What We Think

Our attorneys often publish on legal issues that matter to our clients.
Big Changes to Illinois Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Law: Amendments to the Illinois Freedom to Work Act
07/28/21 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen, Bryan Schatz

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.

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Big Changes On The Horizon? These Proposed Laws May Turn Your Estate Plan On Its Head
06/21/21 | Newsletter | By: Diana Larson, Jonathan Vegosen

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 […]

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Force Majeure: Lessons From The Pandemic
05/27/21 | Newsletter | By: Vince DeCicco, Megan Hamilton

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.

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Products versus People: Negative Advertising And Online Reviews
04/29/21 | Newsletter | By: Peter Berk, Seth Stern

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.

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Big Changes to Illinois Laws Affecting Employers: Criminal Background Checks and Reporting
04/07/21 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen

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.

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Stopping COVID-19 Unemployment Claim Scams
03/18/21 | Newsletter | By: Peter Berk

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.

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OSHA Issues New Safety Guidance Regarding COVID-19 In The Workplace
02/17/21 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen, Cecilia Suh

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”

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Significant Changes in the Law
01/21/21 | Newsletter | By: Cecilia Suh, Diana Larson, Vince DeCicco

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.

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Second Stimulus Package Signed Into Law
01/08/21 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen, Vance Liebman, Peter Berk, Cecilia Suh

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.

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EEOC Releases Guidance on Employer-Mandated Vaccinations
12/21/20 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen, Vince DeCicco

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.

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To Require Vaccination or Not Require Vaccination – That is the Question
12/14/20 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen, Vince DeCicco

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.

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Selecting and Clearing New Trademarks in a Changing World
11/19/20 | Newsletter | By: Glenn Rice

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.

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Working From Home Preparedness for Companies
10/28/20 | Newsletter | By: Peter Berk

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.

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DOL Makes Changes to Families First Coronavirus Response Act Paid Leave Rules
09/29/20 | Newsletter | By: Cecilia Suh

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.

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COVID-19 Survey Results
09/21/20 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen, Vance Liebman, Peter Berk, Cecilia Suh

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.

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Workplace Violence and COVID-19
09/09/20 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen

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.

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Pandemic and 2020 Election Estate Planning: Some Frequently Asked Questions
08/31/20 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen, Vance Liebman, Diana Larson

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.

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Four Recent Executive Actions In Response to COVID-19
08/12/20 | Newsletter | By: Peter Berk, Cecilia Suh

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.

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Labor Board Allows Manufacturer to Restrict Employee Cell Phone Usage
07/15/20 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen, Seth Stern

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.

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The SBA Releases Additional Guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program
07/01/20 | Newsletter | By: Vance Liebman, Peter Berk

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.

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New Legislation – Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act
06/08/20 | Newsletter | By: Vance Liebman, Peter Berk

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.

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Payroll Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Guidelines
05/29/20 | Newsletter | By: Vance Liebman, Peter Berk

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.

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FAQ: Returning to the Workplace in a COVID-19 World
05/08/20 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
04/03/20 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen, Peter Berk, Cecilia Suh

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act SBA Paycheck Protection Program

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Updated: Breaking News: Families First Coronavirus Response Act
03/01/20 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen, Peter Berk, Cecilia Suh

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.

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The Coronavirus and the Law
02/28/20 | Newsletter | By: Neil Rosenbaum

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.

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Significant Changes in the Law
01/24/20 | Newsletter | By: Cecilia Suh

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.

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Compliance Checklist for Illinois’ #MeToo Laws
11/01/19 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen, Cecilia Suh

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:

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Estate and Financial Planning is Not Just for the Rich
10/01/19 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen

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.

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Lingering Copyright Liability On Your Website?
09/01/19 | Newsletter | By: Damon Dunn

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.

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Breaking News: New Illinois Workplace Harassment Laws
08/01/19 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen, Cecilia Suh

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.

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Seven Things You Should Know about Illinois Law Before Doing Business in Illinois
07/01/19 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen, Michael Strong

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.

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Legal Marijuana in Illinois and its Impact on a Drug-Free Workplace
07/01/19 | Newsletter | By:

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.

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Why Does the California Consumer Privacy Act Matter to Me?
06/01/19 | Newsletter | By: Peter Berk

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. 

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CFTC Eases Annual Privacy Notice Rules
05/01/19 | Newsletter | By: William Bolotin

Federal regulations require financial institutions to provide customers with a written disclosure of the institution’s privacy policy at the time a relationship is established and annually thereafter. This requirement has often been criticized as a nuisance for businesses with no meaningful benefit for consumers.

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Courts Consider Limitations of Online Platforms’ Immunity for Third-Party Content
04/01/19 | Newsletter | By: Seth Stern

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.

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Employers Must Reimburse Employees for Certain Business-Related Expenses and Losses
02/01/19 | Newsletter | By: Jonathan Vegosen, Cecilia Suh

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.

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Significant Changes in Illinois Law
01/01/19 | Newsletter | By: Peter Berk

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.

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