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St. Charles, IL Chicago, IL Office Davenport, IA Office Minneapolis, MN Office Milwaukee, WI Office
St. Charles, IL Chicago, IL Office Davenport, IA Office Minneapolis, MN Office Milwaukee, WI Office

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Archives

RESTORE ILLINOIS: Phase 3 Guidelines for Reopening Business and Returning People to Work Safely

Today, May 29, 2020 starts Phase 3 of Restore Illinois for the State of Illinois (excluding Chicago where Phase 3 is scheduled for June 3, 2020).

Some Minnesota Businesses Allowed to Resume Operations

Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-56 authorizing some businesses to reopen provided that they comply with OSHA, MDH, and CDC guidelines. The Order went into effect on May 17, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. and remains in effect until May 31, 2020.

Employee Return to Work Under Covid-19: What Should Employers Do?

Unfortunately, our country along with all countries, are dealing with the pandemic crisis. As the restrictions are gradually being lifted on the stay-at-home orders, businesses will resume operations with limitations. Employers will be recalling employees back to work. What should employers do to protect themselves against potential workers' compensation claims and other liability issues?

OSHA Issues Guidance on Recording COVID-19 Cases

On May 19, 2020, OSHA issued an Enforcement Guidance on recording cases of alleged Coronavirus illnesses in the workplace. Given the difficulty of establishing the causation of many alleged work-related illnesses, and these unprecedented times, this Guidance should prove helpful.

New Federal Covid-19 Legislation And Its Dramatic Impact On Independent Contractor Status: How Have Things Changed?

The independent contractor "legal world" is quickly transforming in many ways! It is hard to keep up with the flood of new laws and court cases impacting independent contractor status on both the Federal and State levels.

Illinois Companies Using Independent Contractors Must Now Handle IDES Notices of Claims: What Should Illinois Companies Do?

We now know the basic outline of how the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) will process independent contractor unemployment insurance claims.

Suburban Chicago Security Guard Sues His Employer For Allegedly Refusing To Allow Him To Wear A COVID-19 Protective Facemask At Work

In what may be among the first of many legal disputes arising out of the Coronavirus crisis, an employee in Illinois has filed a lawsuit against the suburban hospital where he worked as a security guard. The plaintiff, Marvell Moody, is alleging that his supervisor berated him for wearing a face mask while working as a public safety officer at Advocate South Suburban Hospital. Moody claims in the lawsuit that he wore the mask because the hospital is treating patients who have COVID-19 and he cares for his 65-year-old mother, who presents an elevated risk for COVID-19 due to recent surgeries she has undergone. The supervisor allegedly told Moody wearing the mask was against hospital policy. Left with no choice other than to assume a risk to himself and an elevated risk to his mother, Moody refused to come to work.

Employers in the COVID-19 Era Need to Have a Good Grasp on Unemployment Insurance Issues: Things are Changing Fast!

UNDERSTANDING THE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE SYSTEM IN AMERICA: Unemployment insurance benefits in the United States started in Wisconsin in 1932. Then came the Social Security Act of 1935 in which the U.S. Federal government encouraged individual states to adopt unemployment insurance plans.

Coronavirus Layoffs Result In Class Action WARN Act Lawsuit

In what may be the first of many to follow, Hooters restaurant chain was hit with a proposed class action lawsuit alleging WARN Act violations. The lawsuit was brought in federal court by two employees on behalf of all employees in Florida whom Hooters allegedly failed to provide with 60 days advance written notice of their layoffs as required by federal law. Although the mass layoffs occurred in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and government ordered closings, the plaintiffs contend that Hooters should have evaluated the impact of the pandemic sufficiently in advance of laying employees off. The complaint seeks 60 days' backpay and other damages for each day of advance notice employees were entitled to receive under WARN prior to being laid off. Alternatively, the complaint asks for damages caused by Hooters' alleged failure to give "as much notice as was practicable" under the circumstances, as required by D.O.L. regulations on the WARN Act. While the outcome of this lawsuit has yet to be determined, it and others likely to follow serve as a reminder to employers of the need to consider federal and state layoff and closing notification laws...even during a pandemic.

COVID-19 and Unions

COVID-19 is about the only subject being discussed at Wessels Sherman these days. Of course, there are some exceptions, but COVID-19 is the 800-pound gorilla! While most legal commentaries on COVID-19 focus on minutiae of legislation and regulations, for this commentary we are going to focus on practical information and solutions. And, we will do so in a checklist format with resources of practical use.

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