Posts from February 2014.

The Illinois State Police announced today that they have approved the first 5,000 applications for concealed carry licenses under Illinois law and will be mailing out concealed carry licenses today.

The approval of these licenses shows that the Illinois State Police have decided not to use the entire 90 day period that the law provides for them to review applications, which would have resulted in the first concealed carry licenses being issued in April 2014.

Businesses and employers should anticipate that customers, clients and employees could have a concealed carry license as ...

Recently, the Federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana) affirmed summary judgment for the employer in a Workers’ Compensation retaliation claim. Phillips v. Continental Tire The Americas, LLC, — F.3d —, 2014 WL 572339 (Feb. 14, 2014).  Employer Continental Tires (“Continental”) had a written substance abuse policy which required drug testing for several enumerated reasons, including initiation of a workers’ compensation claim.  The policy further provided that an employee’s refusal to be tested was grounds for immediate ...

Would you want to know if you were about to offer a job to a convicted felon? Most employers would say “of course,” but both seeking and acting on that information could land you in legal trouble.  Before obtaining criminal background information on all potential new hires, you should know that the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the EEOC, and your state government may have something to say about that practice.

As a general rule, it is legal to inquire into the criminal history of employees and potential employees; however, concerns about fraud and discrimination are ...

On Tuesday, February 11, 2014, Judge Sara L. Ellis of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that the EEOC could continue to pursue its ADA claims and challenge the United Parcel Service, Inc.’s (“UPS”) return-to-work rule of discharging employees who cannot return to work after twelve (12) months of continuous leave (EEOC v. UPS, Inc., No. 09-CV-05291, N.D. Ill. 2/11/14).

In this case, UPS had maintained a leave of absence policy, which provided in part that employees will be “administratively separated from employment” after ...

I’m going to come right out and say it: I hate Valentine’s Day.  Polls taken around this time of year prove that I’m not alone.  If you’re unhappily single, it’s a month-long in-your-face reminder of the fact that you’re single.  If you’re in a relationship, there is tremendous pressure to make a grand romantic gesture that’s not too grand or too romantic and proportionately matches your partner’s feeling.  The all-time absolute worst possible way to try to celebrate Valentine’s Day, however, is at the office.  At best, it creates a distraction that eats into ...

The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) originally scheduled the employer mandates to take effect in 2014.  Then, on July 2, 2013, the White House announced that it would delay enforcement of the employer mandate provisions from 2014 to 2015.  Now – in line with the over-arching theme of the ACA which seems to be last minute postponement of regulations frustrating those proactively trying to ensure compliance — the IRS has now released new guidance further delaying the employer mandate until 2016 for those employers with less than 100 full-time employees.

Employers ...

A few weeks ago, the Seventh Circuit federal appellate court (Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin) held that an employee’s absence from work was protected by the Family Medical Leave Act – even though she was on vacation with her terminally ill mother in Las Vegas.   Ballard v. Chicago Park District, Case No. 13-1445 (7th Cir. Jan. 28, 2014).

There was no question that Ballard provided daily care to her mother.  However, when she requested FMLA leave to travel with her mother to Las Vegas, Ballard’s employer denied the request.  Ultimately, the employer terminated her for the ...

Federal:   Federal Contractors be on alert! In an attempt to get Congressional support to raise the federal minimum wage for all workers, President Obama announced that he was going to be issuing an Executive Order that will require federal contract employers to pay workers a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour on any new federal contracts.  This could happen as soon as the next week or so.

The NLRB poster rule has gone by the wayside.  The NLRB gave up its fight to require all private employers to post the union-friendly poster by allowing the Supreme Court’s review deadline to pass ...

Earlier today the National Labor Relations Board announced proposed rule changes that will drastically speed the union election process, limit issues employers can raise in the pre-election process, and limit employers’ appeal rights. The proposed amendments are nothing new. Substantively identical changes – dubbed the “Quickie” or “Ambush” Election Rule — went into effect April 30, 2012 but was quickly invalidated when the D.C. Circuit ruled the Board did not have a quorum when it passed the rule changes. The amendments proposed today are open for public ...

More employers are encountering issues with transgender employees and job applicants.  The term “transgender” has various meanings, ranging from people who have undergone a sex change operation, are considering or preparing for such an operation, or are merely dressed like the opposite sex.

There are indications that “gender identity” could become a category of work place discrimination.  The U.S. Senate recently passed a bill providing protection against work place discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, although the bill is considered ...

Welcome to the Labor and Employment Law Update where attorneys from SmithAmundsen blog about management side labor and employment issues. 

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