The HR Specialist: Illinois Employment Law

You’re probably aware that, generally, you should issue the same discipline to everyone who breaks the same rule. But that isn’t always the case. As long as you can explain why one employee deserved harsher punishment, a judge probably won’t second-guess you.

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Plenty of employees have chips on their shoulders. Some are hypersensitive to perceived slights and constructive criticism. Others get angry over minor problems. Acting out has long been regarded as insubordination and grounds for discipline, including termination.

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A federal court has ordered the owner of Elmhurst-based ABD Tank & Pump Co. to repay $2.7 million that was illegally skimmed from the company’s 401(k) plan.

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You don’t have to put up with employees who can’t get along with others, raise their voices, slam doors and generally act as if they could explode into a rage at any moment. Those are legitimate firing offenses.

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has concluded that just because an employee who has been demoted received good reviews in the past doesn’t mean that she is still meeting her employer’s legitimate expectations.

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Women who were sexually harassed while working for Leona’s Pizzeria in Chicago never got their piece of the pie, according to the EEOC. Now the famous chain is being sued to force it to live up to its obligations.

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When an employee files an EEOC complaint or lets anyone know he has sued former employers, remind managers not to say anything.

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ERISA allows employees to sue if they believe they suffered retaliation for giving information or testifying in an ERISA proceeding. Until now, employers assumed that an employee had to at least make a formal complaint to the DOL before he could sue for retaliation. That’s no longer true.

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Some jobs require not just bilingual ability, but fluency in a particular language other than English. Hiring for that specific skill isn’t discrimination.

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against United Airlines in a disability accommodation case that could ultimately end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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