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St. Charles, IL Chicago, IL Office Davenport, IA Office Minneapolis, MN Office Milwaukee, WI Office

January 2017 Archives

EEOC Prioritizes National Origin Discrimination in the Workplace

It is likely pure coincidence that the EEOC issued its position on national origin discrimination within days of the November elections. The guidelines went into effect on November 21, 2016, modifying the EEOC's previous position on national origin discrimination, issued 15 years ago. The current guidelines are consistent with the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for 2017-2021, which identifies the rights of immigrants as a top priority for the agency.

Illinois Court Discusses Standard for Discrimination Based on Arrest Record Under IHRA

The Illinois Human Rights Act (the "Act") was enacted to provide protections to Illinois workers beyond those offered under federal law. Among many other protections, the Act makes it illegal in Illinois to inquire about or use arrest information or expunged, sealed or impounded criminal history information with respect to a person's employment. However, the Act allows an employer to act against (fire, not hire, demote, etc.) an employee or job applicant if the employer is acting on "other information" which indicates that the person actually engaged in the conduct that was the subject of the arrest (besides the basic fact that the employee or applicant was arrested). Arrest information can appear on routine background checks commonly performed as part of the hiring process but employers must be aware of how they can and cannot use this arrest information. The Act generally applies to employers with 15 or more employees employed at least 20 weeks of the year, and also to employment agencies and labor organizations.

Legislative Update: Illinois Employers Using an Employee Leasing Company Can Now Get Workers' Compensation Insurance For The Leased Employees

Today, a number of small Illinois businesses use employee leasing companies to handle payroll, human resource matters, and workers' compensation insurance on their workers for the convenience and cost savings.

New OSHA Reporting Regulations Become Effective

In a previous issue, we discussed a new OSHA reporting regulation that was initially scheduled to take effect on August 10, 2016, but was pushed back to November 1, 2016, and then delayed again until December 1, 2016 as a result of pending litigation by a number of trade associations, which sought to enjoin the regulation as it related to post-accident drug testing programs. On November 28, 2016, the Texas court refused to issue the injunction and the new rule became effective on December 1, 2016. Texo ABC/AGC Inc. v. Perez, Case No. 3:16-cv-01998 (N.D. Tex. 2016).

Wal-Mart Loss: Employee Drivers Must Be Paid For All Time Working

In the United States under both state and federal laws, trucking companies generally cannot pay their employee drivers for only "bill of lading hours." Companies/employers must pay their employee drivers from the time the drivers report for duty until they are released from duty for the day-not just for "bill of lading hours."

Racial Slurs Are Acceptable?

In what, to the author, seems like the most illogical position for a Government Agency to take, the National Labor Relations Board is pushing the 8th Circuit to rule that racial statements made by an Employee on a picket line are protected under Federal Labor Law.

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