Cook County employment lawyerA typical workweek for employees in the United States consists of 40 hours. However, many workers actually spend more time performing their jobs. For jobs that are paid on an hourly basis, anything over 40 hours is usually considered overtime. Although many salaried (exempt) workers work 50-60 hours a week, they may not be eligible for overtime pay depending on their company or employment contract. The Illinois Overtime law (called the Illinois Minimum Wage Law) mirrors the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in many ways. Similar to the FLSA, the Illinois overtime law requires that non-exempt employees receive overtime pay equal to 1.5 times their regular hourly pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week. With so many employees working remotely now in response to the COVID-19 health crisis, it may be difficult to track employees’ hours regarding overtime if they are working from home.

Keeping Track of Hours Online

Since remote employees are generally entitled to the same legal protections that on-site workers have, working remotely can present unique challenges that should be addressed to ensure a company is legally compliant. Employers have certain obligations regarding employees’ hours and wages for overtime pay. As a business owner, accurate record-keeping is imperative. Detailed reporting ensures that management and workers are following proper procedures and company policies.

Businesses throughout the country, including Illinois companies, have implemented remote-work arrangements for their employees due to the coronavirus outbreak. In many cases, this is the first time a company may have allowed its employees to work from home. Essential businesses have remained open during the pandemic, such as banks, grocery stores, and hospitals. Non-essential businesses were temporarily closed, including service industries like hair and nail salons, gyms, and fitness centers. These companies had to pause operations since those workers cannot do their jobs from home. On the other hand, office workers in the business field who do the majority of their work on a computer can perform their duties remotely as long as they have a computer and an Internet connection.

Many hourly workers punch in and out so their employer knows the exact hours they work. However, if the “time clock” is at the office or warehouse and now employees are working from home, how are hours recorded? Employers should specify guidelines and expectations for those who are now working outside of the office. In some cases, a software program can monitor a worker’s time online. Other companies might require timesheets to be completed by each employee using Google docs or Microsoft Excel.

Any new work-from-home policy should outline how non-salaried telecommuting employees can accurately record their hours worked. In certain situations, those hours that are worked in excess of those scheduled per workweek may need the advanced approval of a supervisor. However, even if employees are instructed not to work more than 40 hours a week, they still must be paid overtime if they do.

Contact an Illinois Employment Defense Attorney

As an Illinois employer, you are legally responsible for adhering to federal wage and overtime pay laws. At the experienced Miller Law Firm, P.C., we provide effective employment defense representation to small and mid-size businesses. Attorney Richard J. Miller knows how to successfully resolve your legal concerns about wage violations. Our knowledgeable Schaumburg, IL employment lawyers will help defend your rights and preserve your company’s reputation. Call our office today at 847-995-1205 to schedule your free consultation.

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/faqs/pages/minimum-wage-overtime-faq.aspx

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/flsa

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Schaumburg business contract dispute lawyerA contract is defined as a legally binding agreement that recognizes and governs the rights and duties of those involved, whether it be two or more parties. An agreement typically involves the exchange of goods, services, money, or the promise of doing so later on. In today’s business world, contract disputes are fairly common, regardless of the industry. When an agreement is drafted and signed, this binds the parties together for a period of time. However, when one party deviates from the terms of the agreement, this is known as a breach of contract. Employees usually have to sign a contract before starting work with a company. This can also apply to freelancers or independent contractors.

Breach of Contract

Contract disputes typically arise as a result of one party not abiding by the terms of the contract. This can occur when a person does not perform his or her obligations or fails to comply with the rules in the agreement. In some cases, the legal agreement may have left out important information that causes a dispute. In other situations, a person may falsely represent his or her qualifications for a job or project.

Another major reason for breach of contract stems from the interpretation of the terms between the parties. When two parties disagree about the meaning of their respective responsibilities, that can cause problems. If an individual does not uphold his or her obligations outlined in the contract, the other party can file a lawsuit under the claim of a breach of contract.

Below are a few of the main causes of a contractual dispute:

  • Non-compliance

  • Contractual error or omission

  • Failure to administer correctly

  • Negligence

  • Fraud

  • Breach of duty

Contact a Schaumburg, IL Employment Contract Dispute Lawyer

Disputes are a part of life, including in business dealings. If you are a business owner, and you are facing a contract dispute, you need a skilled Illinois contract litigation attorney to build an aggressive defense on your behalf. At the Miller Law Firm, P.C., we represent small and mid-size businesses throughout northern Illinois. If you are concerned about any type of contractual dispute, we can help you reach a resolution that will protect your company’s interests. Call us today at 847-995-1205 to schedule your free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K33E-2

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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:

  • Be located outside of Chicago city limits.

  • Have fewer than 50 employees.

  • Have earnings/profit of less than $3 million in 2019.

  • Have experienced at least a 25 percent decrease in revenue because of the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Be located in Illinois and show proof of an Illinois business address and a valid license from a state jurisdiction.

  • Provide bank statements from October 2019 up to the most recent tax returns.

How Do Business Owners Apply?

DCEO is partnering with various lending institutions to offer access to the Small Business Emergency Loan Fund in areas throughout the state. Since the demand is high for this form of assistance, it is recommended that business owners reach out to lenders according to their location within Illinois. Once a loan application is submitted, the lender will review it, but due to the sheer volume of applicants, it may take some time to process the application. In addition, the state is hoping to add additional lenders to the program. It is important to note that owners will not have to begin making payments on the loan for six months. They will then make fixed payments at a low-interest rate for the remainder of a five-year term.

What Can the Loan Be Used For?

Loan funds must be used for working capital, with a promise to hire or retain a minimum of 50 percent of a workforce for six months. At least 50 percent of loan proceeds must be applied towards payroll or other types of compensation, such as salaries, wages, tips, healthcare benefits, and paid leave. This excludes compensation that is more than $100,000.

Contact an Illinois Employment Law Attorney

States across the country are working to secure access to financial resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Established in 2007, the Miller Law Firm, P.C. provides comprehensive representation for complex legal matters. Our seasoned Schaumburg employer defense lawyer will protect your rights as an Illinois business owner. Attorney Richard J. Miller possesses a thorough understanding of corporate policies and procedures after years of experience working as a finance executive. To schedule your free consultation, call our office today at 847-995-1205.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/IllinoisSmallBusinessEmergencyLoanFund.aspx

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