Court Dishes Up FMLA Lessons For Managing Holiday Blues

As we polish off the last of the Thanksgiving turkey, we’re reminded that for some, particularly those suffering from holiday-triggered depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder, the holiday season can induce a psychological decline that leaves them unable to work. And as a recent federal appeals court ruling points out, this decline may trigger FMLA rights, even if the affected employee never specifically asks for leave.

Illinois Ruling: Business Buyers, Review Sellers’ EEO Practices

Companies or individuals acquiring an existing business should determine if the seller faces potential civil rights violations and, if so, take this fact into account in the acquisition process. If a buyer overlooks these liabilities, they could inherit them, despite longstanding Illinois precedent against such “successor liability,” at least according to one appeals court.In People ex rel. Dep’t of Human Rights v. Oakridge Nursing & Rehab Ctr., the First District Appellate Court held that the general rule of successor corporate nonliability may not apply to Illinois Human Rights Act claims against predecessor companies, if circumstances fit an exception to non-liability previously applied only in federal courts.

Illinois Expands Employment Rights For Workers With Criminal Histories

In his inaugural address, Governor Pritzker promised to expand “true justice in our criminal justice system” and advance “economic inclusion” for Illinoisans who have previously been incarcerated. Two new laws carry out this promise and build on the efforts of 2015’s “Ban the Box” law to make it easier for the estimated 42 percent of Illinois residents with criminal backgrounds to avoid automatic disqualification and to get jobs. 

New School Year, New FMLA Opinion Helps Parents Of Students On IEPs

In an FMLA opinion letter addressed to an anonymous inquiry, the DOL said that the wife of the inquirer can take intermittent leave from her job under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to attend meetings related to their children’s individualized education programs (IEP). IEPs are plans for education and other services that are created for student with special needs and are mandated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Illinois’ New Recreational Marijuana Law ‘Blunts’ Employers’ Drug Testing Practices

Come January 1, 2020, just as some Illinois residents are taking their first lawful (at least under State law) puffs of marijuana or bites of a cannabis-infused gummy bear, many employers in the Land of Lincoln will likely be facing the ramifications of an even more dramatic change -- their possible need to stop all forms of testing for marijuana use other than reasonable suspicion testing.

Smartwatch Users On Alert As Illinois Mulls Privacy Law Expansion

A bill introduced in the Illinois House, HB 3024, would amend Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA or the Act) to expand the law to cover EKG results from wearable devices.Passed in 2008, BIPA originally was enacted to address technologies that rely upon fingerprints, retina scans and other “biometric identifiers” for time clocks and security access. The Act prohibits businesses from collecting, storing or using biometric identifier information without written policies, written notice to those from whom they collect the information, protocols to protect the information, and special disclosures if the information is shared with third parties.