Examining Illinois’ School Visitation Rights Act

Web Admin - Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Small businesses must overcome numerous obstacles if they wish to be successful. One of the bigger challenges is knowing what time off an employee may be entitled to under Illinois state law. The Illinois’ School Visitation Rights Act falls under this umbrella. The following information can help you learn what the Act covers, how to handle staffing issues that may arise because of it, and what the consequences may be for companies that fail to comply.

What the Law Protects

Employees who have children are typically required to attend a minimum of two parent-teacher conferences per year. Some children may have higher needs, either because of behavioral issues or special needs that require the use of Individualized Education Plans or other educational provisions. The School Visitation Rights Act provides employees with an allotted amount of time for attending these meetings, regardless of their regular work schedule (up to eight hours during any given school year, but no more than four hours on a single day).

Provided the employee follows the seven-day, advance written request requirement, employers must give this time off without retaliation. Further, employees are permitted to make up their time, whenever reasonable, on a different shift or day, during the same pay period. If making up the time is not reasonable, or the employee does not wish to do so, the employer is not required to pay for the allotted time off work. Made up time must be paid at the employee’s regular rate.

Dealing with Staffing Issues

Large corporations often have an easier time at accommodating many of the employment laws. Small businesses are often at a disadvantage – usually because they do not have the staff to cover an employee when the time is requested off. However, there are a few strategies that employers can use to mitigate against the issues.

Cross-training all employees, use of temp services, and filling the hours yourself are all plausible options that allow business to continue as normal. Just be aware of the laws that pertain to overtime pay and temp workers if you choose to utilize these options. Alternatively, the employer may wish to hire another employee on a part-time basis – one who can work as a fill-in when others need time off work.

Contact Our Long Grove Employment Law Attorneys for Your Small Business Needs

Illinois’ employment laws are constantly changing, and that can make staying compliant difficult for small businesses. Drost, Gilbert, Anderson & Apicella, LLC can help. Backed by decades of experience, our Long Grove employment law attorneys can assist with everything from the creation of employee handbooks to litigation. Schedule your consultation by calling us at 847-934-6000 today

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.




How the FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act Protects Whistleblowers

Web Admin - Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Illinois employment law attorneysFood is a necessary element of human survival. It is also the most common source of foodborne illness. To reduce the occurrence, companies that manufacture, process, package, distribute, transport, or otherwise participate in the handling of food are held to certain safety standards. Furthermore, employees are protected when they notify the authorities of a violation. Unfortunately, a company that is willing to violate safety standards may also be willing to violate employment laws. If you suspect that you were wrongfully terminated or otherwise retaliated against by your employer for whistleblowing, know your rights and your options.

Protections Offered to Whistleblowers

Under the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), employees are protected from employer retaliation if they provide information about a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C), or if they report an act that they reasonably believed to be a violation. This includes reports made to the employer, the state attorney general, or federal government. Employees are also protected when they refuse to participate in an act that they believe may be in violation of the FD&C, and/or if they participate in proceeding against their employer for a violation of the FD&C.

What is Employer Retaliation?

Retaliation from an employer can come in many forms. It could be a wrongful termination or a layoff, a demotion, disciplinary action, denial of a promotion, intimidation or threats, job reassignment, or blacklisting for employment within the same industry. Essentially, it is any negative action that affects your employment, income, or employability – all of which are strictly prohibited by law.

Understanding Your Rights

If you reported your employer for a violation or otherwise engaged in protected actions and suspect that you have been retaliated against by your employer, you have the right to file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). If, upon investigation, your employer is found to have been in violation of the FSMA and the protections that it offers you, you may be owed compensation for your losses, including:

- Re-employment,
- Payment for lost wages,
- Restoration of benefits,
- Additional monetary or benefits relief.

How Our Employment Law Attorneys Can Help

Complaints involving a violation of the FSMA are complex and time sensitive matters. Furthermore, you need to ensure that all facts about your case are included in your claim. Our Arlington Heights, Illinois employment law attorneys know how to effectively navigate these complaints and can help ease the stress you may be feeling after the loss of employment, benefits, or income. To learn more, contact DGAA and schedule a confidential consultation today.

Ken Apicella
About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


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