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The HR Specialist: Illinois Employment Law

If you know an employee has previously been injured at work and collected a workers’ compensation settlement, you may consider transferring him for fear he’ll hurt himself again. Resist that temptation. Taking any kind of adverse em­­ployment action could be construed as discrimination based on disability or perceived disability.

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Employees who are so sick they need FMLA leave certainly can’t perform essential job functions while on leave. Employers must alter their workload expectations accordingly. If they don’t, and then later punish the employee for poor performance, an FMLA interference lawsuit is almost sure to follow.

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If you can’t find a way to end persistent workplace harassment, a court may conclude that your organization acted recklessly in denying an employee’s civil rights. That may mean you’ll owe a huge punitive damages award.

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You don’t have to accommodate disabled employees who can’t per­­form the essential functions of their jobs under any circumstances. If making reasonable accommodations won’t help, the ADA doesn’t apply. But before you can make that argument, you must be able to show what those essential functions are.

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As long as hiring managers can logically explain why one applicant was selected instead of another, courts probably won’t question the choice.

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Good news on the FMLA front: A court has ruled that employees have to do more than merely mention that a family member is sick to trigger an employer’s FMLA obligations.

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A federal judge has ordered Chicago-based Prospect Airport Services to implement an anti-harassment program after determining that the company ignored previous court orders issued after it settled an EEOC harassment suit in 2010.

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A teacher who was fired after filing a police complaint against a student who threatened him at school has won the right to a jury trial.

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Genie Temporary Service in La Salle will be closing its doors soon, but not before paying $80,000 to a former temp who the EEOC says was a victim of disability discrimination.

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WRS Compass will pay $2.75 million to settle an EEOC racial discrimination and association lawsuit filed on behalf of workers at the environmental cleanup company’s facility in Lake Calumet.

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