln, Nebraska demonstrate, it may be easier to justify such exams in law enforcement-related occupations.
How similar is similar? By Michael R. Lied December 2011 In Eaton v. Indiana Dep’t Corrections, the Seventh Circuit found that similarly situated employees must be directly comparable to the plaintiff in all material respects, including rule or policy violations.
Illegal aliens and the balancing of immigration reform with the “in terrorem” effect By Glenn R. Gaffney May 2011 A look at some of the “undocumented worker” issues raised in state and federal courts, as well as the “in terrorem” effect of a defendant’s inquiry into an illegal alien’s status.
The Illinois Civil Union Act and employer-provided health insurance By Michael R. Lied & Michael J. Powers July 2011 Effective June 1, 2011, unmarried adult partners can enter into a civil union in the State of Illinois by virtue of the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act.
Labor board attacks Boeing work location By Frank J. Saibert July 2011 The author argues that "Any notion that today’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or board) will give a fair shake to employers was dispelled this past April 20."
Navigating the Attorney’s Fees and Wage Actions Act By Donald S. Rothschild & Brian M. Dougherty July 2011 The Fees Act is not your typical “prevailing party,” fee-shifting statute. Its inner workings are unusual and this article will explain how to comply with its requirements.
New amendments to Rule 26 limit discovery of experts and their lawyers By Glenn R. Gaffney June 2011 Important amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 became effective December 1, 2010.
The NLRB and social media revisited By Michael D. Gifford October 2011 The NLRB recently accused several employers, in what has become known as the "Facebook Cases," of violating Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”) by enforcing their social media policies and interfering with employees’ Section 7 right to concerted activity.
OSHA holds general contractor responsible for exposing subcontractor’s employees to hazards By Michael R. Lied June 2011 A summary of the case of Secretary of Labor v. Summit Contractors, Inc.
Plaintiff’s case for overtime pay founders on the “administrative exemption” By Michael R. Lied October 2011 In this case, the plaintiff’s primary duty was directly related to the general business operations of both MediaBank and its customers, and the “administrative” exemption applied, defeating her claim for overtime pay.
Plaintiff’s uncorroborated testimony wards off summary judgment By Michael R. Lied March 2011 If based on personal knowledge or experience, uncorroborated testimony can create disputed material facts. Courts at summary judgment stage should not weigh the evidence or determine the credibility of the testimony; those tasks are for the fact finder.
Prevailing Wage Act bites contractor By Michael R. Lied February 2011 The Illinois Department of Labor determined that a construction project constituted a public works project subject to the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act, and the subcontractor's employees had not been paid the prevailing wage.
Public employees and free speech By Matthew Feda December 2011 An overview of the history and current trends in the law regarding public employee free speech, as well as practical advice for bringing a claim.
A snowy day and exempt employees’ pay By Richard A. Russo March 2011 Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, do exempt employees have to be paid their salary for days they are absent on account of their employer closing the business due to inclement weather? May an employer require exempt employees to use vacation days/paid-time-off for time missed as a result of the employer closing its business due to inclement weather? Apparently “yes,” according to the United States Department of Labor and applicable case law.
Specialty healthcare: The NLRB rewrites rules on bargaining units By Michael D. Gifford December 2011 As a result of the recent decision of Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, unions will be able to organize a minority share of an employer’s workforce although a majority of workers may not favor the union.
The Supreme Court and retaliation in the “zone of interests”: Thompson v. North American Stainless By Stephen E. Balogh & Adam B.E. Lied March 2011 Thompson filed a retaliation claim against his employer, American Stainless, alleging that he had been fired in retaliation because his fiance, also employed by American Stainless, had complained about sex discrimination.
Title II of GINA and the EEOC regulations By Ambrose V. McCall June 2011 A brief overview of some of the legislative and regulatory highlights of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act.
The unusual case—Plaintiff is stuck with defendant’s attorney fees By Michael R. Lied October 2011 A summary of the recent case of Matthews v. Wisconsin Energy Corporation, Inc.