The HR Specialist: Illinois Employment Law — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 3
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The HR Specialist: Illinois Employment Law

The courts—which have been slammed with retaliation lawsuits—have begun narrowing what they consider retaliation. For example, the 7th Circuit has ruled that merely scrutinizing someone’s work more closely after a complaint isn’t retaliation.

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Employers can’t discriminate against someone based on her  national origin. But what about discrimination based on whether someone is in the country illegally? Is that also national-origin discrimination? The answer is a resounding “No!” according to a recent 7th Circuit Court of Appeals case.

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The Tribune Co., the U.S. Department of Labor and Greatbanc Trust Co. have agreed to restore $32 million to the media giant’s employee stock ownership plan.

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The EEOC has just won a significant legal victory without even having to go to trial. It recently alleged that some last-chance agreements automatically violate Title VII if they prevent employees from filing EEOC actions. The agreements in question contained a clause that had em­­ployees promising not to file discrimination charges in exchange for keeping their jobs.

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You just terminated an employee for misconduct or poor performance. A few weeks later, you receive an EEOC complaint alleging that the employee suffered years of harassment and discrimination. If you didn’t have clear rules in place for reporting such conduct, you may be facing years of litigation.

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If you automatically discharge everyone who can’t return to work after exhausting all available leave, chances are a court won’t second-guess those terminations.

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No matter the bad behavior of supervisors, always be ready to prove to a court that you execute your duties without any hint of bias. Doing so may save HR professionals like you from personal liability.

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A federal judge has cited Alpha-based All-Feed Processing & Pack­­ag­­ing Inc. for contempt after it refused to allow OSHA inspectors full access to its Galva facility.

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A federal trial court hearing a discrimination case has refused to accept a new and rather bizarre legal theory. The plaintiff alleged that a principle called “psychological projection” can prove that someone is a racist because he falsely alleges that someone else is racist.

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Although Illinois accounts for just 4.1% of the nation’s population, 6.1% of all EEOC discrimination charges originated in Illinois in fiscal year 2011.

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When the EEOC wants to take a dis­crimination case to court, it is required to try to settle the case first. That conciliation process is a two-way street. Employers can’t walk away from the process, expecting a court to dismiss a subsequent lawsuit because the agency didn’t try hard enough.

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Sometimes, it’s obvious that an employee will not work out. If that employee belongs to a protected class, you may be tempted to treat her with kid gloves. Don’t. Instead, keep the focus on performance deficiencies.

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OSHA has cited Steeleville-based Gilster-Mary Lee Corp. for safety violations after a dust ex­­plosion severely burned two employees.

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OSHA has ordered Georgia-based Interline Logistics Corp. to rehire a whistle-blowing Sauk Village driver who reported that his truck had brake problems.

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Employees typically have just 300 days from the date an alleged discrimination occurred to file an EEOC ADA-related complaint. But the calendar grows longer if the employer conceals important facts.

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An employer that can show it would have terminated an employee for lack of work or another business reason can do so during FMLA leave. However, it must be able to offer clear, documented proof showing the move wasn’t related to the leave.

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A court has ruled that the EEOC may speak with former employees without the em­­ployer’s representative present. That gives employers less control over statements by former employees who were privy to company decisions.

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In management training, you no doubt tell supervisors that they’re not allowed to punish employees for filing discrimination complaints or testifying in other employees’ cases. But what should you do if—despite your warnings—one of those employees seems to be getting lots of disciplinary warnings?

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A white Chicago teacher was suspended for five days after he used the N-word in what he described as a “teachable moment.”

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When the EEOC declared it was starting an enforcement effort aimed at protecting Hispanic ­workers from harassment and discrimination, smart employers promptly looked at their organizations and corrected any problems. Those that didn’t are now paying the price.

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