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Chicago Task Force Proposes 5 Days Of Paid Sick Leave For Employees

Poised to join the increasing number of cities that require paid sick leave, the Working Families Task Force (commissioned by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel) recently recommended that employees in Chicago be allowed to earn at least 5 paid sick days each year. The task force is comprised of 27 members, including business, government and worker … Continue Reading

Federal Court in Illinois Finds No Overtime Due to Police For Off-Duty Use of BlackBerrys

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled in the City of Chicago’s favor on December 10, 2015, denying police officers’ claims that they were owed overtime pay for their off-duty use of work-issued BlackBerrys.  In Allen v. Chicago, the officers had alleged that there was an unwritten policy not to pay them … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Holds That FMLA Limitations Period Begins To Run At Time Of Each Leave Denial

On October 20, the Seventh Circuit held, in Barrett v. Illinois Department of Corrections, that a former state employee’s Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) denial of leave claim was untimely because suit was not filed until the employee was fired for her poor attendance record and not within two years of each alleged leave … Continue Reading

NLRB Prevents Northwestern Football Players from Unionizing; Refuses to Play the Game as to Whether College Athletes are Considered Employees

On August 17, 2015, nearly seventeen months after a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) Regional Director ruled that Northwestern grant-in-aid scholarship football players were considered employees under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), the NLRB unanimously changed course and declined to exert jurisdiction over the athletes’ petition, thereby reversing the lower decision. In Northwestern University, … Continue Reading

Cook County, Illinois Amends Human Rights Ordinance To Limit Credit Checks

Cook County, Illinois enacted a bill (No. 15-3088) that amends the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance to restrict employers from asking about or otherwise considering a prospective or current employee’s credit history in employment decisions.  The new ordinance took effect yesterday.  It is nearly identical to laws in Illinois and Chicago that were enacted a … Continue Reading

Employee Gripe Apps: Should Companies Be Concerned?

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article by Lindsay Gellman on a new app by Collectively that allows users to post anonymous reviews of and complaints about their employers.  The app is cheekily called “getthememo.”  According to the article, Collectively’s mission is to create a space for workers “to speak freely about what’s happening … Continue Reading

No End In Sight For Wave of Paid Family and Sick Leave Laws

Employers have been scrambling to keep up with the multitude of paid sick leave laws that were passed in the last several years.  These laws vary by jurisdiction and often can’t be easily reconciled into a uniform policy — an issue for multi-state employers.  As reported in today’s New York Times, President Obama is asking … Continue Reading

Michigan Protects Employers from Negligent Hiring and Retention Claims

On January 1, a new Michigan law took effect to protect companies that hire ex-offenders who go on to cause damage or injury during the course of their employment.  Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas recently passed similar laws. The Michigan law specifically provides that, in an action seeking damages for personal injury, property damage, or … Continue Reading

New Michigan Law Expands the Types of Criminal Records Applicants & Employees Can Refuse to Disclose to Employers

Existing Michigan law has served to prevent private employers from considering criminal records “set aside” by law (more commonly known as expungement) in hiring and personnel decisions. An amendment to that law, which took effect on January 12, expands the circumstances under which ex-offenders may seek to set aside their criminal records and, thus, may further … Continue Reading

Illinois and Chicago “Ban the Box” Laws Take Effect

Illinois’ and Chicago’s “ban the box” laws took effect on January 1.  Both laws prohibit private employers from making criminal inquiries until after an applicant has been notified of his or her selection for an interview (where the employer does not conduct an interview, it must wait until after making a conditional offer).  The two … Continue Reading

New Minnesota Expungement Law Helps Protect Employers from Liability

A new Minnesota law that took effect on January 1 expands the opportunities for ex-offenders to expunge their criminal records.  In an effort to protect employers who hire employees with expunged records, the new law provides that such records “may not be introduced as evidence in a civil litigation against a private employer . . … Continue Reading

Columbia, Missouri Joins “Ban the Box” Trend

Columbia, Missouri is the latest jurisdiction to “ban the box” by prohibiting private employers from making criminal inquiries on an employment application.  The law, which took effect on December 1, 2014, only allows employers to ask about an applicant’s criminal history after the applicant has received a conditional offer of employment. Despite these prohibitions, the … Continue Reading

EEOC Wellness Program Suits Highlight Need for Agency Guidance

The EEOC has been pursuing litigation against wellness programs of late, arguing that certain health plan penalties render participation in wellness program health screens “involuntary” and thus violate Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits medical exams unless they are  voluntary or  are job-related and consistent with business necessity.  (See recent blog post about this.)  Senate Republicans rightly criticized the EEOC general counsel … Continue Reading

Gender Pay Gap – What Are Companies Doing?

It is no secret to our readers that the EEOC and the OFCCP have prioritized compensation discrimination issues as an enforcement priority.  The general public, and hence employees, are also keenly aware of pay discrimination issues.  From Sheryl Sandberg’s and Nell Scovell’s “Lean In” book and “Lean In Circles” to the John Oliver skit on the … Continue Reading

Four States and Two Cities Hike Their Minimum Wage Rates

Four States and Two Cities Hike Their Minimum Wage Rates Somewhat overlooked in this week’s election were the minimum wage referenda on the ballots in a number of states.  Continuing a growing national trend, voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota approved proposals to increase their states’ minimum wage rates on Tuesday.  In addition, … Continue Reading

Social Media Watch: Illinois Federal Court Lowers Bar for SCA Claims

Social media privacy cases continue to grow under the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) (see our prior alert on the Ehling decision).  The SCA provides a private right of action for unauthorized, intentional access of another’s communications held in electronic storage, allowing the plaintiff to recover actual damages, plus any profits made by the violator, in … Continue Reading
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