Jay Shattuck | Executive Director, Employment Law Council | 217-544-6590


The mission of the Employment Law Council is to effectively represent Illinois employers on employment law issues such as workers compensation, unemployment insurance, employment discrimination, workplace mandates and other management/employee issues. We advocate public policy actions that advance the interests and viewpoints of employers, and to assist in creating a political climate conducive to improving Illinois' ability to create and retain jobs.
The Council accomplishes its mission with the involvement of hundreds of employers who participate in our three committees: Workers' Compensation; Employment Law & Litigation; and Unemployment Insurance.  Through the efforts of these committees we develop policies and strategies that are implemented by the Council and Illinois Chamber staff.
Illinois Provides Guidance for Lost Wages Assistance Program

On Aug. 8, 2020, President Trump made available up to $44 billion from FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to Americans who have lost wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FEMA has approved Illinois for a FEMA grant under the Lost Wages Assistance program. FEMA's grant funding will allow Illinois to provide $300 per week -- on top of their regular unemployment benefit -- to those unemployed due to COVID-19. FEMA is working with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) to implement a system to make this funding available to Illinois residents.

Payments under the Illinois Lost Wages Assistance program will start flowing this week, September 6, 2020. The first three weeks of benefits are secured, and IDES has applied for week 4. They are actively working on applications for later weeks.
For more information on the Illinois program, please feel free to contact me.

Progressive Tax Issue...How you can help to Defeat it!

One of the more critical issues that Illinois voters will be voting on this fall is whether Illinois should shift its income tax from a flat tax to a progressive tax. Election day is approximately 50 days away with early voting starting the end of September.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is working with a statewide coalition of business organizations that is educating voters on the dangers of the progressive tax amendment on this November's ballot. As you know, the progressive tax would especially hurt business owners, who could see their state income taxes rise more than 60% if the amendment passes. You can read more about our efforts at:

If you are interested in how you can help defeat the progressive tax question, here are a couple of suggestions:

1. The centerpiece of our project involves interviewing small business owners to showcase how they would be impacted personally-and how their employees would be impacted-by such a huge tax increase. Right now, the supporters of the tax increase are saying only "the rich" would have to pay more. We know that's not the case, we all will have to pay higher taxes because Springfield politicians will just keep coming for more and more of our hard-earned money. We believe you have a compelling story to tell about how you've built your business, the sacrifices you've made, how you're taken care of your employees like family, and how government has made it harder every step of the way. We'd like to help you tell your story. If you are you willing to get on the phone with our expert storytellers for 10-15 minutes to discuss this in the near future, please contact me as soon as possible. You can view the produced stories on the Facebook site provided above.
2. An action plan for small business owners suggesting a number of ways you can make an impact. Gov. Pritzker has put $50 million into passing this question. We don't need $50 million to defeat it but we do need your help at the grassroots level to get the message out. Contact me if you would like a copy of this plan.
3. Share Coalition social media posts with your employees, family, and friends.
4. Sponsor a presentation to learn more about the progressive tax. The Coalition has trained speakers who are ready, willing and able to educate your employees. Whether it's a lunch-and-learn in an employee lunchroom or a larger digital event with multiple participants, and let us know where the Coalition can help by providing trained speakers.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

U.S. DOL Posts New FAQS on Eligibility for Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act as Schools Reopen
On Aug. 27, the DOL's Wage and Hour Division published three new frequently asked questions for workers and employers about qualifying for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act related to the reopening of schools.
The FAQs address whether employees qualify for paid leave when:

Federal Court Strikes Down Key Parts of 2020 USDOL Joint Employer Rule:
On Sept. 8, a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York judge ruled that parts of the U.S. Department of Labor's joint employer final rule, which was issued on Jan. 16, 2020, are illegal. The Employment Law Council supported  the 2020 joint employer final rule, which promised to make the joint employment test more narrow and focused when it went into effect on March 16. 

Annual WC Conference Goes Virtual
The 14th Annual Workers' Compensation & Safety Conference set for November 4th is being held virtual this year. The 8:30 am to noon program features John Ruser, President & CEO of the Workers' Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) and Michael Brennan, Chairman of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission.
The program also will include the following breakout sessions:
Advances in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Presented by Dr. Andrew Zelby and Dave Rusch, Vice President of Business Service Development, Ovation Hand Institute;
Medical Marijuana in the Workplace - Presented by AJ Sheehan, MVP Law
The Covid-19 Rebuttable Presumption - What is it and What Does it Mean for You? - Presented by Peter Stavropoulos, Brady Connolly and Masuda
2020 Workers Compensation Case Law Update - Presented by Shawn Biery and John Campbell, Keefe Campbell Biery & Associates
Snakes, Leaches, and Tobacco Enemas - The Case for Evidence-Based Medical Treatment Guidelines - Presented by Patrick Robinson, Vice President, Government Affairs, ODG, an MCG Health Company
OSHA Updates for 2020 and Beyond - Presented by Matthew Horn, SmithAmundsen LLC
For more information and to register:

Please contact Laurie Silvey if you have any questions at 217-522-5512 ext 223 or lsilvey@ilchamber.org

For more information and to register: 

Chamber Webinar - Bankruptcy and Alternatives for Business Owners:Timely Action to Take Now with Your Bank and Landlord 

September 30,2020
1:30 pm to 3:00 pm 

These are challenging times and many business owners are wondering whether they will have the cash flow to sustain their businesses. Join Eric Fogel, Mike Cortina, and Bill Hackney for a 90-minute webinar, designed to answer questions for business owners who are contemplating the "what if" scenarios of bankruptcy, restructuring, assignments for the benefit of creditors, and how to deal with looming bank debt and landlord issues.

Discussion will Include:
1. If you are experiencing financial distress, what you need to do right now.
2. My landlord is pressing me for back rent, what do I do now?
3. My bank is pressing me for repayment, new personal guarantees, forbearance agreements, what do I do now?
4. What are alternatives to bankruptcy, such as assignment for the benefit of creditors?
5. The fundamentals of the bankruptcy process and whether it is right for your business.
The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A.

For more information and to register:

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Information on 2020 Meetings & Events will be forthcoming.  

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