Informed Employer: Illinois Joins the Trend Limiting Employers' Use of Criminal Background Checks Informed Employer: Illinois Joins the Trend Limiting Employers' Use of Criminal Background Checks

Informed Employer: Illinois Joins the Trend Limiting Employers' Use of Criminal Background Checks

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Pregnancy Discrimination Guidelines Could Have Big Implications
New federal guidelines on job discrimination against pregnant workers could have a big impact on the workplace and in the courtroom. The expanded rules adopted by the bipartisan Equal Employment Opportunity Commission make clear that any form of workplace discrimination or harassment against pregnant workers by employers is a form of sex discrimination -- and illegal.
(Source: Insurance Journal, 2014-07-23) Read the full article
Obama Working to Make Sure Employees Can Get Contraceptives
The Obama administration will create a new option for certain religious nonprofits that object to both the Obamacare contraception mandate and the earlier administration efforts to find accommodation for them, according to a court document. The brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit says the administration is broadening the accommodation policy after the Supreme Court ruled that Wheaton College, a religious institution, did not have to provide contraception in employee health plans while the issue makes its way through the courts.
(Source: Politico, 2014-07-22) Read the full article
Ohio Bureau Paying $420M for Overcharges of Workers' Comp Insurance
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation has agreed to pay $420 million to employers in the state that were knowingly overcharged for insurance premiums. About 230,000 businesses will share in the payout that settles a lawsuit brought against the agency by those employers.
(Source: The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, 2014-07-25) Read the full article
Despite Improving Economy, Some Employers Cutting Benefits
Even though the economy has improved significantly since the recession, some companies continue to cut benefits for employees. Over the past five years, employers have reduced a variety of benefits, educational assistance and perks, according to a Society for Human Resource Management member survey of 510 human resources professionals.
(Source: U.S. News & World Report, 2014-07-28) Read the full article
Retailers Upset by NLRB Approval of Macy's "Micro-Union"
Retailers are fired up over a National Labor Relations Board decision that will allow a small group of Macy's employees to organize without the consent of the rest of their colleagues. The National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association say the NLRB's decision to recognize Macy's cosmetics and fragrances workers at a store in Saugus, Mass., will pave the way for micro-unions at thousands of retail stores around the country.
(Source: The Hill, 2014-07-23) Read the full article
S.E.I.U. Helps Fast-Food Workers Battle for $15 an Hour Wage
It was by far the largest gathering of fast-food workers, and it was largely underwritten by the Service Employees International Union, a powerhouse with two million members known for unionizing hospital workers, home care aides and janitors. Mary Kay Henry, the union's president, said the S.E.I.U. has adopted the fast-food workers' cause to lift low-wage workers and combat income inequality.
(Source: The New York Times, 2014-07-27) Read the full article
Obama Signs Executive Order Protecting LGBT from Work Bias
President Barack Obama signed an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Despite calls from religious leaders, faith-based groups will not be exempt.
(Source:, 2014-07-21) Read the full article
'Boomerang' Employees Increasingly Returning to Old Jobs
There is no hard data on how frequently employers rehire workers who've left to go elsewhere, but "it is growing, and smart companies are the ones pushing it the most," said Abbie J. Shipp, an associate professor of management at Texas Christian University. Experts point to a number of reasons boomeranging is booming: Social media makes it easier for companies to keep track of former employees, and it's often cheaper to rehire them because firms can bypass the search process.
(Source: The New York Times, 2014-07-25) Read the full article
Few Companies Investing in Workers' Skills Development
Hu-Friedy, a manufacturer of dental instruments in Chicago, says its future hinges on four employees. So, it is paying them to leave their jobs for two years. What's happening at Hu-Friedy Mfg. Co. LLC is a rare exception to decades of corporate disinvestment in skills development, and gets at the heart of the debate playing out in the hiring market over whose job it is to train workers.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2014-07-16) Read the full article
Some Employers Recognizing Specific Talents of Disabled Workers
A long-overlooked player in the American workplace is finally getting some extra attention: the disabled worker. Some disabled workers with specific neurological capabilities are becoming increasingly valuable to employers for a different reason: global competition.
(Source: CNBC, 2014-07-25) Read the full article
Illinois Joins the Trend Limiting Employers' Use of Criminal Background Checks
Stephanie Kelly

On July, 19, 2014, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act into law making Illinois the fifth state to “ban the box.” Illinois joins four states with existing “ban the box” laws: Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Rhode Island. In 2013 and 2014 similar “ban the box” legislation was introduced in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington. Over 60 cities and municipalities nationwide have adopted comparable legislation with respect to public employment including, Chicago, IL, Cleveland, OH and Indianapolis, IN. Employers should take heed of this continuing trend and make sure their practices comply with these laws.

Read full article here.


Non-Solicitation Agreements in the Age of LinkedIn
John Burke Heather Maly

LinkedIn (and similar networking tools) has transformed the way people build and promote their professions. LinkedIn is more than an electronic rolodex. It is a convenient portal for members to not only share their professional status but also stay updated on the professional lives of current and former peers, colleagues, clients, and classmates. By its nature, it also presents challenges to employers seeking to enforce and employees seeking to abide by non-competition and non-solicitation provisions in employment agreements.

Read full article here.


Limiting Claims from Driving

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of worker's compensation death and serious injury claims. Employees may be distracted while performing work-related driving or during vehicle operations. It is wise to have policies in place that encourage safe driving. Policies to consider can include:

• Prohibit the use of cell phones and texting while driving
• Require employees to drive within the speed limit and to wear a seat belt
• Provide frequent driver training and programs to reward safe driving
• Whenever possible limit the distance or number of hours an employee drives
• Perform routine maintenance on all Company owned vehicles

Adopting and enforcing such policies not only can make your work environment safer, but also help minimize your workers’ compensation exposure.

To learn more, please contact Jennifer McDaniel or any attorney in Ice Miller’s Workers Compensation Group.


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