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

Is the Prevailing Wage Act Back? Sort of.  
By Ryan L. Young

Almost two years ago, I authored an article asking whether the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act was under attack (given the Illinois Department of Labor's (IDOL) lack of prevailing wage enforcement under the Rauner administration). As you may recall from my previous articles, the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act requires employers to pay the prevailing wage rate to employees employed in any public works.

For years, I defended many construction industry clients against IDOL investigations. With the election of Governor Rauner, a new administration implemented an agenda that did not include prevailing wage enforcement (and such investigations tapered off and ultimately stopped).

Then, the IDOL started sending out surveys to companies that had performed prevailing wage work in the past, asking what each company pays its workers for prevailing wage and non-prevailing wage work.
Questions? Contact Attorney Ryan Young at (312) 629-9300 or by email at
FMLA and Substance Abuse   
By Walter J. Liszka

Substance abuse (whether it be related to alcohol or drug use) is a potentially serious workplace issue that can quickly become extremely complicated. It is very important for all Employers to keep in mind that substance abuse can, in and of itself, be considered as a serious health condition and as such, may come under coverage of the Family Medical Leave Act and allow the Employee to be qualified for FMLA Leave.

Substance abuse issues and FMLA Leave must be viewed in the context that FMLA Leave for substance abuse will only occur when the individual is
receiving treatment for substance abuse as provided and administered by a healthcare provider. Since FMLA Approved Leave is for treatment only, an Employer need not tolerate or excuse absences not covered by FMLA Leave because of an Employee's use of a substance. While an Employer may not take action against an Employee because they are exercising their FMLA rights, an Employer has the right to take employment action for substance abuse assuming that an Employer has an established policy that is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner and has been communicated to all Employees that establishes that substance abuse (the use of the alcohol and/or drugs that affect the workplace) may be grounds for termination.
Questions? Contact Attorney Walter Liszka at (312) 629-9300 or by email at
Help! I Just Found Out I Am Going To Be Audited By The IDES! 

What Should Our Company Do?!  
  By Nancy E. Joerg

As an attorney who has been helping Illinois companies with these kinds of sudden IDES audit notices for the last 30 years, I am well aware of the panic that often sets in when an Illinois company opens a letter from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), and it is a NOTICE OF IDES AUDIT.

The Notice of Audit letter is often the very first notification that the Company has that it is going to be audited by the IDES (the Illinois state agency that handles unemployment insurance claims, employer taxes called contributions, and unemployment insurance hearings).

The Notice of Audit letter introduces the audit by saying there is no suggestion of fault against the company to be audited. However, most Illinois companies are understandably upset and anxious when they find out they have been selected for audit.

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

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Nancy E. Joerg, Esq.