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 30
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The HR Specialist: Illinois Employment Law

The ADA is a tricky law. Not only is it illegal to discriminate against applicants and employees with disabilities, but it’s illegal to perceive as disabled those who actually aren’t. It’s no wonder many employers fear that making accommodations might backfire. So they put off agreeing to accommodations and wait until they’re sure an employee really is disabled. But that’s the wrong response …

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Even if an employee has been wronged because his employer denied FMLA leave he was entitled to take, he still can’t just sit around and expect the employer to pay him until retirement age. He must make efforts to mitigate his losses by seeking out work that fits his medical restrictions …

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Nearly 500 Latino janitors who cleaned UPS facilities, hotels and other properties in Illinois and Texas won a $1.2 million settlement for unpaid overtime and back wages. According to the Service Employees International Union, which supported the lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, the janitors were misclassified as independent contractors …

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Illinois has its sights on construction firms that misclassify employees as independent contractors to save on taxes, wages and benefits. Gov. Rod Blagojevich recently signed H.B.1795, the Employee Classification Act, which automatically classifies construction workers as employees unless they meet one of two exceptions …

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Twenty-two current and former workers for Casino Queen of East Saint Louis filed a federal lawsuit alleging the casino disciplines black workers more harshly than white workers and favors white employees in giving job assignments and promotions …

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A newly passed law, H.B.1509, recently amended the Illinois Human Rights Act to allow employees to sue employers for discrimination and harassment in state courts. Until now, employees were confined to filing charges either through the federal EEOC or the Illinois Department of Human Rights …

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Why bother to wordsmith and labor over every word in your employment policies? Because sometimes an employer’s own pen can create liability. That was the case recently for an Illinois employer that will now go on trial for allegedly violating federal and state wage laws. Exhibit A on the list of evidence against the company: its employment policy handbook …

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The Niketown store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile will pay more than 400 current and former black employees a total of $5 million as part of the settlement in a class-action discrimination suit. Niketown also will pay $2.6 million in attorneys’ fees and be subject to court monitoring …

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Sixteen Illinois employers made the 2007 list of “Best Places to Work for GLBT Equality,” a ranking of employers’ policies toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) employees. The Human Rights Campaign publishes the list annually …

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The Illinois legislature sent a shot across the bow of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in August. It passed a law that forbids state employers from using the feds’ electronic E-Verify system to confirm employees’ eligibility to work unless the government can prove the system provides accurate and timely employee information 99% of the time …

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Are you sure you understand the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime provisions and when they apply? If not, now’s a good time to review them. An employer that agrees to pay more than required (because it mistakenly thought its workers were hourly employees entitled to overtime) can’t just change its mind …

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Is your organization providing employment opportunities within Illinois prisons? If so, you don’t have to worry about being sued for minimum-wage or overtime violations by the prisoners you employ, thanks to a federal court’s common-sense decision …

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Carol Tamao had won a $6 million verdict in her Age Discrimination in Employment Act and ADA lawsuit after her supervisor implied her age was a factor in her termination. But a federal judge ruled the jury got carried away when it started handing out her former employer’s money …

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Responding to criticism that the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office lacks prosecutors of color, the agency recently held a “Minority Job Fair for Licensed Attorneys.” Former Illinois Appellate Court Justice R. Eugene Pincham alleged in an interview that the state’s attorney’s office had only 40 minority prosecutors out of 950 …

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Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed Illinois’ Employee Classification Act into law in early August. The law targets the construction industry with the intent to prevent employers from misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Under the law, people performing construction work are presumed to be employees unless they can meet the ABC test …

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Illinois employers must comply with numerous state leave laws, in addition to the federal FMLA. To track leave usage, employers must understand which state leave laws overlap with the FMLA …

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If you have employees on call, you know how complicated paying them can be. But now at least one area of the law is fairly clear. A recent decision in a class-action case held that if employees report to their regular workplace in response to a call, they aren’t entitled to extra pay for their trip time. That counts as regular commuting time—which is always unpaid …

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An Illinois woman who suffers from Holt-Oram syndrome, a condition where the sufferer’s arms and hands are underdeveloped, sued McDonald’s after employees refused to allow her to pick up her drive-through ordered food with her feet …

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A nurse with a history of back problems won a workers’ compensation award after she proved a co-worker pushed her and caused her injury. In Illinois, injuries caused by co-workers are compensable under workers’ comp …

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A Wal-Mart employee, who filed a workers’ compensation claim after a lunchtime trip to the restroom, failed to convince the Workers’ Compensation Commission of her claim’s merit …

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