justice scale justice scale justice scale

McKenna Minutes

“The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.”

-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Business Law



Employers Can Avoid Penalties for Failing to Comply with Illinois’ Mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Law

Employers Can Avoid Penalties for Failing to Comply with Illinois’ Mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Law

-

The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act required all employers to train employees on sexual harassment prevention by December 31, 2020, and requires training thereafter on an annual basis. If your company failed to do so, there is still time to comply to avoid penalties.


Categories Business Law Employment Law General Litigation Legal Updates


Mandatory Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Policies Receive Approval from the EEOC

Mandatory Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Policies Receive Approval from the EEOC

-

Employers may be able to mandate that employees get a COVID-19 vaccination before returning to the workplace. The EEOC has updated its COVID-19 webpage to include a section regarding guidance on whether an employer-mandated vaccination policy would violate various federal laws. While the EEOC guidance does not directly state that mandatory vaccination policies are lawful, it addresses various other employee protection laws predicated on the notion that such a mandate is lawful. According to the EEOC, employers are required to provide a safe workplace in which “….an individual shall not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of individuals in the workplace.”


Categories Business Law COVID19 Employment Law General Litigation Health Care Law Legal Updates


Are “Karen Jokes” Just a Joke or Potential Evidence Against Employers of a Hostile Work Environment or Discrimination?

Are “Karen Jokes” Just a Joke or Potential Evidence Against Employers of a Hostile Work Environment or Discrimination?

-

We have all seen “Karen Memes” or heard the “OK, Karen” refrain stated in response to what is basically a white, middle-aged woman, in a public place, acting in a manner that appears to stem from a sense of privilege. Karen memes show a white woman yelling to speak to a manager, belittling a worker, or allegedly carrying out microaggressions toward an individual of another race. “OK, Karen” is often stated as a joking rebuke to a perceived inappropriate response by a woman to a question or situation.


Categories Business Law Employment Law


BIPA Claims May Be Heard In Federal Court

BIPA Claims May Be Heard In Federal Court

-

In a recent decision, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that a federal district court could hear certain Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) claims. An issue in many BIPA lawsuits specifically, and in many data privacy lawsuits generally, is whether the court has subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case. The issue is usually raised by defendants seeking to dismiss the case; however, in Bryant v. Compass Group USA, Inc. (https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca7/20-1443/20-1443-2020-05-05.html), the Plaintiff claimed that she lacked Article III standing and sought to have the case remanded to state court.

In Bryant, Plaintiff Christine Bryant’s employer installed vending machines owned and operated by Defendant Compass Group. Rather than accept cash, employees had to establish an account using their fingerprint to purchase food from the vending machines. During her orientation, Plaintiff and her co-workers scanned their fingerprints into the vending machine’s system to establish a payment link and create a user account. Bryant claimed that the process of collecting and retaining her fingerprint, and the fingerprints of her co-workers, violated Sections 15(a) and (b) of Illinois’ BIPA. Section 15(a) requires collectors of biometric information make public a retention schedule and guidelines for permanently destroying the biometric information, while Section 15(b) requires that collectors of biometric information obtain informed written consent before biometric information is obtained. Subsequently, Bryant brought a putative class action against Compass in the Circuit Court of Cook County alleging violations of these sections of BIPA.

Compass removed the action to federal court and Bryant moved to remand the action to state court claiming that the district court did not have subject matter jurisdiction because she lacked the concrete injury-in-fact necessary to satisfy the federal requirement for Article III standing. The district court agreed, finding that Compass’s alleged BIPA violations were bare procedural violations that caused no concrete harm to Bryant, and remanded the action to state court.

The Seventh Circuit’s decision reversed the district court, finding that the case was properly removed to federal court. For a plaintiff to have Article III standing, 1) they must have suffered an actual or imminent, concrete and particularized injury-in-fact, 2) there must be a causal connection between the injury and the conduct complained of, and 3) there must be a likelihood that this injury will be redressed by a favorable decision. Only the first prong of this test was at issue in Bryant. In informational injury cases, an injury inflicted by nondisclosure is concrete if the plaintiff establishes that the withholding impaired her ability to use the information in a way the statute envisioned. The Court held that Compass withheld substantive information to which Bryant was entitled and therefore deprived her of the ability to give the informed consent required by Section 15(b). Conversely, the Court held that Bryant had not suffered a concrete and particularized injury as a result of the Section 15(a) violation as this duty to disclose was owed to the public generally and not part of the informed-consent regime.

The Bryant decision provides litigants with the opportunity to decide the most advantageous forum to litigate BIPA claims, as both state and federal court are now available. However, the best strategy continues to be that a collector of biometric information should formulate a plan to comply with BIPA’s requirements prior to the collection of that information. If you have questions regarding litigation or compliance under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act, or questions regarding privacy and data security generally, contact Tim Hayes at tmhayes@mckenna-law.com


Categories Business Law Data Privacy Employment Law General Litigation Privacy and Data Security Litigation


Businesses Face Criminal Penalties Yet Gain Protection Under Illinois Mask Rules

Businesses Face Criminal Penalties Yet Gain Protection Under Illinois Mask Rules

-

On August 11, 2020, Illinois Governor. J.B. Pritzker was successful in a second attempt to criminalize business owners who fail to enforce his mask rules. Under Illinois’ new mask rule, local police and prosecutors may impose criminal fines up to $2,500 to enforce his emergency mask order.


Categories Business Law Business Services COVID19 Employment Law General Litigation Insurance Coverage


Employers Can Be Fined $2,500 For Failure To Enforce Mask Rules

Employers Can Be Fined $2,500 For Failure To Enforce Mask Rules

-

On August 11, 2020, Illinois Governor. J.B. Pritzker was successful in a second attempt to criminalize business owners who fail to enforce his mask rules. Under Illinois’ new mask rule, local police and prosecutors may impose criminal fines up to $2,500 to enforce his emergency mask order.


Categories Business Law Business Services COVID19 Employment Law General Litigation


Maintaining a Drug-Free Workplace after Illinois Legalized Marijuana

Maintaining a Drug-Free Workplace after Illinois Legalized Marijuana

-

The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“Cannabis Act”) legalized the use and possession of recreational cannabis for adults age 21 or older beginning January 1, 2020. The Cannabis Act allows Illinois residents at least 21 years old to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana flower and 5 grams of marijuana concentrate for personal use.


Categories Business Law Employment Law General Litigation Legal Updates


COVID 19 Pandemic-Notice To Insurers-Who To Notify And When

COVID 19 Pandemic-Notice To Insurers-Who To Notify And When

-

The landscape of insurance coverage in this era of the COVID-19 Pandemic is likely to change as insurance lawsuits are being filed to determine scope of insurance coverage. Meanwhile, in direct response to COVID-19, several states are attempting to modify Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance policies through legislation to provide coverage, particularly business interruption insurance, post hoc-after the fact. President Trump has commented that businesses have paid premiums for business interruption insurance for years and relief should be available to insureds. It is important for businesses to take precautionary measures to preserve whatever coverages might be available, especially as the case law and legislation changes to meet the COVID-19 pandemic.


Categories Business Law COVID19 General Litigation Insurance Coverage Insurance Litigation Defense Legal Updates Medical Malpractice Defense


Amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act Expand the Scope of Harassment

Amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act Expand the Scope of Harassment

-

Illinois’ Human Rights Act has been amended to enlarge its scope of potential harassment violations, including both an expansion of the definition of employer as well as expansion of the definition of harassment and an extension of the Illinois Human Rights Act to protect non-employees.

Continue Reading

Categories Business Law Employment Law


Small Business Formation Guide: By-laws, Operating Agreements, and Partnership Agreements

Small Business Formation Guide: By-laws, Operating Agreements, and Partnership Agreements

-

When acquaintances or family members decide to go into business together, to save money, they generally forgo formalities that are not legally required. They assume matters can easily be resolved amongst family or friends. However, it is often the case that once a business starts turning a profit or failing, people start looking out for their own interests.

Continue Reading

Categories Business Law Business Services


Here to help with whatever your legal issues may be, schedule your no-obligation consultation or Simply Call us at.
Chicago: (312) 558-3900 or Woodstock: (815) 334-9694

  • Hidden
  • Hidden

Please do not send confidential information via email. The sending of information by you, and the receipt of it by McKenna Storer, is not intended to, and does not create a lawyer-client relationship.

Privacy Policy | Sitemap © 2021 McKenna Storer
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons