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Kevin Cloutier is a partner in the Labor and Employment and Business Trials Practice Groups.  Kevin is the Leader of the Firm's Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Teams.

As if 2020 hasn’t caused enough hardship and headaches for employers already, the FBI and U.S. Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) recently issued a joint Cybersecurity Advisory Alert warning employers about the rise in voice phishing, or “vishing,” scams targeting remote workers.
Continue Reading Cybercrime 2020 – The Rise of “Vishing”

As we wrote earlier this year, every employer with employees working in Illinois is required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training that complies with the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”).  The Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR”) recently released a model sexual harassment prevention training program that meets the IHRA’s requirements.
Continue Reading Employers: Do Not Forget Your Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirement

For the first time, the Supreme Court has agreed to review the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The Court’s initial review of the CFAA comes in the wake of a federal circuit split as to whether the statute can only be deployed against hackers and unauthorized users of electronic systems, or also against authorized users who use the information for unauthorized purposes. The Court’s decision may significantly affect not only how law enforcement uses the CFAA, but also whether civil litigants, such as employers, may use the CFAA to defend against unauthorized employee activities.
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Case Preview—Van Buren v. United States: Does Use of a Computer for an “Improper Purpose” Violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently issued a joint statement (the “COVID-19 Statement”) regarding what constitutes lawful “procompetitive collaborations” between companies to address certain needs for consumers and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.  It also detailed what constitutes unlawful anticompetitive behavior related to essential and frontline workers and other vulnerable employees.  The DOJ and FTC used this opportunity to send a clear warning to companies who may seek to take advantage of the current pandemic by entering into agreements to restrain competition and employee mobility or lower wages.  Separately, for those companies who are actively working to assist essential workers, businesses and the country as a whole, the COVID-19 Statement provides guidance on engaging in lawful “procompetitive collaboration” to benefit essential workers and the economy amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Continue Reading DOJ and FTC Issue Joint Statement Regarding COVID-19 and Antitrust Violations

On March 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) into law.  The CARES Act is the most expansive economic stimulus package in American history.  The Act follows the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), and acts as its counterpart in many ways.
Continue Reading The CARES Act: A Comprehensive Overview for Employers

On March 20, 2020, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a mandatory “Stay-at-Home” Order, located here, directing all Illinois residents to stay home or at their place of residence.  The Order takes effect beginning Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. CDT and will last through Tuesday, April 7, 2020.  Under this Order, all public and private gatherings occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited.  Following current guidance from the CDC, the Order prohibits any gathering of more than 10 people unless otherwise exempted.  Further, all places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, must now be closed to the public during the pendency of the Order.

 Coronavirus, Stay-at-Home
Continue Reading Illinois Statewide Stay at Home Order: What Employers Need to Know

On February 6, Representative Natalie Manley filed House Bill 4699 with the Illinois House of Representatives. If enacted, the bill would amend the Illinois Freedom to Work Act (“IFWA”) with respect to the legality of non-compete agreements. Currently, under the IFWA, employers are prohibited from entering into non-compete agreements with low-wage employees. Low-wage employees are those whose earnings do not exceed the greater of either the minimum hourly rate or $13.00 per hour. HB4699 would amend the Act to remove the “low-wage” requirement and prohibit employers from entering into covenants not to compete with any employee.
Continue Reading Proposed Bill Would Ban Employee Non-Compete Agreements in Illinois

The New Year brings new laws for Illinois employers. Some laws go into effect this Summer, while others are effective as of this month. For employers who have not yet revised handbooks, policies and agreements, the time is now. Below is a brief summary of the new laws.
Continue Reading The Time Is Now for Employers in Illinois to Abide by New Laws

On July 31, 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law prohibiting Illinois employers from asking job applicants or their previous employers about salary history.

The law amends the Equal Pay Act of 2003, which made it illegal to discriminatorily pay employees on the basis of sex or race. The impetus behind the new salary history amendment is an effort to close the gender wage gap. According to a news release from the governor’s office, women in Illinois earn 79% of what men earn.
Continue Reading Salary History Off-Limits Under New Illinois Equal Pay Law

The Illinois Supreme Court recently handed down its much-anticipated decision in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corporation et al., clarifying what makes someone “aggrieved” and able to bring a claim under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). We have addressed this issue in prior blogs, including here and here. The Supreme Court has now held an individual need not allege some actual injury or adverse effect to be “aggrieved” and have statutory standing. An individual can state a BIPA claim simply by alleging an entity’s failure to follow the statute’s notice and consent requirements.
Continue Reading Actual Injury Unnecessary to Sue Under Illinois Biometric Law

Since its passage in 2016, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) has increasingly become a valuable tool for employers seeking to enjoin former employees and competitors from misappropriating trade secrets. However, in requests for preliminary injunctive relief, companies often struggle with adequately alleging a likelihood of success on the merits of their claims under both the DTSA and state trade secret laws. A recent case filed in the Northern District of Illinois, Cortz, Inc. v. Doheny Enterprises, Inc., exemplifies this struggle and offers valuable lessons when moving for a preliminary injunction on a trade secret misappropriation claim.
Continue Reading Lessons Learned: Tips on How to Allege and Argue Trade Secret Misappropriation at a Preliminary Injunction Hearing