Informed Employer: Illinois Now Requires Employers to Provide Accommodations and Protections to Preg Informed Employer: Illinois Now Requires Employers to Provide Accommodations and Protections to Preg

Informed Employer: Illinois Now Requires Employers to Provide Accommodations and Protections to Pregnant Employees and Applicants

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High Court Ruling on Job Bias Could Set Back Government Suits
The Supreme Court could put the brakes on the Obama administration's growing crackdown against companies facing claims of discrimination against women, minorities and other protected groups. Justices will hear arguments in a case that considers whether employers can defend discrimination lawsuits by asserting that government lawyers did not try hard enough to settle claims before going to court.
(Source: The Portland Press Herald, 2015-01-12) Read the full article
Majority of States Have Minimum Wage Above Federal for First Time
The minimum wage increased in 20 states at the beginning of this year, and later in 2015 it will go up in Alaska, New York and Delaware. As a result, at least 3.1 million workers will get raises. For the first time, a majority of states -- 29 plus the District of Columbia -- have minimum wages above the federal minimum of $7.25.
(Source: Pew Research Center, 2015-01-06) Read the full article
Saks Says Transgender Employees Not a Protected Class
Is it legal to discriminate against an employee for being transgender? The Justice Department, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and some courts say no -- but in a motion filed in federal court, Saks says yes.
(Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, 2015-01-09) Read the full article
GAO Warns Forced 401(k) Rollovers Detrimental to Job Changers
Every year, millions of people leave their jobs -- and fail to tell their former employers what to do with their 401(k) retirement savings accounts. Enter the forced rollover, also known as a "forced transfer." But according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office, forced rollovers are almost always a financial disaster for the account holder.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2015-01-06) Read the full article
Workers Take On More Health Costs Despite Slower Rise in Premiums
Although the rise in premiums has slowed since passage of the Affordable Care Act, workers who receive health insurance through their employers are shouldering more health care expenses at a time when wages are stagnant, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund that analyzed costs across the states. These costs are particularly high -- relative to median income -- for workers in the South and south central states, where income is below the national average, the report found, even though the growth of premiums had slowed in several states in those regions.
(Source: The New York Times, 2015-01-08) Read the full article
Labor Dept Overtime Home Care Worker Rule in Limbo
Associations representing home-care agencies, organizations representing home-care workers, and the Labor Department are awaiting further developments in a case involving the hotly contested home-care workers rule, part of which was stayed by a federal judge. The order suspends the implementation of the provision, which narrows the Fair Labor Standards Act's exemption from minimum wage and overtime laws for workers who provide companionship services.
(Source: BNA, 2015-01-02) Read the full article
Business Trade Groups Sue to Block NLRB Rule on Union-Organizing
Business groups will again sue the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over a controversial reissued rule they say will speed up union elections and give organizers the upper hand in the workplace, sources say. After successfully challenging the original rule in federal court, business groups are hoping for a similar outcome this time around.
(Source: The Hill, 2015-01-05) Read the full article
OSHA Outlines Employer Incidence-Reporting Requirements
Effective January 1, 2015, all employers under the jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are required to report all work-related fatalities within eight hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding out about the incident. The federal agency noted that even employers who are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA records due to company size -- such as companies with 10 or fewer employees who do not have to routinely keep injury and illness records -- or industry must comply with the new reporting guidelines.
(Source: Insurance Journal, 2014-12-31) Read the full article
Intel CEO Pledges $300M to Address Lack of Workforce Diversity
Intel said the company's work force would better reflect the available talent pool of women and underrepresented minority groups in the United States within five years. In addition, Intel said it has established a $300 million fund to be used in the next three years to improve the diversity of the company's work force, attract more women and minorities to the technology field and make the industry more hospitable to them once they get there.
(Source: The New York Times, 2015-01-06) Read the full article
Neurodiversity Could Be Next Workplace Challenge
A burgeoning civil rights movement is poised to change the workplace, and it revolves around differences in brain function. Advocates for neurodiversity say that it's just as critical to business success as gender or racial diversity in the labor force.
(Source: Fortune, 2014-12-16) Read the full article
Illinois Now Requires Employers to Provide Accommodations and Protections to Pregnant Employees and Applicants


Stephanie Kelly


As of January 1, 2015, the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) expands protection to expectant mothers during pregnancy and for common conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. The new Illinois law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to job applicants and employees for any medical or common condition related to pregnancy or childbirth and makes it unlawful to fail to hire or otherwise retaliate against an employee or applicant for requesting accommodations. The new law covers all Illinois employers of one or more employees and applies to all job applicants or employees, part-time, full time or probationary, who request an accommodation in relation to their pregnancy.

The IHRA provides several examples of the types of reasonable accommodations employers can make for covered employees or applicants such as: limits on heavy lifting, assistance with manual labor, light duty, temporary transfers to less strenuous or hazardous positions, access to places to sit, more frequent restroom breaks, time-off to recover from childbirth, leave required by the employee’s pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions, and private break space for breastfeeding and expressing breast milk. The burden is on the applicant or employee to make the request for an accommodation.

Read full article here.  



Warning Signs That Warrant Heightened Scrutiny of Workers' Compensation Claim

1.  Monday Injury:  The alleged injury occurs first thing Monday morning or the injury occurs late Friday afternoon, but is not reported until Monday.

2.  Employment Change:  The accident occurs shortly before or immediately after the end of a lengthy project; the conclusion of seasonal work; before or after job termination or layoff.

3.  Suspicious Providers:  The Claimant's doctors and/or legal counsel have a history of handling suspicious clients.

4.  No Witnesses:  No witnesses to the accident and the Claimant's own description is not consistent to support the cause of injury.

5.  Conflicting Descriptions:  The Claimant's description of the accident conflicts with the medical history or the First Report of Injury.

6.  History of Claims:  The Claimant has a history of numerous, suspicious or litigated claims.

7.  Life Circumstance:  Circumstances such as child care issues, commencement of a business venture, home improvement project, attending school, or a supplement to retirement income.

The mere presence of the aforementioned circumstances does not in and of itself constitute evidence of fraud or abuse.  The presence of any one of the enumerated warning signs, however, reflects circumstances that give cause to heightened claim security.  

To learn more, please contact an attorney in Ice Miller’s Workers Compensation Group.


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