On February 21, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses in severance agreements with unionized and non-unionized non-supervisory employees are unlawful. The recent decision, McLaren Macomb, overturned settled precedent that employers could lawfully include confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses in severance agreements with non-supervisory employees, unless the circumstances under which the agreements were offered were coercive.
The Illinois Supreme Court recently issued two major and highly-anticipated decisions regarding the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). Specifically, these two decisions determined that the statute of limitations for all BIPA claims is five years, and determined that each scan or disclosure of biometric information constitutes a separate claim under BIPA. As discussed below, […]
We wish our clients and friends a happy, healthy, and successful 2023. Our January Legal Update highlights some new federal and state laws and amendments taking effect this year that may impact Illinois business owners and individuals.
Jon Vegosen has been named the recipient of a 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award by Vistage, the world’s largest CEO coaching and peer advisory organization for small and midsize businesses.
The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the United States since the beginning of 2020, and it does not seem to be going away anytime soon. As such, mandatory COVID-19 testing in workplaces has continued to evolve.
Arbitration provisions are ubiquitous in modern contracts. Before Congress enacted the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), federal courts often refused to enforce arbitration provisions and favored resolving disputes in court.
The City of Chicago has amended the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) to create additional protections against sexual harassment and new compliance requirements for Chicago employers. As these amendments take effect July 1, 2022, covered employers would be wise to comply sooner rather than later.
In a win for internet jokers, the First Amendment trumped the National Labor Relations Board after a federal appellate court held that the Board “misconstrued a facetious remark as a true threat”.
Since the beginning of 2021, people on trains, buses and planes, and in railway stations, bus depots and airports, have been required, by federal law, to wear masks. That changed on April 18, 2022 when a Florida federal judge struck down the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) rule requiring such masks.
Football fans everywhere rejoiced after legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady announced that he would be coming out of retirement last month. Well, almost everywhere. One fan purchased Brady’s last touchdown football at auction for $518,628.00 just one day before Brady made his surprise announcement that he would be returning to the game.
Businesses these days often find themselves targeted – sometimes unfairly – by negative online reviews. Sometimes, the authors are not actual dissatisfied customers but rather, for example, competitors or other individuals with a grudge unrelated to the quality of the company’s goods or services.
UPDATED 3/4/2022: On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Ending the Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021, which we previously wrote about below. The Act is effective immediately. Employers should consider consulting with counsel to review any arbitration agreements or class action waivers for compliance with the Act.
On February 10, 2022, the United States Congress passed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 (the “Act”). This bipartisan Act is a significant workplace reform bill that was originally introduced several years ago during the #MeToo movement.
We wish our clients and friends a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2022. Our January Legal Update highlights new laws and amendments that may be of interest to Illinois businesses and individuals. We encourage all those potentially affected by these developments to consult with counsel to ensure that they are in compliance with, or consider taking advantage of, these new laws.
As we wish our clients, referral sources, and friends a happy and healthy New Year, and to ring in the New Year, we thought it suitable to reflect, share, and, especially, thank you for the many warm wishes and congratulations we received as FVLD celebrated the 40th Anniversary of our founding earlier this year.
The Firm scored a major win this week when the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit declined en banc rehearing in U.S. ex rel. Prose v. Molina Healthcare of Illinois (Case No. 17-cv-06638), making only minor amendments to its August 20, 2021 opinion, reinstating relator’s qui tam lawsuit against managed care organization Molina Healthcare for violations of the federal […]
On November 5, 2021, under the direction of President Biden, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its long-awaited Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring private employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that most of their workers be fully vaccinated or provide negative COVID-19 test results on at least a weekly basis.
On September 12, 2021, the House Ways and Means Committee (the “Committee”) released details regarding its draft of the budget reconciliation bill. FVLD has been following the various proposals and our earlier review of potential changes can be found in our June 2021 Newsletter.
On September 14, 2021, Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 2408 into law. This bill is known as the “energy omnibus” for its comprehensive changes to the Illinois energy landscape.
Whenever your business is impacted by a cyber-attack or a data breach – whether directly or indirectly – it is important to determine whether there is insurance to cover the resulting costs and potential liability.
Big changes are afoot with respect to Illinois non-competition and non-solicitation law. Illinois is ahead of the curve when compared with the federal government.
Last year, we published a newsletter commenting on possible estate planning changes that might result from the 2020 elections. See our August 2020 newsletter, “Pandemic and 2020 Election Estate Planning: Frequently Asked Questions.” On March 25, 2021, Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) and Representative Jimmy Gomez (CA) introduced the “For the 99.5% Act.” If enacted, the […]
As everyone is well-aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has left too many businesses either closed or gasping for air. Governmental lockdown orders, major supply chain interruptions, and spikes in COVID-19 cases have all left certain businesses unable to fulfill their contractual obligations.
A vexing problem for businesses whose products are criticized online has become more challenging. A federal appellate court recently held that a manufacturer did not defame a competitor with comparative advertising, reasoning “trade libel” should require more proof than defamation of persons (and perhaps corporations) but allowing that each state could differ.
On March 23, 2021, Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1480 into law. SB 1480 amends the Illinois Human Rights Act (the “IHRA”) to constrain employers’ use of criminal background checks.
As the pandemic continues, and unemployment benefits are extended and increased, a new type of identity theft and fraud has arisen. Identity thieves will obtain key information about an employee – including social security number, workplace, and possibly even the employee’s salary. The identity thief will then use the employee’s information to make a claim for unemployment benefits.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has issued a new workplace safety guidance for employers during the COVID-19 pandemic titled “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace”
We wish our clients and friends a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2021. Our January Legal Update highlights new laws and amendments that may be of interest to Illinois businesses and individuals. We encourage all those potentially affected by these developments to consult with counsel to ensure that they are in compliance with, or consider taking advantage of, these new laws.
On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (the “Act”). The Act is designed to (a) provide appropriations to keep the government running through September 2021, and (b) provide additional COVID-19 emergency response and relief to businesses and individuals. This newsletter focuses on three of the key areas in the COVID-19 response and relief part of the Act.
As anticipated in our December COVID-19 Legal Update, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has updated its guidance on employer-mandated COVID-19 vaccinations.
As public health officials across the country gear up to administer Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, many questions have been raised regarding the safety, efficacy, and distribution of such a vaccine. While there currently is no law that specifically and explicitly prohibits employers from compelling their employees to take a COVID-19 vaccine, employers face no shortage of legal and employee relations challenges doing so, especially given that the vaccine has only been authorized for emergency use thus far.
Businesses have faced enormous challenges this year during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the midst of the resulting economic turmoil, launching new products or services has required careful planning as well as a solid branding strategy.
Working from home is no longer the exception – it is the rule. Because the pandemic shows no signs of slowing, companies will need to adapt to this reality. But working from home gives criminals new vulnerabilities to exploit. These criminals will use any vulnerabilities to gain access to company systems, to steal data or money, or to lock the company’s computers and ransom access.
In our September 9, 2020, COVID-19 Legal Update email, we mentioned a recent court case that invalidated certain Department of Labor (DOL) regulations for the two new paid leaves available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). In response to this decision, the DOL recently issued revised regulations regarding workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under FFCRA’s paid leave provisions.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the FVLD COVID-19 Response Survey. We sincerely appreciate your feedback and the time you took to provide it. Below is an overview of the responses we received followed by a detailed analysis of the responses with graphs and some commentary.
Regrettably, workplace violence has reared its ugly head with respect to COVID-19. Consistent with state laws and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Act, businesses have wisely put in place COVID-19 prevention policies and practices.
Estate planning documents are particularly important during these unprecedented and unpredictable times. Below, we answer some common questions regarding estate planning in the context of COVID-19 and the upcoming election.
On August 8, 2020, President Trump signed one Executive Order and three Memoranda in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These actions focus on a payroll tax deferral, additional unemployment benefits, renter and homeowner protections from eviction and foreclosure, and student loan payment deferrals.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently determined that Cott Beverages Inc. had legitimate business reasons for restricting employees from accessing their cell phones on the manufacturing floor or at their work stations.
Recently, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) released additional guidance regarding the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), which includes changes to several previously released Interim Final Rules and provides two new loan forgiveness applications.
On June 5, 2020, the President signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act into law. The Flexibility Act, which amends the CARES Act, gives borrowers who took loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) additional flexibility to achieve loan forgiveness.
Recently, the Small Business Administration released additional information regarding the Payroll Protection Program (“PPP”) including the Interim Final Rules for Loan Forgiveness and the Loan Forgiveness Application.
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the government and our communities are planning to reopen our society and our workplaces. This newsletter addresses a number of questions that we are receiving from businesses about reopening. Because the situation is so fluid, some of these answers may change.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act SBA Paycheck Protection Program
On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”). It is designed to provide emergency relief to address the profound impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and help to soften its effects on millions of Americans.
The coronavirus, which, in less than two months, has reportedly infected more than 81,000 people (the vast majority in mainland China) and caused more than 2,700 deaths worldwide, continues to dramatically impact global markets and economies.
We wish our clients and friends a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2020. Our January Legal Update highlights new laws and amendments that may be of interest to Illinois businesses and individuals.
As discussed in our August 2019 newsletter, Illinois’ new #MeToo laws place a number of new requirements on employers as well as expand the scope of employers that must comply. Below is a helpful checklist of items and actions that employers with employees in Illinois should review with their counsel to help ensure compliance:
Because federal tax law now allows individuals to make gifts of $11.4 million tax-free over their lifetime, some people are relegating their estate and financial planning to the bottom of their “to do” lists. People with fewer or even modest assets may assume that estate planning is either unnecessary or it should be a low priority. There are several reasons, however, to prioritize estate planning.
A surge in copyright litigation is targeting websites that contain third party images, such as freelance photographs and artwork. Now a recent Federal Court of Claims decision may extend the deadline for filing such copyright infringement cases indefinitely.
On August 9, 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed sweeping anti-harassment legislation, known as SB 75. SB 75 enacts new laws and amends existing laws seeking to address harassment, discrimination, and transparency in the workplace.
As companies move into their budgeting and planning processes for 2020 and continue to implement their 2019 plans, it is timely to start evaluating expansion plans and compliance of existing Illinois operations. While all operations are different, a common theme amongst the overwhelming majority is employment and retention of contractors in Illinois.
Effective January 1, 2020, recreational cannabis use will be legal in Illinois. The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (the “Act”) prevents employers from disciplining or terminating an employee for their lawful use of cannabis outside the workplace.
The California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) will become effective on January 1, 2020. Any entity that has personal information about California consumers – i.e. if your business has California customers, employees, or contacts – may be covered by this law.
A recent appellate decision may signal a narrowing of the scope of the federal law that online platforms have invoked for over 20 years to avoid liability for content third parties create. The case is noteworthy not only for digital media companies but also for any business that hosts user-generated content online.
As discussed in our January 2019 Legal Update, an amendment to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act effective as of January 1, 2019 (the “Amendment”) requires employers to reimburse employees for all “necessary expenditures” (i.e., expenses or losses) that are within their scope of employment and directly related to services they have performed for the employer.
We wish our clients and friends a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2019. Our January Legal Update highlights new laws and amendments that may be of interest to Illinois businesses and individuals. We encourage all those potentially affected by these developments to consult with legal counsel to ensure they are in compliance with, or consider taking advantage of, new provisions in these laws.