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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 defense attorneyBusinesses must follow certain standards and procedures in order to remain open. A class action lawsuit is a legal claim made by employees who are seeking to collectively receive compensation from an employer for the same problem. This type of case can be in response to a faulty or defective product. A collective action is a slightly different procedure used in cases under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 is a comprehensive U.S. labor law that creates the right to a minimum wage and overtime pay when employees work more than 40 hours in a week. It also prohibits the employment of minors in “oppressive child labor.” Companies must uphold these guidelines or risk incurring penalties or legal action.

Class Action

Class action lawsuits may be brought in federal court if the claim pertains to federal law or they meet specific criteria. A class action lawsuit automatically assumes an employee is a part of the affected group unless he or she “opts out.” This can be done by signing a document stating that he or she does not want to participate.

A class action lawsuit is initiated when one or more named plaintiffs file a claim against the defendant(s), all of whom suffered the same injury or damages. Once the complaint is filed, the named plaintiff(s) must file a motion for class certification. The defendants may object to the motion for class certification based on several factors.

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FLSA, Schaumburg employment law attorneyThe Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 is a United States labor law that gives workers the right to a minimum wage, as well as overtime pay when employees work more than 40 hours a week. It also prohibits employment of minors in “oppressive child labor.” When a company violates any of the FLSA regulations, employees can file a lawsuit against their employer. These violations can include wage and hour violations, such as unpaid overtime and wages that fall below minimum wage.

Even when business owners unintentionally violate the terms of FLSA, it is important they understand how to prepare for litigation to maintain their company’s good standing. If you are an Illinois business owner who is facing such allegations, an experienced attorney can help protect your business.

FLSA Infractions

In many companies, the human resources (HR) department or person is responsible for making sure management is adhering to FLSA rules. In some cases, owners or managers may not even realize that what they are or are not doing is considered a violation. In other instances, it could result from a misunderstanding or miscommunication between a supervisor and an employee.  A few examples of the most common types of FLSA violations include:

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Schaumburg employment lawyerOwning your own business and being your own boss can be very rewarding, regardless of the field of work. In the United States, there are certain rules and regulations that control how a company should operate, and these guidelines may be different depending on the industry. All companies that operate under the Fair Labor Standards Act are required to keep specific records for a designated period of time for covered, non-exempt employees. Essential documentation may include an employee’s contact information, salary, work hours, and job duties. Record keeping might seem like a basic task, but if it is not done properly, this can lead to significant consequences. An experienced employment law attorney can help a business owner avoid any civil or criminal actions that they could face.

Important Employee Information

For the majority of business owners, their companies are their livelihood. In many cases, the foundation of their success lies in their employees. Therefore, they must make sure to take care of their workers by following standards and procedures that govern their industry. According to the United States Department of Labor, employee payroll information that contains important documents about each employee in your company should be kept for at least three years. Good record keeping practices can help a company maintain a strong reputation, allowing for future growth. Some of the main aspects of employment records should include:

  • The employee’s name, address, and Social Security number
  • The employee’s dates of employment
  • The employee’s regular pay rate (salary or hourly)
  • The amount of wages paid
  • The amount of taxes taken out of an employee’s paycheck
  • The amount of overtime paid
  • The employee’s job duties

Penalties for Negligent Records Management

A comprehensive records management process can help a company operate in an efficient and effective manner. Improper records management can lead to unorganized documentation, the loss of vital information, and stressed employees and employers. If company owners fail to maintain their employment records, they may face criminal charges or civil lawsuits, depending on the circumstances. Poor record keeping can also result in the following consequences:

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Illinois employment attorney minimum wageIn the state of Illinois and throughout the United States, there are certain protections that are guaranteed to employees. Illinois has specific laws that apply to most employees regarding wages and payment. In addition, the federal government has laws that offer further protections to employees’ wages and workers’ rights to fairness in the workplace. Though not all employers are required to comply, the vast majority of employers are expected to adhere to these rules. If an employee feels as if they are not being treated fairly in regards to wages, they have the right to file a complaint with the state and/or federal government. This can spell trouble for companies, as they could face serious consequences if they are found to have knowingly violated employment laws. Here are a few Illinois wage laws that all employers should be familiar with to avoid such legal ramifications:

Minimum Wage Law

Both the state of Illinois and the federal government have laws relating to the minimum hourly wage an employee can be paid. While the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, Illinois has set its own minimum wage, which, as of January 1, 2020, is $9.25 for any worker who is at least 18 years old. If an employee is under the age of 18, the minimum wage is $8.00. The Illinois minimum wage will increase to $10.00 per hour on July 1, 2020.

Overtime Pay

Overtime hours and compensation can be a gray area for many employers and employees. Both state and federal laws specify that overtime pay is owed to any employee who works more than 40 hours in one workweek. Overtime pay must be “time-and-a-half” of the employee’s usual hourly rate. For example, if an employee’s normal hourly rate is $10.00 per hour, and they worked overtime, they would be paid $15.00 for every hour over 40 hours that they worked.

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