Tag Archives: Arnstein & Lehr LLP

ILN Today Post

Announcing Our Combined Blog!

As with our merger, two highly informative blogs geared towards employers have been combined – WISE: Workplace Initiatives by Saul Ewing and The General Counselor, are now WISE: Workplace Initiatives and Strategies for Employers. Our combined blog will keep you WISE with labor and employment law updates and up-to-date on various issues. Please check out our blog here and subscribe to our email list to stay informed.

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ILN Today Post

Mandatory Employee Handbook Policies – Part II

EMPLOYMENT LAW ESSENTIALS

E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

In light of the huge increase in wage and hour litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and related state law, employers must clearly outline policies addressing wage and hour issues, such as timekeeping, overtime, lawful deductions for exempt employees and “safe harbor” rules. Building on my last article on mandatory handbook policies, this article highlights the mandatory policies addressing various wage and hour issues that, if properly drafted and followed, can reduce the threat of litigation and/or provide defenses to a company if it is involved in wage and hour litigation.

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ILN Today Post

Mandatory Employee Handbook Policies – Part I

EMPLOYMENT LAW ESSENTIALS

E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

Following up on my last article regarding whether a company should maintain an employee handbook, the next important question to answer is what provisions are essential to maintain in a handbook. There are literally hundreds of policies that an employer can insert into a handbook, but this article (as well as the next few) is dedicated to highlighting the most important policies to maintain in a handbook. The policies referenced in this article are generally introductory handbook policies. Keep in mind that employee handbooks should be written in “plain English” that are easy to understand and follow by both management and employees.

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ILN Today Post

Employee Handbooks – Should You Maintain One?

EMPLOYMENT LAW ESSENTIALS

E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

A threshold issue facing many companies is whether to publish an employee handbook. The purpose of an employee handbook is to provide a company’s employees with the company’s policies and inform them of the rules that govern them throughout the stages of employment. Through an employee handbook, employers notify employees about the legal rights and obligations they both have in the employment relationship. While an employee must comply with the policies contained in an employee handbook, a handbook should not be drafted in a way so as to create an employment contract with the employee. In other words, the employee handbook, while specifically describing the rights and duties of the employee, should be drafted in a way so as to maintain the “at will” relationship between the employer and the employee.

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ILN Today Post

Properly Maintaining Personnel Files

EMPLOYMENT LAW ESSENTIALS

E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

Properly Maintaining Personnel Files

Since virtually all employment disputes relate in some way to what documents are kept in an employee’s personnel file, it is crucial that employers properly maintain employee personnel files. Of course, few employers enjoy dealing with paperwork, but taking the time to properly create and maintain personnel files will pay off in the long run.

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ILN Today Post

Employer and Labor Law Posting Requirements

EMPLOYMENT LAW ESSENTIALS

Employment Law Toolkit Information Series

E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

Employer and Labor Law Posting Requirements

Employment and labor laws require employers to post state, federal and locally mandated posters where visible to employees that inform them of their employment and labor law rights. An employer’s failure to post such mandated posters can subject it to fines and penalties, as well as lawsuits. There have also been cases that have held that an employer’s failure to post a required labor law poster tolls the applicable statute of limitations for certain employment discrimination causes of action. Accordingly, an employer should routinely ensure that it is posting the required notices and that those notices are current and updated with the most recent version of the notice.

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ILN Today Post

New Illinois Sick Leave Laws Compliance Seminar

“Back to Basics” Employment Law Series

Properly Complying with New Illinois Sick Leave Laws

Three recently enacted laws expanding sick leave benefits within the state of Illinois will soon impact employers with operations in Illinois. This presentation will discuss the new sick leave laws and provide helpful strategies to comply with the new laws.

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ILN Today Post

Cook County Sick Leave Poster and Draft Regulations Are Available

E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

In anticipation of the upcoming effective date (July 1, 2017) of the Cook County “Earned Sick Leave” Ordinance, the Cook Commission on Human Rights recently published the mandatory poster required to be posted by all employers covered by the Ordinance. A copy of the poster is available here.

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ILN Today Post

New Laws Impacting Illinois Employers in 2016 and Beyond

E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

While Illinois appears to be in legislative gridlock on a wide variety of political and legislative fronts, it has become abundantly clear that such gridlock has not curtailed the passage of employment and labor-related legislation in Illinois. The following are highlights of seven new laws impacting Illinois employers in 2016 and beyond.

  1. Paid Sick Leave In Chicago and Cook County
    Effective July 1, 2017, employers who have at least one (1) employee in Chicago or Cook County are obligated to provide paid sick leave for those employees who work at least 80 hours within any 120-day period, provided they work at least 2 hours in any 2-week period within Chicago or Cook County. Specifically, covered employers are required to offer 1 hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked, which can be capped at 5 paid sick days each year unless the employer sets a higher limit. Up to 20 hours of accrued but unused sick leave may also be carried over into the next 12-month period. Sick leave can be used for the employee’s own illness or the illness of or medical treatment for the employee’s family member (which is broadly defined
  2. The Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act
    Effective January 1, 2017, Illinois employers that currently provide sick leave benefits to their employees must allow the employees to use their personal sick leave benefits for absences due to the illness, injuries, or medical appointments of their family members. In short, employers cannot limit sick leave to just the employee’s sickness. This law does not require employers (outside the city of Chicago or Cook County) to offer sick leave benefits; however, if they do provide sick leave benefits, employees must be allowed to take such leave for any illnesses or other sickness-related matters of their family members. “Family members” are defined broadly under the Act and include immediate family, parents-in-law, grandchildren, grandparents, or step parents.
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ILN Today Post

Early Holiday Present For Employers – Overtime Regulations Stayed

E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

In a last minute blow to the Obama Administration’s labor and employment legacy, a federal district court in Texas granted an emergency motion for preliminary injunction yesterday barring the Department of Labor from enforcing its revised overtime rules, scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016. See decision here.

The final regulations were poised to double the salary level for employees deemed to be exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act pursuant to the Department of Labor’s “white collar” exemptions.

Though I am in the midst of traveling with my family for the Thanksgiving holiday, the court’s sudden decision urges me to provide some swift thoughts and suggestions.

First, it appears that this injunction is nationwide and therefore would apply to all employers throughout the country.

Second, it is uncertain how long this injunction will stay in place. It may become permanent, but the regulations are now only temporarily stayed meaning the regulations will NOT become effective, as originally scheduled, on December 1st.

Third, for those employers who have already communicated salary and compensation changes in anticipation of the update, you can either still go through with the salary and compensation changes despite the ruling or, alternatively, delay or cancel the changes. If you decide to delay or cancel the changes, you will want to communicate something in writing to the affected employees (and soon) explaining the sudden change.

For those companies who have already changed compensation in anticipation of the updated regulations, it will be much more difficult to roll back the salary and compensation changes without causing a mutiny in the workforce. In that case, a business decision will need to be made as to whether it is worth rolling back the changes after compensation plans have already been made and implemented.

This is a lot to chew on days before the planned effective date for the updated regulations, but is likely welcome news for many employers as well. We will keep you advised of developments in this area.

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding this significant development, of if you need assistance evaluating how this development impacts your company, please do not hesitate to contact me at 312-876-6676.

Happy Thanksgiving.

The post Early Holiday Present For Employers – Overtime Regulations Stayed appeared first on General Counselor.

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