• Posts by Julie A. Proscia
    Partner

    Julie provides labor and employment counsel that is outcome based. Before giving advice, she asks her clients what they want or need as the outcome to their matter; then skillfully crafts a pragmatic, business-centric solution to ...

On August 16, 2022, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s  (EEOC) attempt to increase the level of scrutiny given to sex discrimination cases under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  With this ruling the Appellate Court affirmed a summary judgment award given to a large retail chain by a District Court in Wisconsin.

On June 15, 2022, the United States Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) partially preempts a rule of California law that invalidates contractual waivers of the right to assert representative claims under California’s Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA).

On March 25, 2020 the Department of Labor (DOL) released digital versions of the required notice of The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Under the FFCRA every covered employer (covered employers include most public sector employers and all private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees) must post a notice of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requirements in a conspicuous place on its premises. Obviously, where should you post the notice if you are remote in whole or in part? According to the DOL, since many employers have all or ...

On March 24, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) released the much anticipated FAQs regarding the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The DOL’s FAQs offer clarification on some of the more pressing questions that have been on employers’ minds. Of particular note is information relating to the counting of employees, commencement of the leave and compilation of the leave. Of major significance is that the FFCRA will become effective on April 1, 2020 (not April 2nd) and it is not retroactive (and, any benefits provided by employers now through March 31, 2020 cannot ...

MAJOR CHANGES TO ILLINOIS EMPLOYMENT LAWS:  NEW MANDATORY SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING, REPORTING AND DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS, RESTRICTIONS ON EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS, & SEVERAL OTHER MANDATES

ATTENTION Illinois employers of ALL sizes… Are you ready?  Today (August 9, 2019), Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 75 – the Workplace Transparency Act – into law.  Effective January 1, 2020, major new changes will forever alter how Illinois employers manage harassment and discrimination issues as well as other workplace controversies.

In fact, the changes will require ALL ...

On August 24, 2018 Governor Rauner signed PA 100-1066 into law thereby amending the Illinois Human Rights Act which revamps, and sometimes streamlines, discrimination complaints on the state level.  This legislation, effective immediately, comes after months of hearings and recommendations from both the Senate and House Task Forces on Sexual Misconduct.  I have had the privilege of sitting on the Illinois Task Force on Sexual Misconduct and take this opportunity to report on these amendments. During the course of the hearings, the Task Force heard testimony from business ...

On June 27, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued a groundbreaking decision in Janus v. AFSCME eliminating the public sector fair share requirement and thus changing the face of public sector labor. The Janus case, originating in the 7th Circuit, involved an appeal over the dismissal of a complaint that sought to invalidate agency fees and to reverse the Supreme Court’s 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.

Over 40 years ago, the Abood Court established that public sector non union members could be charged or allocated agency fees or a “fair ...

In an unprecedented fashion, an arbitrator recently issued an award limiting the scope of Public Act 095-0490, otherwise known as the Substitutes Act. In doing so, the City of Mattoon successfully fought, through SmithAmundsen attorneys Julie Proscia and Carlos Arévalo, and won the right to close their ambulance service. So why is this award important? This award now serves as a basis for municipalities to be able to have the autonomy to review their scope of services and determine which services are best for their community as opposed to the scope of services being dictated by ...

Today, August 23, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board issued a 3-1 decision ruling that graduate students, who work as teaching and research assistants at private universities, are entitled to collectively bargain.

The NLRB did so by expanding its interpretation of the definition of statutory employees to include student assistants working at private colleges and universities. The decision reversed a 2004 decision involving a similar campaign at Brown University. While many graduate students at public universities are already unionized, their right to do so was covered ...

In a 3-1 decision the National Labor Relations Board made it easier to organize a company with a contingent workforce. Today’s Board decision returned to the rule established in M.B. Sturgis, Inc., 331 NLRB 1298 (2000) (“Sturgis”), reversing Oakwood Care Center, 343 NLRB 659 (2004) (“Oakwood”) thereby holding that employer consent is not necessary for units that combine jointly employed and solely employed employees of a single user employer.

So what does this mean?

Under the newly resurrected Sturgis standard temporary employees can once again be included in a single ...

On Tuesday March 22, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against one of the world’s largest food processors, affirming a $5.8 million judgment.  This ruling just made it a little bit easier for wage and hour plaintiffs to win class actions.  In a 6-2 decision the Court held that plaintiff employees can use averages and other statistical analyses to establish class liability.

In 2007, workers at one of the meat-processing facilities sued the company for uncompensated wages alleging that they were entitled to overtime pay and damages because they were not paid for time spent donning and ...

The Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division (“WHD”) issued an Administrator’s Interpretation today that establishes new standards for determining joint employment under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (“MSPA”) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The issue of joint employment and who is the employer, for purposes of liability, is one that has become increasingly more contested and is part of the DOL’s crackdown on issues ranging from independent contractor status to the proposed rules regarding exempt/non-exempt ...

On Monday, President Obama signed an Executive Order outlining the paid sick leave benefits that many federal contractors will be required to provide as early as January 1, 2017.

A wide range of federal contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2017, and any subcontracts entered into thereunder, will be required to include language under which employees will earn no less than one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked under covered contracts.

That leave may be used by an employee for absences due to any of the following:

(i) Physical or mental illness, injury, or medical ...

The Seventh Circuit recently affirmed summary judgment for the employer in Miller v. St. Joseph County, a race discrimination case, and in doing so applied what may prove to be a streamlined standard for determining whether employment discrimination plaintiffs can survive summary judgment.

The plaintiff in Miller was a long-time employee of the county’s police department who sought several promotions which he did not receive. He alleged, among other things, that the promotion denials, a temporary assignment he disliked (but which did not change his compensation ...

Erratic behavior, caused by an underlying medical condition, does not necessarily mean a free pass under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In March, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Walz v. Ameriprise Financial, Inc., upheld the termination of a bipolar employee, finding that the termination did not violate the ADA. Identifying and accommodating employees with overt physical disabilities is substantially easier than accommodating behavior that is disruptive and/or erratic and caused by mental illness. Because of the difficulty in addressing these types of ...

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (board) filed a legal brief in an ongoing federal lawsuit over the viability of a multi-part right-to-work law implemented through a county-wide ordinance in Hardin County, Kentucky.  Among other things, the ordinance at issue prohibits the use of union-security provisions in collective bargaining agreements, and also regulates hiring halls, dues check-off, anti-coercion and discrimination provisions, and the penalties for violations of Section 8 of the National Labor Relations Act.  The board’s central argument is that ...

The Cook County Board of Commissioners recently passed an ordinance which prohibits any company or individual who is found guilty or liable of wage theft from obtaining Cook County procurement contracts, business licenses or property tax incentives for up to five years. The ordinance is effective May 1, 2015. Cook County is now the largest municipal entity in the United States to have passed an ordinance of this nature.

Under the new Cook County Wage Theft Ordinance, businesses found to have violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act ...

It’s January and you know what that means….it’s time to take down your Christmas lights and get your OSHA Form 300A ready for the February 1, 2015 deadline. Oh, the fun never ends! Every year we receive numerous inquiries regarding requirements under the OSHA Form 300A, and this year is no exception – except it is an exception.  As of January 1, 2015, some of the industries that were exempt from this requirement have changed.

Prior to the change, the list of exempted industries was based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system.  As of January 1, 2015, the list ...

The IRS recently released its standard mileage reimbursement rates for the year 2015.  As of January 1, 2015, those rates, which apply to the use of a car, van, pickup, or panel truck, are:

  • 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven;
  • 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

Employers should remember that the law does not require mileage reimbursement at these or any other rates.  Instead, employers must reimburse employees for mileage only if a contract requires such reimbursements.  Employers ...

On Tuesday November 4, 2014 all five states that had initiatives on the ballot – Illinois, Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota – passed measures to increase the minimum wage. As a reminder, the initiative in Illinois was nonbinding.  Most of the increases will occur in a step manner, but all will need to be evaluated for the impact on our pay and businesses.

The state roundup of Minimum Wage Initiatives is as follows:

Illinois

The Illinois Minimum Wage Increase Question, which was on the November 4, 2014 ballot, passed. This initiative was an advisory question and is ...

On November 4, 2014, five states — Illinois, Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota — as well as a handful of cities and counties, will all vote on various binding and non-binding initiatives that contemplate raising the minimum wage.  These state and local initiatives arise after a failed attempt to bring the issue on the federal level earlier this year, and are important to watch in an ever borderless commerce system.

The state roundup of Minimum Wage Initiatives is as follows:

Illinois

The Illinois Minimum Wage Increase Question, which is on the November 4, 2014 ballot, is ...

In a world where cyber space rules, employers need to ensure that their customer, business and client information is protected. While our cyber tech attorneys and IT professionals handle the tech-y details of the network configuration, on the labor & employment front, we also need to ensure that we have policies and procedures in place to govern our employees’ behavior, reduce liability, and increase accountability.

In today’s universe, work is rarely conducted 100% of the time in the office behind a desk. Our employees and our information are on the go: cell phones ...

On July 3, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its decision in Kanerva v. Weems, 2014 IL 115811, reversing the circuit court’s dismissal of four lawsuits, Bauer v. Weems, No. 12–L–35 (Cir. Ct. Randolph Co.); Kanerva v. Weems, No. 12–L–582 (Cir. Ct. Sangamon Co.); Maag v. Quinn, No. 12–L–162 (Cir. Ct. Sangamon Co.); and McDonal v. Quinn, No. 12–L–987 (Cir. Ct. Madison Co.). One of the claims raised in each of the four cases was the constitutional validity of amendments to the Illinois State Employees Group Insurance Act instituted by the general ...

Flexible work weeks have traditionally been viewed as a perk that large employers were able to give their employees because of their size and depth. This was a privilege that was generally earned on a case by case basis after an examination of the position and the employee. This is not necessarily the case anymore in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors amended its city’s Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance (FFWO) on January 7, 2014 to clarify that the ordinance applies to all employers with at least 20 employees, regardless of the employees’ location. The ...

Filings, filings and more filings…that is the theme of 2014. It seems like every month brings another looming deadline – taxes, 5500 etc. Well, let February be no exception. From February 1, 2014 through April 30, 2014, employers who are required to keep OSHA Form 300, the Injury and Illness Log, must post the Form 300A, the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, in a conspicuous workplace common area.

If you are reading this and saying ‘huh??’ or ‘uh oh!’, you are not alone. But never fear! SmithAmundsen LLC will get you through yet another governmental ...

Welcome to the Labor and Employment Law Update where attorneys from Amundsen Davis blog about management side labor and employment issues. 

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