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Schaumburg small business lawyerPresident Trump signed a new stimulus bill into law just after Christmas, releasing another $900 billion in stimulus funds into the economy and preventing a government shutdown. The government would have shut down just before the new year if the President had not taken action. In addition to containing money to fund government operations, the spending package also includes emergency relief money that finances a new round of stimulus checks, unemployment aid, and small business assistance. A qualified employment attorney can help you learn how this new legislation may apply to you and your company, possibly saving your livelihood during this unprecedented time.

Financial Assistance for Struggling Businesses

The new deal from Congress will deliver approximately $900 billion in relief funds in an effort to help families and businesses struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this round of stimulus checks issued by the U.S. government, Americans will receive up to $600 per person for those earning $75,000 or less per year in addition to $600 for each minor dependent. This is similar to the country’s initial stimulus package months prior.

The relief package also includes an extension of unemployment insurance and a federal unemployment insurance bonus of $300 per week. The economic fallout due to the coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted small businesses in 2020. In response, Congress has allocated an additional $284 billion in loans for those business owners who are struggling to issue paychecks and cover their business’ rent.

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Schaumburg employment lawyerWhen you own a company, there are federal, state, and local laws you must follow in order to stay in business. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), U.S. employees have the right to receive a minimum hourly wage, in addition to “time-and-a-half” overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours within a seven-day period. It also prohibits the employment of minors in “oppressive child labor” conditions. If business owners do not adhere to these rules and regulations, then workers may file lawsuits against their employers if they can show that the company is in violation. However, the company can defend against such charges as long as they can prove they did not violate any laws. An experienced employment attorney can help employers with providing this “burden of proof” in Illinois.

Potential Violations

There are several ways that a company can be in violation of FLSA rules, such as not paying its workers at least minimum wage or classifying them as non-exempt or contractors when they should be exempt or salaried. In other cases, upper management may use harassment tactics or discriminatory language to intimidate employees into doing certain tasks. The main areas in which an employer can be sued include:

  • Wages

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Schaumburg business lawyerStarting your own business and becoming your own boss can be a dream come true for many people. Bringing your talent and creativity to fruition may allow you flexibility and financial security at the same time. As an Illinois business owner, you have several options regarding what type of company you would like to form. Important considerations include ownership, taxation, and management. Although you may have a vision of how you want your business to run, you may not be sure which business entity is the best choice. Before making this crucial decision, consult an experienced business attorney for advice on the best path for your business.

Business Structures to Fit Your Goals

Running your own business offers many perks and can enhance your work-life balance. However, building a company from the ground up can be a daunting task, with many critical factors to consider before the doors can open for business. There are four main business entities that entrepreneurs may consider, as described below:

  • Sole Proprietorship: This type of entity has one owner who may choose to use his or her own name for the company. He or she is solely responsible for the management and daily operations of the business. One benefit of sole proprietorship is that any income generated is only taxed once.

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Schaumburg business lawyerFor many high school and college students, unpaid internships are almost a necessity. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, around 61 percent of graduating college seniors had an internship, although nearly half of all internships in the United States were unpaid. Unpaid internships are highly contentious among some because many involve students doing work that actual employees would do. In 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor gave unpaid internships its blessing, with a few requirements. Business owners should be aware of these requirements to avoid violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The Primary Beneficiary Test

The primary beneficiary test is used by courts to help determine whether an intern or student is actually an employee who must be compensated for their work. The following seven factors are the criteria that courts use to make the determination:

  • The extent to which the employer and the intern understand there is no expectation of compensation;
  • Whether the internship provides training that would be similar to the training that would be given in an educational environment;
  • Whether the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program through integrated coursework or academic credit;
  • Whether the internship corresponds to the academic calendar;
  • Whether the duration of the internship lasts only as long as the internship provides beneficial learning;
  • Whether the intern’s work complements (but does not displace) the work of paid employees; and
  • The extent to which the intern and the employer understand the internship does not guarantee a paid job at the end of the internship.

Courts have stated the test is rather flexible because no two cases or internships are the same. If the test reveals an intern should actually be classified as an employee, then the intern is entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay, as per the FLSA.

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Untitled design (29)In Illinois, the minimum wage requirement is $8.25 per hour for all employees who are aged 18 years and older, and employees under the age of 18 can be paid $0.50 less than regular minimum wage. In most workplace situations, Illinois employees adhere to the minimum wage laws. However, there have been employers who have violated the minimum wage laws, and may have faced serious consequences. To effectively handle a business and its employees, there are many requirements that the employer must meet to avoid liabilities and lost money.

Wage Requirements

Depending on the employer, new employees and employees under 18 years old may be paid up to 50 cents less per hour. New employees have served their first 90 days of employment. Employees who work for tips may be paid 60 percent of the hourly minimum wage, which is $8.25 per hour in the State of Illinois. Overtime must also be paid at time and one half of the regular rate, after 40 hours of work during the week.

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

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