Employee Conduct – How Off-Duty Behavior Can Affect Your Business, and What You Can Do About It

Web Admin - Thursday, July 27, 2017

Illinois employment law attorneysAs every business owner knows, an employee’s conduct while on the job can have a negative impact on a company’s image and brand – but what of conduct outside of work? As evidenced by the current investigation into the Chicago water department, sometimes, it more about what your employees do off the clock than what they do while working. Learn how you can mitigate against off-duty behavior issues as an employer, and what you can do if you are ever faced with litigation because of an employee’s on- or off-duty conduct.

The Chicago Water Scandal Investigation

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, state officials are currently investigating the personal emails of a long-time employee, which were purportedly used to send numerous anti-gay, racist, and sexist emails. The public nature of his job, department, and the investigation could have long-term implications on the government entity’s image – even if the allegations turn out to be untrue.

Mitigating Against Both On- and Off-Duty Behavior

Although there are many stipulations, exclusions, and requirements that employers need to be aware of, they can (and should) attempt to mitigate against any unsavory on- or off-duty behavior that may reflect poorly on their business. One of the ways of doing this is the employment contract. In it, you can specify types of behavior that will not be tolerated, regardless of whether the employee is on or off the clock. Further, you may have the right to request access to things like offensive social media posts that may affect your company’s image.

How Our Schaumburg Employment Law Attorneys Can Help

Employers are not required to hire an attorney for the drafting of an employment contract, but it is highly recommended. As previously mentioned, there are some important laws that must be adhered to in such contracts, and any failure or violation could result in litigation against your company. Do not take the risk. Instead, contact an experienced employment law attorney for assistance.

Whether your business is facing litigation, needs help getting started, or is just now expanding to include more employees, Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help. Our Schaumburg employment law attorneys are skilled in all areas of employment law and we will work hard to protect your company and its image. Learn more by scheduling a personalized, no-obligation consultation. Call our offices 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.

Sources: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-chicago-water-department-emails-capuzi-20170724-story.html


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.




New Illinois Law Offers More Sick Leave Flexibility to Eligible Employees

Web Admin - Friday, February 03, 2017
Arlington Heights employment law attorneysData indicates that over 1.5 million Illinoisans care for family members. Sadly, many of them have had to make difficult choices while juggling work and the responsibility of caring for an ill loved one. A new employment law, implemented at the beginning of 2017, may mitigate some of the challenges and difficulties they experience. The following explains this law more in depth, and provides key information on what to do if your employer is failing to meet the requirements of the new law. 

Covering the Basics

The new law has redefined personal sick leave, giving employees the right to use their sick leave time to care for a sick child, parent, spouse, or other immediate family member or dependent. Further, an employers cannot deny, threaten, suspend, or demote an employee for attempting to exercise the rights afforded to them by the new law. Of course, there are some limitations and exclusions that employees need to be aware of - especially if they believe their employer may be in violation of the law.

Law Does Not Require Employers to Offer Sick Leave

Although the new law does expand sick leave for those that already have it, it does not require employers to start or implement a paid sick leave program. There is a law for the Chicago area that will require all employers to offer sick leave to eligible employees, but this only applies to the city of Chicago, and it does not go into effect until July 1, 2017. 

Employers Can Limit Sick Leave Time for Family Members

If an employer offers paid sick leave to their employees, they can restrict the amount of time that an employee can use for a family member. That is to say, employers do have the right to restrict their employees from using more than half of their paid sick leave benefits for a family member. Further, the employer does not have to extend the leave an employee is permitted to take under the Family Medical Leave Act. 

Filing a Case Against Your Employer

If you believe that you have been wrongly terminated, punished, or threatened with punishment for exercising your right to paid sick leave under the new law, contact Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. Dedicated and experienced, our Arlington Heights employment law attorneys will fight to protect your rights. Schedule a personalized consultation to learn more. Call 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.




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