Recognizing that every business with employees faces challenges that can impact their growth and profitability, Sandberg Phoenix attorneys are committed to sharing their knowledge of, experience with and passion for employment law. Addressing current issues, recent case studies and matters of statutory and regulatory compliance, the Employer Law Blog provides expert advice and analysis of important aspects of employment law.

Drug testing and workers’ comp claims. Do they mix?

Can an employer require an employee who is initiating a workers’ compensation claim to take a drug test? And, can the employer fire that employee if the employee refuses to take the required drug test? The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, says yes – maybe. The “yes” answer in this case was based on the…

Paint a Picture or Play Ping Pong? – The Seventh Circuit Provides Clarity on the Summary Judgment Standard for Discrimination Cases

On August 1, 2013, the Seventh Circuit did a great service to employment law practitioners in its jurisdiction when it provided a clear path for future summary judgment decisions. For decades, attorneys, plaintiffs, and employers have wrestled with the standard that they must overcome to have their Title VII discrimination cases decided without going to…

Employee or Independent Contractor? The stakes are high in Illinois

Illinois passed the Employee Classification Act in 2008. It was amended in 2013. (820 ILCS 185/1 et seq.) In a decision issued February 25, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenged to the Act.

NLRB waves white flag on Notice of Employee Rights Posting Rule

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) started 2014 by capitulating on its efforts to force employers to post a notice at work which advised employees how they could form a union in order to collectively bargain.  The NLRB announced this mandatory posting rule in August 2011, which would have required all private sector employers, whether…

FMLA Math: 1+1 = 1?

When are two corporations really one corporation? This question becomes crucial for employers when we enter “FMLA World.” Many small business owners keep their eye on that magic number of 50 employees that triggers application of the FMLA. This article discusses some pitfalls for small employers in this counting game. When one corporation owns part…

Missouri increases minimum wage to $7.50/hour

Effective January 1, 2014, most employers in Missouri are now required to pay a minimum wage of $7.50 per hour, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.  The only exception to the Missouri minimum wage increase is for those retail or service employers who have annual gross sales of less…

Is the “failure-to-conciliate” affirmative defense available to employers? Not in the Seventh Circuit.

If the EEOC investigates a claim and determines that discrimination or retaliation has occurred, it is statutorily required to attempt to resolve findings of discrimination through “informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion.”

MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Unanswered questions for Illinois employers

On January 1, 2014, Illinois became the 21st state in the U.S. to legalize use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, at least during the four year pilot program. This new law raises a number of questions for Illinois employers, many of them currently unanswered. There are no Illinois court cases interpreting this new law, so…

FMLA: Retaliation and Interference – Two Paths

The FMLA provides certain protections to employees. It is important that employers familiarize themselves with these protections. Employees claiming FMLA leave  have two separate potential paths of recovery against employers – retaliation and interference. Retaliation Employees are protected against retaliation for: Taking leave under the FMLA; Opposing employment practices that violate the FMLA; Giving information,…

DON’T ASK – DON’T TELL: Social Media Privacy in the Workplace

The Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act [820 ILCS 55/10] has long prohibited employers from asking job applicants whether they have ever filed a workers’ compensation claim against a former employer. After January 13, 2013, employers will also be prohibited from asking existing employees and job applicants for the password to their social…

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