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

Pro-Business Majority Now in Control at NLRB
By Richard H. Wessels 
Good news for business! On April 11, 2018, the US Senate confirmed Morgan Lewis & Bockius attorney John Ring to fill the National Labor Relations Board's only remaining vacancy. With this confirmation, the NLRB will be at full strength with a 3-2 pro-business majority. This clears the way for the Trump administration appointees to resume their pro-business agenda.

The new pro-business NLRB majority has a long list of Obama-era pro-labor policies to overturn, including the pro-labor ruling letting workers use company e-mail systems for union business and a series of pro-labor decisions limiting the rules employers can impose on their employees. The latter amounted to an attack on employer policies and procedures as contained in employee handbooks.

Equally as important has been the arrival on the scene of the new General Counsel, Peter Robb. Robb who became General Counsel in November, 2017 has been under fire from NLRB employee unions and the NLRB's national staff over Robb's proposal to cut costs by demoting the NLRB's regional directors and subjecting them to new layers of oversight.

Questions? Contact Attorney Richard Wessels in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email at
On the Lighter Side
Dick Wessels' Client Visits and Restaurant Tips
By Nancy Joerg

Client visits: You may have heard that our firm's founder, Dick Wessels, since 1985 has had a practice of paying a short visit to clients and friends of Wessels Sherman. His deep conviction is that it is important to actually visit the place of business to get a feel of what they are all about. Dick has never wavered in this belief. He knows how busy managers are so he never stays longer than 10 minutes. Dick regularly says he will leave mid-sentence if it goes into the 11 th minute.

If you are up for a 10 minute visit from Dick, send me a message at, and I will arrange it.

Restaurant tips: Because of his years of such Chicago area travels, Dick has a list of his top quick places for lunch. The list is skewed to the western suburbs because his principal office is in St. Charles. The list is entitled RHW's All-Star List of Truly Local Lunch Establishments in the Western Suburbs. (Focus is on a good quick lunch at a venue that has character/history) . It has pictures and his personal commentary. If you would like a copy of his list, e-mail me at

Dick hopes you will enjoy his list, and he hopes to pay you a ten minute visit soon!
A 2018 Update For Illinois Trucking Companies Who Use Independent Contractors: Another Look At Owner-Operators! 
By Nancy E. Joerg

The purpose of this article is to update readers on what has been happening recently with Illinois Department of Employment Security ("IDES") Hearings (and IDES audits) regarding the classification of owner-operator truck drivers (i.e., are they independent contractors or misclassified employees for purposes of Section 212.1?).

SECTION 212.1 : Many readers will know that the IDES evaluates (at time of IDES audit or at time of an IDES benefits claim by a driver) whether a truck driver is a true owner-operator or a misclassified employee by applying Section 212.1 of the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act.

Many IDES audits in 2018 occur on a purely random basis, and the trucking company is usually surprised to receive the Notice of Audit in the mail. Unless the Illinois trucking company being audited passes all six parts of Section 212.1 for a particular independent contractor owner-operator, the IDES auditor will reclassify that particular owner-operator to employee status.

Questions? Contact Attorney Nancy Joerg at (630) 377-1554 or by email at
Is Your Company Covered Under the Family and Medical Leave Act?

Did you Count Temp and Part-Time Employees?

By Anthony J. Caruso, Jr.

If you are a Company covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees are entitled to leave (either consecutive or intermittent) of up to 12 work weeks of leave in a 12 month period under certain circumstances. PLUS the Company must continue to pay the employer's share of the employee's individual group health insurance premiums during the leave. These entitlements can be very disruptive and costly to an employer. So, is your Company covered?? Does your Company have to have and follow an FMLA policy?

Under federal law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, a private employer is covered if it maintained 50 or more employees (full or part time) on the payroll during 20 or more calendar work weeks (not necessarily consecutive work weeks) in either the current or the preceding calendar year. If you have fewer employees than this, your Company does not have to have an FMLA policy.
Questions? Contact Attorney Tony Caruso at (630) 377-1554 or by email at
The Cutting Edge - Critical Employment Issues

Wessels Sherman is pleased to announce that the Illinois location for our upcoming three-state seminar tour will be conveniently located in Elk Grove Village on Wednesday, May 23 from 8:30 - 12:00!
This hard-hitting, half-day seminar will feature presentations from three of our firm's most experienced litigators, who will identify key issues that pose huge risks of potential liability to employers, and provide practical advice and solutions on how to stay out of the cross-hairs of government officials and plaintiffs' lawyers.

James B. Sherman Jim Sherman from our Minneapolis office will discuss Key Developments and How to Cope - a summary of critical legal developments that will affect employers in 2018.

Jennifer Murphy from our St. Charles office will cover Bracing for "Me too" - you may not be in Hollywood, but drama could be right around the corner.

Seneczko, Alan Al Seneczko from our Oconomowoc office will present Class Action Litigation - Could you be next? - Learn how simple incorrect employment policies could be putting your business at risk.

This is a don't miss seminar with some of the hottest topics of the day.  Click here for more information or to register. Hope to see you there.

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, May 10, 2018, 2-3 pm

The Cutting Edge - Critical Employment Issues
  • Friday, May 18, 2018 - Minnesota
    (Marriott Minneapolis Airport, Mall of America, Minneapolis, MN)
  • Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - Illinois
    (Belvedere Events & Banquets, Elk Grove Village, IL)
  • Thursday, May 24, 2018 - Wisconsin
    (Hilton Garden Inn, Oconomowoc, WI)
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.