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Wessels Sherman Labor and Employment Law Blog

NLRB Grants Employers Greater Rights to Limit Union Activity on Premises

In the case of UPMS Presbyterian Sunnyside, 368 NLRB No. 2-June 14, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board granted Employers greater rights to limit union activity on their premises.

Illinois Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

By now, many of you have perused newspaper reports on the internet, and have been made aware that effective January 1, 2020, the State of Illinois has legalized recreational marijuana. It is interesting to note that the State of Illinois will be the first state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis by legislative action rather than public referendum. In point of fact, the State of Illinois will be the eleventh (11th) state to legalize recreational marijuana.

What Happens if a Current or Former Employee Files a Charge of Discrimination with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR)?

The first thing to check is: Was the Charge of Discrimination filed "timely"? A Charge of Discrimination must be filed within 300 days after the alleged discriminatory actions, or one year for a fair housing case.

Illinois Trucking Companies Who Use Owner-Operators Should Do Self Audits!

Many Illinois trucking companies have independent contractor agreements for owner-operators (to help establish an independent contractor relationship between the Illinois trucking company and the owner-operators who perform services as truck drivers for the trucking company).

Alert: Pending Legislation in Illinois Would Impose Huge Impact on Sexual Harassment Claims on all Employers

On April 11, 2019, the Illinois state Senate passed Senate Bill 1829, also known as the Workplace Transparency Act. If passed by the Illinois House of Representatives and if signed by the Governor, this Act would impose new requirements and limitations with respect to harassment and discrimination claims on Illinois employers. As of May 10, 2019, this bill is pending before the House Rules Committee.

Illinois and Artificial Intelligence

In the concluding days of the Illinois legislative session (extended by Speaker Madigan beyond normal closure date of May 31, 2019), the Illinois legislature passed a Fair Tax Recommendation, legalized recreational marijuana as of January 1, 2020, passed a balanced budget and increased gas taxes and other fees to pay for infrastructure, but that's not all. On May 29, 2019, the Illinois legislature unanimously passed the Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act (HB 2557) which will regulate how Employers can use artificial intelligence to analyze job applicant fitness for various positions. Under the new law, which has yet to be signed by Governor Pritzker, before requesting that an applicant submit to a video interview, employers will be required to:

Summer Interns Still an Option?

As we approach the summer months with temperatures rising and days getting longer, the issue of summer interns gains more interest for both employers and the interns alike. For the interns, they gain experience, training and exposure to the employment industries and real work life. For employers, they gain new help, new ideas and hopefully development of a pipeline for future employees. But one of the biggest problems with regard to summer interns for employers is whether or not the summer intern is a paid or unpaid position. This year, the United States Department of Labor has rejected its old six (6) factor test and replaced it with a new seven (7) factor test which is known as the "Primary Beneficiary Test".

Service Animals in the Workplace

I am fairly certain that a number of readers of this article will have been on airlines or in restaurants where they have observed individuals being allowed to have "service animals" accompany them on their trip or their restaurant excursion. It is not surprising that the issue of service animals in the workplace is now becoming more common and potentially raising issues that an employer must address.

Landmark Decision Defines Cause Of Action For "Negligent Supervision" Of Employees, Personal Liability For Supervisors

On May 23, 2019 the Illinois Supreme Court ruled, in Jane Doe v. Chad Coe et al. - a case of first impression for the court - what elements are necessary to pursue a lawsuit for "negligent supervision" of an employee. Most state courts recognize claims against employers for negligence regarding their employees who harm others, and Illinois is no exception. "Negligent hiring" generally involves hiring an employee who foreseeably would harm someone, who in fact does go on to harm someone (e.g. hiring an individual to work at a day-care who is known, or through a reasonable background check should have been known, was a convicted pedophile who poses a risk to children, if the employee later molests a child). Conversely, a claim of "negligent retention" may exist where an employer fails to discharge an employee known (or who reasonably should have been known) to present a foreseeable risk to others, who then goes on to do harm. Yes, that's right - employers sometimes have a legal duty to fire an employee! The recent Coe case involved claims for both negligent hiring and negligent retention, but also a claim for "negligent supervision." As the name suggests, a claim for negligent supervision involves an employer's failure to properly supervise employee(s) to avoid foreseeable risks of harm to others. While the Illinois Supreme Court had previously recognized the existence of a claim for negligent supervision, it had not addressed what elements are required to pursue such a claim. In doing so the court paved a relatively easy path for plaintiffs to sue not only employers for negligent supervision, but also individuals who direct and control workers. Employers, owners, managers and front-line supervisors in Illinois will want to take notice of this important decision and pay particular attention to the kinds of specific responsibilities expected of them (perhaps even doing a "Google search" on some applicants).

Help! My Company Just Received a "No Match Letter" - How Should We Respond?

Clients have called me recently (with increasing frequency) seeking legal advice on how to respond to the "no match letter" that they suddenly received in the mail from the Social Security Administration. It is a two page letter entitled "Employer Correction Request."

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