More than a year has passed since businesses moved to a virtual format in the wake of the Covid-19 global pandemic. Covid-19 is still circulating and new strains, including some more virulent strains, are still a concern for much of the world. We can no longer assume that the remote work place is merely a temporary convenience. While some businesses are in the process of returning their workers to the office, for many businesses, virtual offices is here to stay. All businesses, but especially small businesses, need to explore how to keep private client information confidential. Confidentiality is important not only for state and federal compliance laws, but also to serve client needs and expectations.
It is with sadness that we share that our former partner and good friend, Bruce Marr, passed away after a long illness. Bruce was a great contributor and mentor to younger attorneys in the firm. We will miss his good humor and friendship. Rest In Peace, Bruce.
McKenna Storer is pleased to announce that Super Lawyers recently recognized Greg Cochran, Sara Cook, Thomas Lucas and Alexander Sweis. These exceptional attorneys are recognized by their peers for their outstanding work and commitment to the spirit of the legal profession. Their knowledge of the law, professional work ethic, and advocacy on behalf of their clients allow them to stand out among other attorneys in the field.
At the urging of the Plaintiffs’ bar, the Illinois State Legislature—at the last minute in a lame duck session, passed a draconian and unconstitutional new measure that will harm tort litigants for years to come if it is signed by the Governor and becomes law. Currently, prejudgment interest does not accrue on personal injury claims. The legislation—House Bill 3360, provides that prejudgment interest would accrue from notice of the injury, not the date of filing suit, and at a rate of 9%.
The world watched as thousands marched in protest and others stormed the US Capital Building this past week. The identities of few but the faces of many have been displayed on mainstream media and social media channels. Some with more frequency than others. Some of those faces may belong to your employees.
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.
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.”
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.
Time is running out. The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act requires all employers to train employees on sexual harassment prevention by December 31, 2020, and on an annual basis thereafter. This requirement applies to all employers with employees working in the State of Illinois. There is no Covid-19 pandemic response reprieve.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our world in a variety of ways we could have never imagined. Opinions on the danger of the virus and how to deal with it also vary greatly. Perhaps the primary issue in the United States, and other countries, is how to balance public health and safety against the economic strain of mandated business shutdowns or restrictions. While the health, safety, and welfare of their constituents remains the top priority of most elected officials, pressure from the business community to help ensure its survivability has intensified during the recent coronavirus resurgence.