Posts from December 2014.

Throughout 2014, we have provided updates on a variety of new laws. Below are several Illinois laws that employers should be aware are effective January 1, 2015, as well as an update on Illinois’ medical marijuana law:

  • Ban the Box – Effective January 1st, Illinois employers with 15 or more employees or employment agencies working for them are forbidden from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal record/history prior to the applicant being selected for an interview or, if there is no interview, prior to a conditional offer of employment.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination and ...

Earlier this month the NLRB reversed establish precedent, ruling employers can no longer prohibit employees from using company email to engage in “protected concerted activity” or union organizing efforts during non-work time.

Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act guarantees all employees, union and non-union employees alike, the right to organize and “engage in … concerted activities for … mutual aid or protection.” But recognizing employers’ property rights in company-managed email systems, the NLRB had long upheld employers’ right to ban ...

Numerous employers can verify first hand that OSHA is actively fulfilling the promise it made a few years ago, “to get back in the enforcement business.”  In recent years, we have seen increased enforcement activity, including a significant increase in OSHA site inspections.  There is no indication OSHA’s ramped up inspection activity will slow down any time soon.  In fact, last month, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced its current rulemaking activity and OSHA topped the list with the most rulemaking activity within the DOL.  This, coupled with OSHA’s new reporting ...

Back in July, we told you that President Obama signed Executive Order 13672, which directed the Department of Labor to expand the Equal Employment Opportunity requirements for certain federal contracts so as to prohibit discrimination by contractors based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Taking the cue from that Executive Order, on December 3, 2014, the Department of Labor issued its Final Rule implementing the Executive Order.  The Final Rule will take effect on April 8, 2015.

A central component of the Final Rule is its directive that covered contracts and ...

The NLRB has issued a controversial final rule amending its regulations on union representation elections.  The final rule was adopted by a 3-2 vote and will take effect on April 14, 2015, unless enforcement is blocked by a court or Congress.

The quickie election rules (also referred to as “ambush” election rules) will drastically change the representation election process to limit the amount of time an employer has to respond to a petition and oppose unionization.  The NLRB has been harshly criticized for passing these rules, which clearly favor big labor and take away the ...

On December 9, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a victory for employers in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, No. 13-433, 2014 WL 6885951 (U.S. Dec. 9, 2014) when the Court held that time spent by employees waiting for and undergoing security screenings before leaving the employer’s workplace was not compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Plaintiffs sued Integrity Staffing Solutions alleging that it required hourly workers to undergo anti-theft screening, taking about 25 minutes per day, before leaving the warehouse and the end of each shift ...

If you weren’t playing Texas hold’em, would you ever raise the stakes?  Or, as an employer would you ever promise to do more than the law requires to comply with anti-discrimination law?  Costco Wholesale Warehouse provided language in its employee handbook that was found to provide more protection for employees than the law requires.

Peter Marini worked as a baker’s assistant at a Costco Warehouse in Connecticut.  He suffers from Tourette’s syndrome, which causes involuntary twitches and other unusual physical manifestations and verbal utterings.  Unfortunately, he was ...

On December 2, 2014, the Chicago City Council approved The Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance (Chicago Municipal Code §1-24), increasing the minimum wage to $13.00 per hour.  Here are nine points you need to know now:

  1. Covered employees are those who work for at least two hours in any two-week period within Chicago’s geographic boundaries, including driving through the city (e.g., that delivery driver that takes Route 94 from Evanston to Gary and gets stuck in rush hour traffic is covered!).  Time commuting between home and work does not count.
  2. Employers with at least one ...

Every year at this time, employers ask us the same set of questions: Do we have to pay employees for holiday time off, or overtime if they work on a holiday? What about inclement weather closings?

Non-Exempt Employees

Non-exempt employees are those that are covered by the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and its state counterparts.  These are the bulk of the workforce, and typically hourly workers.  Non-exempt employees generally (exceptions follow) only need to be paid for hours they actually work – and not for holidays or ...

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

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