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Posted on in Employee Rights

Schaumburg employment law attorneyEvery state has their own laws regarding rest periods and meal breaks for its workers; Illinois is no exception. Unfortunately, small and new business owners may not be aware of these requirements. Learn more about mandatory rest breaks for employees, including what potential actions you could face for noncompliance, with help from the following information.

Rest Break Requirements

Many states have mandated rest breaks for their employees, but Illinois is not one of them. Keep in mind that rest breaks are different from meal periods; rest periods generally last only 10 to 15 minutes (depending on state law and employer preference). Meal periods are longer, and they are required under Illinois state law.


Illinois employment law attorneyWatching your company go from a little-known business to booming can be exciting. It can also be a little anxiety-inducing. You need someone to help you fill orders, stock product, or make deliveries. Or maybe you need someone to set up a website or manage your social media page. Unfortunately, you may not be able to hire an employee just yet. Perhaps you cannot afford to pay someone for regular, part-time hours, or maybe you are not set up yet for income tax withholding. Whatever the situation, an independent contractor could be the answer. How can you tell? The following information may help.

What is an Independent Contractor?

In its simplest definition, an independent contractor is someone that works for themselves, not your company. You are not responsible for paying their taxes, you do not have to provide health insurance or carry workers’ compensation to cover them, and you are not liable for their actions while they are working (note that there may be exceptions here). You simply pay them for the work they have done and, if necessary and desired, continue to do so. Then, come tax time, you file the appropriate form to show that you paid a contractor for work.


Illinois employment law attorneyBusinesses often incorporate a “chain of command” to ensure everything remains in working order, but there is a thin line between this and the whistleblower protections under state law. How do you avoid crossing the line? What more do you need to know about whistleblower protections to ensure you do not violate the law? The following explains.

District 60, a Cautionary Tale

In July of 2017, District 60 sent a letter to its maintenance and custodial staff, advising them to follow the chain of command or face disciplinary action; this was not the issue with the letter. Instead, the concern was over some of the examples provided by the district. Some of the acts, such as purchasing luxury furniture (possible embezzlement of funds) are illegal, and Illinois state law protects employees who report or refuse to participate in illegal acts.


Illinois employment law attorneysState and federal laws require that most employers have anti-sexual harassment and anti-discrimination policies in place. Even when not required by law, it is a good idea to have these policies. They can create the sense of a safe work environment, and they can also help ensure compliance with state and federal harassment and discrimination laws. Learn how to develop an anti-discrimination policy for your small business, and where you can find assistance with help from the following information.

Anti-Discrimination Policies

An anti-discrimination policy is meant to communicate the employer’s obligations to the employee. These policies typically include verbiage that lets employees and potential employees know that decisions regarding employment offers, raises, and promotions are not made based on an employee’s gender, religion, marital status, national origin, or sexual orientation. Keep in mind that each state has its own requirements regarding anti-discrimination language. An experienced business law attorney can help you develop your anti-discrimination policy to ensure proper compliance with both state and federal laws.


Illinois employment law attorneysSmall businesses – especially the ones that are just starting out – must be mindful of their budget. Unfortunately, many are not quite prepared for the wide range of expenses and legal complexities. Workers’ compensation insurance. Taxes. The list goes on and on. Let one area slip, and the company could face penalties. One example is when companies fail to comply with Illinois’ minimum wage laws. Before you hire an employee, take the time to understand the law and what compliance looks like under it.

Minimum Wage Law Basics

A recently proposed bill may begin a transition to $15 an hour, but right now, employers are only required to meet the current minimum wage of $8.25 per hour. Paying employees any lower than this amount is considered a violation of the minimum wage law. Unfortunately, paying that amount does not necessarily keep your company out of trouble; there are other, more complex laws to account for as well.


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