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Wessels Sherman Labor and Employment Law Blog

Sexual Harassment and Stalkers

Last month I wrote that conduct that is sexual in nature does not necessarily constitute sexual harassment unless it is directed at a person because of his or her sex. But what about conduct that is not necessarily sexual in nature, but really creepy? In other words, can stalking be considered sexual harassment, even if it is not overtly sexual? If so, can an employer be liable when a customer or some other third party is doing the stalking? In a recent case involving Costco, the Seventh Circuit unequivocally found that it can and was.

Independent Contractor Legal Battle Now May Include Accusations of Unfair Competition

In September 2018, yet another lawsuit was filed against Uber, the ride-hailing company that has had several lawsuits filed against it, many about the classification issue of whether Uber drivers are employees or independent contractors. Uber has found some effective legal defenses in these lawsuits against it, so now a unique kind of lawsuit has been added to the lineup of lawsuits against Uber.

With Justice Brett Kavanaugh Appointed To The United States Supreme Court, The Court Is Likely To Issue Pro-Employer Decisions In The Years To Come.

No matter what your political view is regarding Justice Kavanaugh's lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, employers can expect Justice Kavanaugh to be a strict constructionist of the many labor and employment statutes that employers must abide by. Prior to being appointed to the high court, Justice Kavanaugh was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2006 by President George W. Bush.

Purchaser Beware

If you are acquiring a Company through purchase and you are not paying close attention to potential Labor issues, you could be creating serious and risky problems for the future. It is extremely important to understand that liability in the context of Labor and Employment related issues are governed by Contract and Common Law Successorship with an overriding theme of "protecting the little guy." This is vastly different from the traditional Corporate Veil Piercing Analysis that exists in traditional Corporate Law.

Voting Regulations

With the hotly contested Mid-Term Elections that are coming up on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, all Employers in the State of Illinois should be aware of their obligations with regard to their employees, both with regard to actual voting and with regard to their employees serving as an Election Judge or Precinct Official.

New Illinois Expense Reimbursement Law

Placing new legal burdens on employers in Illinois, on August 26, 2018, Governor Rauner signed into law an amendment to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA), requiring employers to reimburse their employees for all expenses within the scope of "necessary expenditures incurred by the employee within the employee's scope of employment and directly related to services performed for the employer." The statute defines "necessary expenditures" as all reasonable expenditures required of the employee in the discharge of employment duties and that inure to the primary benefit of the employer.

Resignation or Discharge?!?!: How the Illinois Department of Employment Security Actually Evaluates this Question

Many times clients/employers struggle over whether they should graciously offer the option of resigning to an employee whom they actually wish to fire. The client/employer reasons that the fired employee might prefer to tell "the world" that he himself has resigned from his job, rather than admitting that he was fired. But the client/employer sometimes worries that offering this option of resigning may have some adverse legal impact for the employer/company.

What Policies Should A Company Have in Their Employee Handbook?

An employee handbook provides communication between employer and employee as to the rights and responsibilities of each party. It is the basis for the terms and conditions of the relationship

I-9 Audit Notices on the Rise

With all the furor in the media with regard to the "Border Wall" and United States immigration policy, Employers are losing sight of an even more prominent threat. The Homeland Security Investigations Unit (HSI), which is the investigative agency within the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Group and responsible for Form I-9 compliance, has ratcheted up Inspection Notices for Employers. In point of fact, since the beginning of the current Government Fiscal Year, the HSI has served well over 2,800 Notices of Inspection and made thirty-two (32) arrests in connection with onsite Form I-9 compliance. It should be noted that in the last Fiscal Year, the same entity initiated 1,360 I-9 Audits and obviously that is showing a tremendous increase. While the Border Wall and overall immigration policy may eventually impact the Federal Budget and tax dollars, a more important concern for Employers is the HSI "knocking on the door right now!"

Sexual Conduct Does Not Always Constitute Sex Discrimination

Wait, what? If the conduct directed at an employee is sexual in nature or has sexual connotations, doesn't that automatically make it unlawful sexual harassment? Not necessarily.

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