Illinois Client Update
Legal News for Illinois Employers 
Protecting Employers for over 30 Years 
January 2018 

Sexual Harassment Liability in Illinois: Who is Putting Your Company At Risk?
By Ryan L. Young 
It is nearly impossible to glance at a current news source without seeing or hearing a story about sexual harassment. While the catalyst for this recent surge in sexual harassment stories has been the rampant harassment alleged, and at times admitted, in the entertainment industries,
sexual harassment claims continue to be a substantial source of employment litigation in the courts.

In the employment context, there are real bottom-line consequences for sexual harassment. Given its prominent position in the public consciousness, it's an opportune time to look at sexual harassment liability in Illinois and, more importantly, if there is anyone who could be putting your company at risk for this liability.

This determination is best accomplished by first dividing individuals into two separate groups based on the different types of sexual harassment liability to which they can subject the company.

Questions? Contact Attorney Ryan Young in our Chicago office at (312) 629-9300 or by email at
Three New Laws Affecting Employers Became Effective January 1, 2018
By Joseph H. Laverty

I. Illinois Amends State Genetic Information Privacy Act
Illinois has amended the state Genetic Information Privacy Act (GIPA).

Amended Law
Under the amendment, an employer is prohibited from penalizing an employee who does not disclose his or her genetic information or does not choose to participate in a program requiring disclosure of the employee's genetic information. Under existing law, employers are generally prohibited from using genetic information or genetic testing in furtherance of a workplace wellness program benefiting employees, unless certain conditions are met.
Questions? Contact Attorney Joe Laverty at (563) 333-9102 or by email at
The NLRB Erases Unfair and Arbitrary Policy Standard
By Tyler J. Bohman

In December 2017, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a new decision which should help employers more easily determine if their handbook policies are legal under the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"). The NLRB delivered a new standard, via December's Boeing Company decision [365 NLRB No. 154 (Dec. 14, 2017)], by which the NLRB will test the legality of workplace policies. This decision is substantial for both union and non-union workplaces as the NLRB has been expanding its enforcement of handbook policies at non-union companies.

Questions? Contact Attorney Tyler Bohman at (312) 629-9300 or by email at
Our Popular Breakfast Seminar - in a New Location!
Firing Without Fear!
When : Friday, February 23, 2018, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Where : Hampton Inn (Quad City Airport), Illini/Hawkeye Room, 2450 69th Ave, Moline, IL 61265
Presented by : Dick Wessels, Nancy Joerg, Joe Laverty and Tony Caruso  
Cost: $100, which includes breakfast and handouts 
Join highly experienced Wessels Sherman employment lawyers Dick Wessels, Nancy Joerg, Joe Laverty and Tony Caruso for a special in-person breakfast seminar. Many exciting raffle prizes too!
Employers, attorneys, supervisors, accountants and members of company management will gain valuable information and strategies on how to fire employees and dramatically minimize the risk (and expense) of a lawsuit.  
Some of the areas the speakers will cover include:
  • Employment at will. How you fire, what specific words you say when you fire, how much latitude employers have, the strategy of saying the decision is final. What should (and should not) occur in the termination meeting.
  • How to strategically terminate if the employee is high risk in any way due to age, sickness, workers' comp pregnancy, out of FMLA, whistleblower, race, disability, etc.
  • Use of documentation and discipline - what (and what not) to write and do!
  • When is the use of release and settlement agreements appropriate? What should you do (and not do) in a release. Tricky situations such as group terminations and employees over the age of 40. Can you ensure that the employee won't file for unemployment? How do you fire and also win at misconduct hearings.
Nancy Joerg named to the 2018 Illinois Super Lawyers List   
We are very proud to announce that Nancy E. Joerg, Senior Attorney and Managing Shareholder of the St. Charles office of Wessels Sherman Joerg Liszka Laverty Seneczko, has been selected for a fourth year to the Illinois Super Lawyers list. This is an exclusive list, recognizing no more than five percent of attorneys in Illinois.
Super Lawyers is a peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The objective of Super Lawyers is to create a credible listing of exceptional attorneys.
Please join us in congratulating Nancy Joerg on this very significant honor.

Employment Law Questions?
Sign up for Wessels Sherman's Very Popular Telephone Program

We can help you solve these workplace issues and many more:
  • Employee coming in late?
  • ACA/ADA/FMLA questions?
  • Can I deduct the cost for a uniform from employee pay?
  • What new employee paperwork do I need?
  • Accident at work?
  • Do all these new laws apply to my company?
  • Can I fire an employee and not be sued?
  • Does our privacy policy cover internet use?
  • Can my employees Tweet that?
  • Employees sharing confidential information?  
For only $75 a month you will have unlimited access to Wessels Sherman attorneys who can answer these and other employment law questions. Call for a "free trial" of a month or more!  
Contact us to learn more or to sign up.
Upcoming Seminars and Teleseminars
How to Handle an Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) Audit
Teleseminar: Thursday, February 15, 2018, 2-3 pm

Firing Without Fear: Top Strategies to Protect Employers!!  In Person Breakfast Seminar: Friday, February 24, 2018, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., Hampton Inn (Quad City Airport), Illini/Hawkeye Room, 2450 69th Ave, Moline, IL 61265

Visit our website to view upcoming seminars & teleseminars
Wessels Sherman has well-staffed offices with experienced attorneys to assist with our readers' legal needs in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa too. Businesses with operations/matters in these states are encouraged to call any of our attorneys for assistance. Additionally, Wessels Sherman attorneys regularly work with other lawyers as a highly cost-effective and trusted co-counsel and local counsel. Referrals are always appreciated and respected. 
Nancy E. Joerg, Esq.

Sean F. Darke, Esq.