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The Biden administration announced this week that it would mandate COVID-19 vaccinations (with exceptions for disabilities and sincerely held religious beliefs) for a staggering number of Americans. The latest mandate –  covering federal workers, federal contractors, and healthcare workers at hospitals and other health institutions that participate in Medicare and Medicaid social programs – is […]

Chicago and Illinois employers should be aware of three recent changes affecting mandated sick leave benefits for employees. In April, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law an amendment to the Employee Sick Leave Act. The amendment, which took effect immediately, expanded coverage for employees. Additionally, as of July, Chicago’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance now includes […]

With the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden as the President of the United States yesterday, we expect to see a different focus, new guidance and new laws. Some of the major changes that may be delivered in the Biden administration include: Renewed Focus on Misclassifications Recently, few areas of employment law have been debated so […]

Last week, Congress passed a $900 billion Appropriations Act. In addition to providing much-needed funding for vaccine distribution, direct payments to the vast majority of Americans, and a renewal of the popular Paycheck Protection Program, the act contains a number of changes that affect businesses and their employees. Paid Sick Leave Credits Extended A covered […]

As employers and employees alike shift to new protocols and procedures amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Department of Labor (DOL) reminded employers about their continuing responsibilities. Tracking Hours for Teleworkers Last week, the Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division issued guidance on tracking teleworking hours for non-exempt employees. The Fair Labor Standards […]

UPDATE: In its latest update to its pandemic workplace guidance, the EEOC addresses questions employers will face as businesses reopen and employees return to work.  In advance of employees’ return, employers are encouraged to provide information to all employees about who to contact in the event they wish to request an accommodation for a disability […]

Last week, the Chicago City Council passed the COVID-19 Anti-Retaliation Ordinance, which aims to protect covered employees who remain at home if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or are following a stay-at-home or isolation order. Effective immediately, employers may not terminate, demote or take any other adverse action against a covered employee for obeying an […]

The IRS issued Notice 2020-29 on May 12, 2020, to assist with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The notice provides flexibility for mid-year 2020 elections under a §125 cafeteria plan for employer-sponsored health coverage, health Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSA), and dependent care assistance programs (DCAP). It also provides flexibility to carryover unused benefits in an FSA […]

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has updated its FAQ page on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), explaining how employers should calculate employee leave and addressing the confusion over what a “quarantine or isolation order” means for purposes of emergency paid sick leave. As we previously wrote, the DOL provides guidance via these […]

UPDATE: A challenge to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s emergency amendment, described below, has resulted in a temporary hold on the rule.  On April 22, 2020, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) filed a complaint in Sangamon County against the IWCC and its Commissioner, Michael J. Brennan, seeking an […]

Current guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides that employers may lawfully take an employee’s temperature upon entering the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In taking this step, however, employers must consider that the time an employee spends waiting to and actually having their temperature taken may need to be paid out. While […]

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released an alert advising employers on safety tips to help protect manufacturing workers from exposure to COVID-19.  OSHA advises employers to implement the following: Practice sensible social distancing and maintain six  feet between coworkers where possible; Establish flexible working hours, including staggering shifts, if possible; Train workers […]

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released enforcement guidance for recording cases of COVID-19.  The guidance is specifically intended to be time-limited to the current public health crisis and is in effect until further notice.  The guidance reviews how employers should normally implement applicable rules (found in 29 CFR § 1904) on recording […]

A significant component of the sweeping $2 trillion economic stimulus enacted on March 27, 2020, is a $500 billion Exchange Stabilization Fund, whose intended beneficiaries include mid-sized businesses with less than 10,000 employees that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act authorizes the U.S. Treasury Department and […]

The CDC this week issued updated COVID-19 guidance for employers, supplementing its “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” by adding to its cleaning and disinfecting guidelines, social distancing best practices, and strategies and recommendations to respond to the virus. As we previously wrote about, there are […]

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a temporary rule Monday, April 6, 2020, that provides additional guidance on the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) portions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). As we discussed in a previous blog post, the DOL has […]

The Illinois Department of Employment Services adopted emergency rules for the COVID-19 crisis. The rules include: Qualification for benefits for those who are temporarily laid off An individual temporarily laid off can qualify for benefits as long as they were able and available for and actively seeking work. The individual would not have to register […]

The coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019, has spread to the United States, although so far in very small numbers.  The Trump administration and the World Health Organization (WHO) have declared the virus a public health emergency.  Employers should monitor the developments related to the virus and develop a plan […]

Employment laws are often grouped based on numbers – number of employees, to be exact. Sometimes, however, you can group laws by industry. This year, a number of new laws will affect Illinois hotels.   Lodging Services Human Trafficking Recognition Training Act Illinois lodging establishments will need to provide training to certain employees on how […]

Throughout 2019, Illinois has adopted a number of laws imposing new requirements and restrictions on employers, meaning that prudent Illinois employers should consider updating their employee handbooks to ensure compliance with new laws in effect now and as of Jan. 1, 2020.  Following are brief recaps of the new laws: Salary History Ban On Sept. […]

Early March has come in like a lion for employers, who are now facing potential new federal rules on overtime and classification, as well as changes to how much information they need to be reporting to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding pay rates broken down by gender and race. Labor Department Proposes Expanding Overtime […]

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