Illinois Client Update
Legal News for Illinois Employers 
Protecting Employers for over 30 Years 
January 2019 

Northern Illinois Labor Unions
By Richard H. Wessels

In the course of our labor practice over the past 34 years, we have become intimately familiar with the various Northern Illinois labor unions. We have dealt with all of them. Naturally, most of these local unions are congregated in the metro Chicago area. The six country area is one of the few remaining areas in the U.S. where unions have significant strength. As we have chronicled in our reports to you over the years, union strength in the private sector is waning dramatically. However, Northern Illinois remains somewhat of an exception and, although membership numbers are declining, labor organizations still have power, at least by comparison to other areas of the country. There is particular truth to this in the construction industry. Below is a short commentary on the most important Northern Illinois labor unions.

Questions? Contact Attorney Richard Wessels in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email at

Nancy Joerg named to the 2019 
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 fifth 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.

Clients are increasingly aware of the growing number of class action lawsuits across the United States. What should the worried company owner do? The logical response is to have independent contractors (or employees) sign a contract under which they agree to mandatory arbitration of all disputes, claims or causes of action arising out of or related to the independent contractor (or employment) relationship with the Company.
CLASS ACTION WAIVER INCLUDED IN ARBITRATION AGREEMENT : When an independent contractor or employee signs a mandatory Arbitration Agreement which also contains a "class action waiver," they also (by signing the Agreement) give up their constitutional right to have a trial by jury. They are giving up their right to go to court in order to settle disputes or to participate in a class action lawsuit.

Questions? Contact Attorney Nancy Joerg in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email at
Legislative Update: Key Changes to the Illinois Human Rights Act
By Anthony J. Caruso, Jr. 

On June 8, 2018 and August 24, 2018 respectively, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law a number of amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act which in the State of Illinois regulates discrimination claims due to a protected category, disability or sexual harassment claims.

New Employee Rights
  • The time to file a charge before the Illinois Human Rights Department (IDHR) increased from 180 days to 300 days.
  • Employees have the right to opt out of the investigation process at the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) and sue in state court. The request for opt-out must be made within 60 days from notice by the IDHR and the IDHR has 10 business days to issue the notice of the right to sue.
New Employer Requirements

Employers must post the Illinois Department of Human Rights Sexual Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace poster. Click  here to download a copy of the poster.

Questions? Contact Attorney Tony Caruso in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email at
Illinois Health Care Violence Protection Act
By Walter J. Liszka 

Illinois is joining a growing number of States (e.g. California; Connecticut; Minnesota; New Jersey, and New York) in enacting specific legislation designated to address workplace violence in the Healthcare Industry. Effective January 1, 2019, the Health Care Violence Prevention Act (210 ILCS 160/1, et seq.) has become effective in the State of Illinois and mandates that hospitals and other healthcare providers and "custodial agencies" comply with very specific requirements aimed at protecting their workers from violence.

Healthcare providers must post a notice stating that verbal aggression will not be tolerated and that physical assaults must be reported to law enforcement. Healthcare providers will be required to implement a Workplace Violence-Prevention Program in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines for preventing workplace violence for healthcare and social services workers. The program must include the four (4) classifications of workplace violence as set forth in the Act:

Questions? Contact Attorney Walter Liszka in our Chicago office at (312) 629-9300 or by email at

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

Teleseminar: Thursday, September 12, 2019, 2-3 pm

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.