Law and the Workplace
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Dakota D. Treece

Associate

Dakota is an associate in the Labor and Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group. She regularly defends employers in single-plaintiff actions involving discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims under statutes such as Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as under various Illinois state laws. She has handled such cases before state and federal courts, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, and the Illinois Department of Labor. In addition, Dakota conducts employment-related investigations.

Dakota also provides day-to-day counseling to employers to heighten compliance and minimize the risk of litigation.  Her counseling focuses on issues related to hiring and firing, personnel policies and leave and accommodation requests. She also has experience drafting employee handbooks and company policies. Dakota is a frequent contributor to Proskauer’s Law and the Workplace blog.

While in law school, Dakota served as a law clerk at the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), where she worked on a variety of labor relations issues. She also was a member and published author in the DePaul Law Review.

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Second Circuit Vacates Ruling on WARN Act Notice Claims

On May 15, 2023, the Second Circuit vacated the entry of summary judgment on Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and New York Labor Law § 860 et seq. (collectively, the “WARN Acts”) claims, holding that a reasonable factfinder could conclude that a buffet restaurant operating inside of a casino was considered an operating unit … Continue Reading

Illinois Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Disclosure of Pay Scales in Job Postings

***UPDATE: Governor Pritzker signed the bill into law on August 11, 2023.*** On May 17, 2023, the Illinois legislature passed House Bill 3129 (the “Bill”), which amends the Illinois Equal Pay Act (820 ILCS 112, et. seq.) to require Illinois employers to include pay scale and benefits information in job postings and to post or … Continue Reading

Illinois Legislature Advances Proposed Amendment to Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act

On May 8, 2023, the Illinois legislature passed Senate Bill 1515 (the “Amendment”), which would amend the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act (820 ILCS § 55) to mandate a specified process employers would need to follow if they choose to take an adverse employment action against an employee after receiving notice from … Continue Reading

REMINDER: Chicago Employers Must Complete Sexual Harassment Prevention and Bystander Training by June 30, 2023

On April 27,2022, the Chicago City Council passed SO2022-665, which broadened the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) and imposed new requirements on Chicago employers with respect to preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.  Pursuant to the Ordinance, all employees working in Chicago must participate in sexual harassment prevention training and bystander training annually. Specifically, … Continue Reading

Ill. Supreme Court: All BIPA Claims Have a Five-Year Statute of Limitations

On February 2, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed in part the decision of an Illinois Appellate Court and held that all claims brought pursuant to Section 15 of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), 740 ILCS § 14/1, et seq., are subject to a five-year statute of limitations period. Tims v. Black Horse Carriers, … Continue Reading

Illinois Legislature Passes Paid Leave For All Workers Act

On January 10, 2023, Illinois legislature passed the Paid Leave For All Workers Act (the “Act”), which requires Illinois employers to provide at least 40 hours of paid leave per year to be used for any reason. Governor Pritzker announced that he will sign the Act into law, making it effective on January 1, 2024. … Continue Reading

Texas District Court Holds EEOC Guidance on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination Unlawful

On October 1, 2022, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas held that Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) guidance addressing sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in the workplace is unlawful. The case is State of Texas v. EEOC, Case No. 2:21-cv-00194-Z. Background As we previously reported, on June 15, 2020, … Continue Reading

7th Circuit: Actual Denial of Leave Not Necessary for FMLA Interference Claim

On June 1, 2022, the Seventh Circuit reversed the entry of summary judgment on a Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) claim, holding that an actual denial of an employee’s FMLA leave request is not necessary to constitute an FMLA violation. Rather, the FMLA may be violated where an employer discourages an employee from taking … Continue Reading

Chicago City Council Expands Sexual Harassment Laws

On April 27, 2022, the Chicago City Council passed Ordinance 2022-665 (the “Ordinance”) amending the Municipal Code to enhance the City’s prohibitions on sexual harassment in the workplace. The amendments include, among other things, modified definitions of “sexual orientation” and “sexual harassment,” a new written policy requirement for employers, increased sexual harassment prevention training requirements, … Continue Reading

Illinois Department of Labor Publishes Guidance for Employers Seeking Equal Pay Registration Certificate

Effective March 24, 2022, the Illinois Equal Pay Act (IEPA) was amended to require private businesses with more than 100 employees in Illinois to obtain an Equal Pay Registration Certificate (EPRC) by March 23, 2024, and every two years thereafter. To apply for the EPRC, businesses must submit the following to the Illinois Department of … Continue Reading

CA Appellate Court Addresses “Willfulness” Standard Under FCRA

On April 19, 2022, a California Appeals Court reversed and remanded a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in an employer’s favor, concluding there was a triable issue of material fact regarding whether a defendant had “willfully” violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s (“FCRA”) “standalone disclosure” requirement.  The case is Hebert v. Barnes & Noble, … Continue Reading

7th Cir. Affirms Summary Judgment On Illinois Whistleblower Act and Illinois Jury Act Retaliation Claims

On April 14, 2022, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the entry of summary judgment on claims under the Illinois Whistleblower Act and Illinois Jury Act, concluding that the plaintiff was not terminated for engaging in protected activity.  The case is Perez v. Staples Contract & Commercial LLC, No. 21-cv-2601. Background Plaintiff, a sales representative, was placed … Continue Reading

Reminder: Illinois Restrictive Covenant Law Takes Effect on January 1, 2022

As we previously reported, a new amendment to the Illinois Freedom to Work Act (820 ILCS § 90) regarding the use of non-competition and non-solicitation restrictive covenants for Illinois employees will take effect on January 1, 2022. The law imposes certain restrictions on the use of restrictive covenants that are entered into after January 1, … Continue Reading

Illinois Appellate Court Addresses Statute of Limitations Period for BIPA Claims

On September 17, 2021, an Illinois Appellate Court addressed the appropriate statute of limitations period for claims brought pursuant to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA” or the “Act”), 740 ILCS § 14/1, et seq., holding that (1) claims asserted under sections 15(c) and (d) of the Act are subject to a one-year statute of … Continue Reading

Illinois Governor Signs Restrictive Covenant Bill Into Law

On August 13, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law an amendment to the Illinois Freedom to Work Act (820 ILCS § 90), which imposes restrictions on the use of non-competition and non-solicitation (employee and customer) restrictive covenants for Illinois employees. The law takes effect on January 1, 2022, and only applies to restrictive covenants … Continue Reading

Chicago Expands Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

Effective August 1, 2021, the City of Chicago’s Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance was amended to provide for additional uses of paid sick leave for eligible employees.  Under the Amended Ordinance, an employee who works at least 80 hours for an employer within any 120-day period while physically present within the geographic boundaries … Continue Reading

Illinois Legislature Passes Significant Restrictive Covenant Reform Bill

The Illinois Legislature recently passed a bipartisan bill, available here, that seeks to significantly amend the Illinois Freedom to Work Act (820 ILCS § 90) and impose restrictions on the use of non-competition and non-solicitation (employee and customer) restrictive covenants for Illinois employees. The bill is expected to be signed by Governor Pritzker, and would … Continue Reading

Chicago Introduces Wage Theft and Paid Secure Leave Ordinances

On May 26, 2021, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduced a series of ordinances (the “Ordinances”) which seek to implement new wage theft protections and provide certain employees with the ability to take paid “secure leave.”  A copy of the Ordinances is available here. First, the Ordinances would amend the Chicago Municipal Code to provide that … Continue Reading

City of Chicago Passes COVID-19 Vaccination Ordinance

On April 21, 2021, the City of Chicago passed an ordinance (the “Ordinance”), here, prohibiting Chicago employers from: (i) retaliating against workers who receive the COVID-19 vaccine during working hours; and (ii) requiring that workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine only during non-working hours. The Ordinance takes effect immediately. The Ordinance applies to all employers who … Continue Reading

Change is on its way: Key developments in Illinois employment law

On May 6, 2021 Proskauer is hosting a complimentary webinar on recent changes in Illinois employment law and best practices to ensure compliance going forward. Please join Proskauer attorneys Steve Pearlman, Dakota Treece and Eddie Young as they focus on a range of topics including the Illinois Equal Pay Act, the Workplace Transparency Act, COVID-19-related … Continue Reading

Illinois Makes Significant Amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act, Equal Pay Act and Business Corporation Act

On March 23, 2021, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed into law SB1480.  As discussed below, the law makes significant changes to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), the Illinois Equal Pay Act (IEPA) and the Illinois Business Corporation Act, aimed at curtailing employer use of conviction records, imposing new reporting and registration requirements concerning employee demographics … Continue Reading

Illinois Legislature Seeks to Limit Use of Restrictive Covenants

Two bills were recently introduced in the Illinois legislature that seek to limit or preclude the use of restrictive covenants for Illinois employers. First, on February 19, 2021, the Illinois House of Representatives introduced House Bill 3066 (accessible here), which seeks to eliminate the use of non-competition and non-solicitation restrictive covenants against Illinois employees unless … Continue Reading
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