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Lake County Employees Take Fight Over Labor Law Violations To State Labor Board

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Lake County Employees Take Fight Over Labor Law Violations To State Labor Board

The fight between the Lake County Circuit Clerk’s Office and the county headed before the Illinois Labor Board over allegations the Clerk’s Office committed various violations, including retaliation against an employee and bargaining in bad faith. The Illinois chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is headquartered in Springfield and represents over 58,000 public employees throughout the state.

The showdown has been months in the making, stemming from a fight over whether Lake County employees can unionize, and apparently culminated in this latest legal tussle after workers were terminated. Furthermore, the employees’ union claims the head of the Lake County Circuit Clerk, Keith Brin, refused to bargain in good faith with them and tried to discourage union membership or support.

According to reports, Brin initially resisted unionization of his office’s employees claiming the union was using coercion and fraud to secure their effort. After an Appeals Court ruled against Brin, he dropped the effort to prevent the initiative. During the appeals process, Brin refused the bargain with the AFSCME, something the union claims was in bad faith.

What can I do if I have been wrongfully terminated?

While this particular case appears to have many layers to it beyond the wrongful termination of an employee, the allegation is nonetheless serious. Whether the individual is a state, local, or private sector employee, he or she may have grounds to sue the employer if the true reason for the termination is based on illegal discrimination (race, gender, etc.) or retaliation for certain protected activities (attempting to form a union), breach of a written employment contract, or violated state laws on terminating employees.

In these situations, employees need to gather certain evidence, such as their employment personnel file and retain any communications or memos between themselves and their employer. Additionally, the workers should retain a copy of their employee handbook or code of conduct, if such a document exists.

Retaining an attorney from the start is also extremely important to ensuring all relevant information to make the case is collected.

Illinois wrongful termination lawyers

If you were disciplined or terminated from your state or local employer, contact Goldman & Ehrlich for a consultation about your case. Our Illinois civil service employment attorneys have years of experience helping state and local employees appeal their layoffs and suspensions.

Our office services clients throughout Chicago, Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, and McHenry County. Because strict time deadlines apply to filing these appeal, please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Cook County Passes Earned Sick Leave Ordinance

Cook County recently passed the Earned Sick Leave Ordinance, giving sweeping paid leave benefits to almost all employees in the county by allowing them to take time off to care for themselves and family members. The Ordinance takes effect July 2017 and is one of many new state and local employment laws passed this year in Illinois.

Under the new law, employees have the right to accrue at least 40 hours of paid sick leave in a 12-month period while on the job. Employees need only work a minimum of two hours during a two-week period within the boundaries of Cook County and work at least 80 hours during a 120-day period.

Time spent driving as part of work duties, including making deliveries and sales calls may count towards the minimum hour requirements to be covered. However, time spent commuting to and from does not count towards these requirements.

Businesses with at least one employee in Cook County must comply with the new law. Indian tribes and government employees are not covered under the Ordinance, though the latter may already be covered by local government employee benefits. Furthermore, some employees covered by collective bargaining agreements may also not be eligible to accrue paid sick leave under the Ordinance.

Who is covered under the new Chicago paid time off law?

Employees already covered by an existing paid time off program may not be eligible for additional paid time off so long as the program meets the minimum requirements set by the Ordinance. Employees will be eligible to accrue paid time off starting the first day after it takes effect on July 01, 2017.

Workers may accrue one hour of paid sick time off for working their average weekly hours. For many employees, this will be 40 hours per week but those working part time hours will still earn one hour of time off each week so long as they work their average weekly hours.

It should be noted that accrued sick leave is capped at 40 hours per 12-month period, but workers may carry over up to 20 hours towards the next 12 months. No matter how many hours are carried over, the total amount of sick hours an individual can accrue is 40 hours.

Chicago employment lawyers

If you are an employee or employer and have legal issues surrounding this new law, contact our office to speak to an experienced Chicago employment lawyer. Goldman & Ehrlich serves clients throughout Chicago, Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, and McHenry County.

Is Your Business Compliant With The Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance?

Thanks to the Chicago City Council’s passage of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance in December 2014, workers throughout the city have seen steady and meaningful increases in their hourly wages. The first increase took place in July 2015 and will continue until the city’s minimum wage increases to $13 per hour in July 2019, putting Chicago as one of the most progressive cities in the country when it comes to minimum wage laws.

Both employees and employers need to understand the timelines and qualifications for workers to receive these types of minimum wage pay increases. Noncompliance could result in hefty fines and other penalties.

Schedule for Chicago minimum wage increases

The Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance covers both regular hourly workers and tipped employees, with different schedules and rate increases for each class of workers. The schedule for Chicago minimum wage increases is as follows:

Effective Date Minimum Hourly Wage for Non -Tipped Employees Minimum Hourly Wage for Tipped Employees
State Law $8.25 $4.95
July 1, 2015 $10.00 $5.45
July 1, 2016 $10.50 $5.95
July 1, 2017 $11.00 To be determined on or before June 1st of each year until 2019
July 1, 2018 $12.00
July 1, 2019 $13.00

How do I know if I am covered by the Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance?

The Ordinance is very clear on who qualifies for the city’s minimum wage laws. Employers must pay their employees according to the law if the business maintains a facility in the city limits and/or is subject any of the city’s licensing requirements. Employees must be paid according to the Ordinance if the individual works for such an employer meeting the aforementioned criteria while physically present in Chicago for at least two hours within any two-week period.

Chicago employment lawyers

If you are an employee or an employer dealing with legal issues related to the Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance, contact our office online or call 312-332-6733 to speak to one of our experienced Chicago employment lawyers. Goldman & Ehrlich serves clients throughout Chicago, Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, and McHenry County.