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Schaumburg, IL employment law lawyerTrying to balance work and family life can be a challenge for anyone, but when an employee’s family member is sick or there is a birth in the family, it can be even more daunting. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was created to mitigate some of the stresses that come with certain life circumstances. There are caveats to the FMLA, however. For example, in the private sector, the FMLA only applies to employers who have 50 or more employees. Employees must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours for that employee to be covered by the FMLA. Only specific scenarios are covered by the FMLA, and as an employer, it is important you are aware of these situations.

Birth of a Child

When an employee has a child, he or she is eligible to take leave to bond with and care for that child, no matter if the worker is the mother or the father. However, the employee must take his or her leave within 12 months after the child is born. This type of leave must be taken as a block of time (consecutive days or months) unless you as the employer agree to intermittent leave.

Placement of a Child for Adoption or Foster Care

An employee who takes leave to care for or bond with an adopted or foster child may do so before the placement occurs if the leave is necessary for the placement to proceed. This can include the employee attending counseling sessions, appearing in court, traveling to another country to complete an adoption, or consulting with his or her attorney. This type of leave also expires 12 months after the placement of the child.

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Schaumburg, IL employer defense attorneyIn the United States, several measures have been put in place in an effort to prevent discrimination of any kind in the workplace. Workplace discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee or prospective employee in a prejudicial manner because of his or her race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or other factors. These prejudices can affect hiring, firing, promotions, salary, benefits, job training, or assignments. If any employee feels like he or she has been discriminated against, he or she has the right to file a complaint and/or a lawsuit against the company, which can result in negative consequences toward the employer.

Types of Discrimination

There are many different aspects that can serve as a basis for discrimination, which is prohibited by law. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), workplace discrimination can be based on:

  • Age: Federal law and Illinois state law prohibit employers from treating employees less favorably because of their age. This law applies to employees who are age 40 or older.

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Illinois minimum wage violation lawyerFor many young Americans, working at a part-time job is an important milestone of growing up. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 20.9 million 16- to 24-year-olds who were employed in July 2018. These youths are working at jobs that range from retail to the food industry, most of which are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Among other things, the FLSA established a minimum wage rule which states that employers may not pay employees less than the current federal minimum wage. In 1996, the FLSA was amended to allow employers to pay employed youths less than the normal minimum wage, but when doing so, employers must follow certain rules.

Federal Minimum Wage Laws

The FLSA states that no employer is permitted to pay its employees less than $7.25 per hour, except if that employee is considered to be a “youth.” According to the FLSA, an employer may pay a person who is under the age of 20 a lower wage for a specific, yet limited period of time. An employer may pay a minimum wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 consecutive calendar days of that youth’s employment. After 90 days, the employer is required to pay the youth the same minimum wage as everyone else, $7.25 per hour, unless a state or local law states otherwise.

Illinois Minimum Wage Laws

In the state of Illinois, the minimum wage is currently $8.25 for workers who are over the age of 18. Workers who are under the age of 18 are permitted to be paid $0.50 less than the minimum wage, meaning they can be paid $7.75 per hour. Illinois youth minimum wage has no time limit, so youths may be paid $0.50 less until they reach the age of 18. Since the Illinois youth minimum wage is higher than the federal youth minimum wage, Illinois employers must follow Illinois law.

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business law attorneys, employment attorneys Illinois, law firms, business records lawyer, Illinois lawyersEveryone who owns a business, no matter how small or large, must diligently maintain their paperwork. It is important to keep track of items for tax purposes and much more. Decent record keeping can help you monitor the success of your business, keep track of your expenses and assets, and prepare financial statements.

While well-kept records can ensure your business remains healthy, bad record keeping can get you into trouble. Here are four ways you can make things easier for yourself and keep your records in good order:

1. Have a Good Accounting System in Place

Keeping good tax records is much easier when you implement a quality accounting system. If you want accurate tax records, you need proper accounting, and that all starts with the way your records are completed and organized. There is a plethora of accounting software out there that can make the process simple, but it may be a good idea to have an experienced accountant on the job instead.

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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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