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2018 Articles

Court expands retaliatory discharge tort, rejects whistleblower claim By Michael R. Lied May 2018 Illinois follows the at-will employment rule, but recognizes an exception when the discharge violates a clear mandate of public policy.
Disability coverage under the Illinois Human Rights Act is different from the ADA By Shari R. Rhode February 2018 The difference of the definition of an individual under the IHRA is a fertile area for litigation from both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s perspective.
Discrimination claims: Commission review or independent civil action? By Carl R. Draper February 2018 In Metzler v. Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital, the Second District has provided a recent ruling that very clearly outlines the contours of the independent right to file suit in court instead of the Human Rights Commission.
Don’t let the “janitor rule” sweep away your non-compete By Robert H. Smeltzer May 2018 A recent federal decision from the Northern District of Illinois illustrates the perils of drafting and attempting to enforce overbroad restrictive covenants.
FMLA FAQ: If an employee racks up both FMLA and unexcused absences, can she be terminated? By Jeff Nowak February 2018 The Court’s decision to dismiss the employee's FMLA claims was made easy because the employer was meticulous in documenting all of her absences.
Illinois employers must accommodate religious clothing and facial hair By Michael R. Lied January 2018 The Illinois Human Rights Act was recently amended to address clothing and facial hair issues connected with religion.
Illinois employers must soon reimburse some employee expenditures By Michael R. Lied December 2018 Effective January 1, 2019, the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act requires employers to reimburse employees for certain business related expenses incurred by the employees.
Leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation following exhaustion of FMLA benefit By David E. Krchak December 2018 Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc. addresses the issue of whether and when an employee may be entitled to an extended leave of absence beyond the 12-week leave granted under the Family and Medical Leave Act as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Medical marijuana cards in the union workplace By Darrell Steinberg May 2018 Recent arbitration cases arising in union shops give insight on why holding a medical marijuana card is not as simple as a “get out of jail free” card.
NLRB trims scrutiny of employee handbook rules By Michael R. Lied September 2018 The National Labor Relations Board recently relaxed the Board's scrutiny of employee handbook policies.
Non-disparagement clauses in the digital age By Cathy A. Pilkington January 2018 Because contractual non-disparagement clauses restrict free speech (and quite possibly competition), their ever-expanding usage has come under increasing legal attacks from governmental agencies charged with regulating the workforce.
PTSD is a disability under the ADA By Shari Rhode & Martin D. Parsons January 2018 Although PTSD is not exclusive to the military, the focus of this article is on veteran/employees with PTSD and some recommendations for how they can be accommodated in the workplace.
Recent Illinois appellate court ruling could end the recent flood of class action lawsuits against employers under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act By Kwabena A. Appenteng & Philip L. Gordon February 2018 The Illinois Appellate Court’s decision in  Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp is momentous for employers because it provides a substantive defense that has the potential for defeating Biometric Information Privacy Act class actions whether filed in federal or state court.
Recent opinion letters from DOL By David E. Krchak November 2018 In August, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor issued two opinion letters addressing the treatment of attendance points while an  employee is on an FMLA leave of absence and whether time spent in voluntary wellness activities must be considered as hours worked.
Reference to JAMS Rules in contract allows arbitrator to decide arbitrability By Michael R. Lied May 2018 It is usually—but not always—up to a court to determine if parties to an agreement have decided to let an arbitrator decide disputes under that agreement.
Requesting books and records of an Illinois LLC under the recently amended Illinois LLC Act By Nick Zagotta, Michael Sherlock, & Erin O’Brien January 2018 This article explores what information is available to LLC members under the Act, the procedure for requesting said information, the rights of dissociated members to request the books and records, and the protections an LLC may employ to protect the books and records. The article also discusses the “proper exercise” requirement under Section 10-15(a) of the Act.
Retailors take note: Commission sales in Illinois By Douglas Darch September 2018 A recent seventh circuit decision makes clear that in Illinois there is a distinction between "commissions" and "bonuses."
SCOTUS overrules Abood in Janus v. AFSCME By Carlos S. Arévalo September 2018 In June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which stemmed from an appeal over the dismissal of a complaint that sought to invalidate agency fees and to reverse the Supreme Court’s 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.
The Second Circuit provides a roadmap for employers defending claims under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act By Kwabena A. Appenteng & Philip L. Gordon February 2018 Employers that implemented biometric timeclocks without giving notice to, or obtaining consent from, employees as required by BIPA are not necessarily “dead in the water” when swept up in the current wave of class action filings.
Seventh circuit defines appropriate test for joint employer liability under Title VII By Orly M. Henry November 2018 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently clarified the applicable test for determining joint employment for Title VII liability.
Short FMLA-based breaks may not be compensable By Michael R. Lied September 2018 The U.S. Department of Labor issued an opinion regarding whether a non-exempt employee’s 15-minute rest breaks, which are certified by a health care provider as required every hour due to the employee’s serious health condition and are thus covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act, are compensable or non-compensable time under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
U.S. Supreme Court upholds employers’ right to mandatory individualized arbitration By Juanita B. Rodriguez & Danielle Kirby November 2018 The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the right of employers to include mandatory individualized arbitration clauses in their employment contracts in a 5-4 decision.