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Schaumburg business law attorney coronavirus reliefThe global pandemic of COVID-19 is on everyone’s minds these days. Millions of confirmed cases have been reported, and tens of thousands of people have died in the United States due to complications from the virus. Health and government officials continue to monitor the situation very closely. In countries throughout the world, non-essential businesses and schools have been temporarily closed in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a “stay at home” order through April 30. For those small business owners and employers who are struggling to maintain their livelihoods, there is some relief in the form of financial assistance. The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) established the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to provide small businesses with the opportunity to apply for loans up to $50,000 at a low-interest rate.

Who Can Apply for the Bailout Loan?

The below eligibility requirements apply to small businesses that are in Illinois but are outside the city of Chicago. Small businesses within Chicago can apply to a similar loan program. Requirements are based on employment between October 2019 and December 2019. Seasonal businesses may use an employment average between January 2019 and December 2019.

In addition, the business must:

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Illinois-employment-lawyer-minCOVID-19, or coronavirus 2019, is a respiratory illness that can spread from animal to person or person to person. The virus was first identified during an outbreak in Wuhan, China. Currently, health officials are working on a vaccine for it, but that may take up to a year before it is approved. There is no doubt the virus has had a significant impact on people’s lives since it was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Here in Illinois, Governor Pritzker said he is filing emergency rules that will allow those who cannot work because they are sick with coronavirus to collect unemployment insurance benefits to the full extent permitted by federal law. This would mean employers are required to pay workers who go on sick leave due to coronavirus.

What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

It is imperative that a person who thinks they may have coronavirus seek medical attention to avoid life-threatening complications and reduce the spread of it. President Trump recently announced that he was halting air travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days. In addition, he advised citizens to stay away from large gatherings in an effort to contain the virus and avoid further cases of it.

The following upper respiratory symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

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Illinois employment lawyerEmployment law is complex and can include many different types of lawsuits, including class action and collective action lawsuits. A class action lawsuit is a single lawsuit that is taken to court to represent a group of employees who have all experienced the same alleged actions taken by the employer. A class action lawsuit is typically used when it would be impractical to take each individual case to court. Instead, an attorney or a group of attorneys is used to represent all employees who are involved in the lawsuit. Protecting yourself as a business is extremely important if you find yourself the target of a class action employment lawsuit.

What Is the Difference Between a Class Action and Collective Action Lawsuit?

These two types of lawsuits are similar to each other, though they do differ in a few ways. In a class action lawsuit, one employee can file a lawsuit for everyone who works for the same company. Once the court grants permission for the case to proceed, all of the employees included in the lawsuit will be notified of their ability to “opt-out” or not participate in the lawsuit.

In a collective action lawsuit, employees who want to participate in the lawsuit have to sign a legal document to “opt-in” or agree to participate in the suit. In a class action lawsuit, all employees are automatically considered to be part of the class unless they specifically state they do not want to be.

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Illinois employment lawyerSometimes there are situations in which an employee is unable to work because of personal health issues or those of a family member. Many people worry that taking extensive time off from work will cause them to lose their job or face repercussions when they get back to work. Fortunately, the United States government has enacted what is called the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This act helps millions of Americans get the time off they need without having to worry about unfair treatment from their employers.

What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

Enacted in 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act allows certain employees of covered employers to take unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons. Under the FMLA, it is illegal for employers to retaliate or to demote a person for taking leave covered under the act. Under certain situations, employers are permitted to require their employees to use accrued paid leave, such as sick leave or vacation.

Covered Employers and Eligible Employees

There are certain criteria employers must meet in order to be subject to the FMLA. Employers covered by the FMLA include:

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wrongful termination in Illinois, Illinois employer defense attorneyLike many states, Illinois is an “at-will” employment state. In simple terms, at-will means that, unless there is a specific agreement in place, employment may be terminated by either the employer or employee at any time, without advance notice, and for almost any reason or no reason at all. Employment contracts, employee handbooks, and verbal promises may create exceptions to an at-will arrangement, and situations may still arise in which an employee was wrongfully terminated.

According to Illinois law, it is illegal to fire an employee on the basis of certain protected characteristics. Among others, such characteristics include race, religion, gender, nationality, and disability. In order to be considered a wrongful termination, however, the employee must be completely terminated from the company. Demotions or pay decreases based on illegal discrimination are not considered under Illinois labor laws. Instead, such cases may be investigated by the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

A wrongful termination suit may also be pursued if the firing violated public policy. Retaliatory termination for whistle-blowing or filing a good faith workers’ compensation claim are examples of public policy violations. Other public policies may not be so clearly defined and may be considered based on the individual circumstances of the case.

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1051 Perimeter Drive, Suite 400
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Phone: (847) 995-1205

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