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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Illinois business law attorneyStarting a business as a partnership can be highly beneficial for all parties involved. Unfortunately, there are also some potential pitfalls. Some of these negative situations are so detrimental, they could place the business at risk of failure, extreme financial loss, or litigation. Then there are situations that can place partners at risk for bankruptcy and/or criminal penalties. Learn how effective planning can reduce your risk of such negative effects in your business venture.

The Why and How of Partnership Conflicts

Partners often start out as family members, friends, or colleagues who share a passion or idea. Fueled by little more than hopes and dreams, they may fail to consider that it takes more than passion to succeed in the business world. They may not examine aspects like differing work ethics, money management, or leadership styles. This lack of consideration and communication can ultimately lead to anger, frustration, and unmet expectations.

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Illinois State Bar Association LawyerCentral.com

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

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