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Mikela Sutrina is an associate in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm's Chicago office.

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

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

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

The various laws, statutes, and policies governing non-compete agreements are nuanced, inconsistent, and sometimes downright contradictory from state-to-state.  The issue of consideration is no different.  Like other contracts, non-compete and restrictive covenant agreements must be supported by adequate and sufficient consideration at the time of execution.  However, what constitutes adequate consideration for a restrictive covenant, especially a non-compete provision, varies from state to state.  And, more importantly, the concept of adequate consideration has shifted in recent years reflecting an increasingly strict approach to enforcing non-compete agreements post-employment.
Continue Reading For Your Consideration: Recent State-to-State Developments on Sufficient Consideration for Employee Non-Compete Agreements

On August 19, 2016, Governor Bruce Rauner officially signed into law the Illinois Freedom to Work Act (the “Act”), with an effective date of January 1, 2017.  The Act, while short and to the point, will have a significant impact on private sector employers who routinely require all employees, regardless of job level or wage, to enter into non-competition agreements.
Continue Reading Illinois Limits Non-Compete Agreements Yet Again

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (the “DTSA”), the first of its kind at the federal level, has been passed in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.  Now, the DTSA merely awaits President Obama’s expected signature to become law.  The DTSA has the potential to transform trade secret litigation and create more uniform case law nationwide.
Continue Reading The Defend Trade Secrets Act – Coming to a Federal Court Near You

Last week, in Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Title VII authorizes judicial review of the EEOC’s efforts to satisfy its statutory duty to conciliate before filing suit against an employer.  In the simplest of terms, Title VII requires that the EEOC try to remedy unlawful employment practices through “informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion” before it is permitted to file a lawsuit against the employer.
Continue Reading The Supreme Court Decides Mach Mining LLC vs. EEOC: A “Win” For Employers?

Ban the Box

Joining the current “Ban the Box” trend, effective January 1, 2015, the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act prohibits Illinois employers from asking job applicants about their criminal record or criminal history until after the employer determines that the individual is qualified for the position and notifies the individual that s/he has been selected for an interview.  If an employer does not conduct interviews, then any inquiry into an applicant’s criminal background cannot take place until after the employer makes a conditional offer of employment.
Continue Reading New Illinois Laws in 2015: What Employers Should Know