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.
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 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.”
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.
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.
By now, most Illinois employers know that the minimum wage in Illinois has gone up. Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation providing a path to an Illinois minimum wage of $15.00 by 2025.
As of July 1, 2020, Illinois’ minimum wage is $10 per hour but there are exceptions and nuances to the law and some jurisdiction have a higher minimum wage.
As more states loosen the COVID-19 Shelter in Place laws and people begin to return to previously sheltered business, it is essential that businesses have a plan for how that return to work will look and, equally important, convey relevant portions of the plan to its employees.Continue Reading
Illinois’ amended COVID-19 Shelter in Place rules permits essential workers, which includes most businesses that contract with the State of Illinois for essential services, including construction and healthcare, to continue to perform their essential functions.
For businesses bidding for work with Illinois during this COVID-19 time they must understand and comply with the Illinois Human Rights Act regarding sexual harassment prevention policy and training.