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St. Charles, IL Chicago, IL Office Davenport, IA Office Minneapolis, MN Office Milwaukee, WI Office
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Wessels Sherman Labor and Employment Law Blog

Seneczko Wins Default as Discovery Sanction in Duty of Loyalty Claim

Wessels Sherman Attorney Alan Seneczko, managing shareholder of the Wisconsin office, recently won a huge decision in a claim against a former executive for breach of his duty of loyalty to the company (among other claims). The company, Storage Battery Systems, suspected its director of sales was using his position and the confidential information he acquired during his employment to funnel the company's business opportunities to his own company, in competition with and in violation of his duty of loyalty to the company and his non-compete agreement. See, Storage Battery Systems, LLC v. Glenn Wilder and Professional Power Engineering, LLC, Case No. 17cv1244 (Wis. Cir. Ct., 01/17/19).

Wessels Sherman Offers a New Service to its Clients - Early Mediation of Internal Workplace Disputes!

Our clients and friends are familiar with many of our firm's client services, including our skilled litigation team they rely on to handle every sort of workplace litigation when things go bad. Many people also know about our one-of-a-kind phone consultation program, started in the 1980s to help employers avoid workplace issues from winding up in court. Our firm was on the forefront in keeping businesses out of legal trouble by allowing owners and HR professionals early access to advice from our experienced attorneys, without worries about incurring legal fees. We're at it again - offering our clients yet another completely different service to deal with some of their toughest employment problems, potentially solving them before they mushroom into more serious problems.

Psychological Counselors In Pennsylvania Found To Be Independent Contractors

In July 2019, a state appeals court, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court (hereinafter "Court"), decided that psychological counselors (who provided services to clients) had been properly classified as independent contractors. [The case is Pathways Counseling Services LLC v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania et al., Case Number 1332 CD 2018.]

Seventh Circuit Decision-Use Of The "N-Word"

In recent years, a number of Federal Appellate Courts have issued opinions finding that the single use of a racial slur would be sufficient to constitute a hostile and offensive working environment based on race. On August 21, 2019, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reached the opposite conclusion in concluding that the single alleged use of the "N Word" by a Supervisor was not enough to show racial harassment given the overall work scenario of the Plaintiff.

Life Raft For Multiemployer Pension Plans

On July 24, 2019, the United States House of Representatives passed a measure designed to rescue troubled Multiemployer Pension Plans. The Rehabilitation For Multiemployer Pension Act (House Bill No. 397) would provide loans and grants to insolvent and near-insolvent Multiemployer Pension Plans. The measure would create a new Treasury Department Agency-The Pension Rehabilitation Administration, to administer the loans and grants. It is estimated that there are over 130 Multiemployer Pension Plans that will run out of money within the next twenty (20) years. In addition, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) the current government agency that insures Multiemployer Pension Funds is expected to run out of money by 2025 without congressional action.

Operating Engineers Local 150 Remains One of Northern Illinois Most Active Unions

NLRB statistics and filings often do not reveal the true activity level of Operating Engineers Local 150. Frequently, Local 150's strategy is more focused on picketing and boycotts, rather than traditional NLRB elections. The reality is that Operating Engineers 150 is probably the most active private sector union in Northern Illinois. They are exceedingly well funded. They have a huge, well-paid staff, including an army of lawyers. Here is salary information from the most recent LM-2 filing with the US Department of labor:

Employers: Under Final DOL Rule, As Of January 1, 2020, Most Employees Earning Less Than $35,568 Annually Will No Longer Be Exempt From Overtime

As most of you will recall, in 2016, under the Obama administration, the Department of Labor ("DOL") increased the salary level required for exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") from $23,660 to $47,476. However, the Obama DOL rule was invalidated by federal courts (because the salary level was so high as to supplant the duties analysis in the FLSA exemption criteria). The final DOL rule released yesterday, increases the salary amount required for exemption under most of the FLSA exemptions -- but by substantially less than the Obama rule provided.

Illinois Changing Employment Landscape

The Honorable J.B. Pritzker has been very busy in enacting sweeping changes to the Employment Law Landscape through the passage of various pieces of legislation in the State of Illinois. These legislative changes have modified the Illinois Human Rights Act and the Illinois Victim Economic Security and Safety Act and created the new Workplace Transparency Act, which has imposed new reporting, training and contracting requirements as well as expanding the potential legal liability of employers. As well, Amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act have raised issues with regard to the hiring process and the Organ Donor and School Activity Leave has added to the Changing Landscape.

Yes, There are Certain Categories of Workers Who Are Independent Contractors By Law Under the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act

Under the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act (hereinafter "Act"), there are certain kinds of workers (for example, real estate appraisers, direct sellers, certain kinds of newspaper delivery people) who are exempt from employment (i.e., independent contractors) as long as the specific legal requirements are met.

Get Ready! All Owners of Hotels and Casinos in Illinois Must Soon Protect their Employees from Sexual Assault and Harassment with Panic Button Safety Devices!

An Illinois law, titled the Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act becomes effective July 1, 2020.

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Phone: 630-377-1554
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