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

Voting Regulations
By Walter J. Liszka

With the hotly contested Mid-Term Elections that are coming up on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, all Employers in the State of Illinois should be aware of their obligations with regard to their employees, both with regard to actual voting and with regard to their employees serving as an Election Judge or Precinct Official.


In the State of Illinois, Employers must allow Employees two (2) hours off work between the time of the opening and closing of polls to vote, provided the Employees' request leave before Election Day. This two (2) hours of time off applies only if an Employee's working hours begin less than two (2) hours after the opening of the polls and end less than two (2) hours before the closing of polls. Employers may specify the hours that an individual can be absent. Employers are also prohibited from imposing any penalties on Employees for taking time off to vote.

Questions? Contact Attorney Walter Liszka in our Chicago office at (312) 629-9300 or by email at
New Illinois Expense Reimbursement Law 
By Joseph H. Laverty 

Placing new legal burdens on employers in Illinois, on August 26, 2018, Governor Rauner signed into law an amendment to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA), requiring employers to reimburse their employees for all expenses within the scope of "necessary expenditures incurred by the employee within the employee's scope of employment and directly related to services performed for the employer." The statute defines "necessary expenditures" as all reasonable expenditures required of the employee in the discharge of employment duties and that inure to the primary benefit of the employer.

The new law (820 ILCS 115/9.5) goes into effect on January 1, 2019. Happily for employers, the new law specifically states that an employer is not responsible for specific expenses due to:
  1. an employee's own negligence;
  2.  normal wear and tear; and
  3. theft unless the theft was a result of the employer's negligence.

Questions? Contact Attorney Joe Laverty in our Davenport office at (563) 333-9102 or by email at
Resignation or Discharge?!?!: How the Illinois Department of Employment Security Actually Evaluates this Question
By Nancy E. Joerg

Many times clients/employers struggle over whether they should graciously offer the option of resigning to an employee whom they actually wish to fire. The client/employer reasons that the fired employee might prefer to tell "the world" that he himself has resigned from his job, rather than admitting that he was fired. But the client/employer sometimes worries that offering this option of resigning may have some adverse legal impact for the employer/company.

NO LEGAL DISADVANTAGE TO PERMITTING A RESIGNATION: There is usually no legal disadvantage (except under unusual circumstances) to permitting an employee to resign. Then he can tell people in his life (and any future employers) that it was his idea to resign--he is simply "looking for other opportunities" and that is why he left his prior job.

Questions? Contact Attorney Nancy Joerg in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email at
What Policies Should A Company Have in Their Employee Handbook?
By Anthony J. Caruso, Jr. 

An employee handbook provides valuable communication between employer and employee as to the rights and responsibilities of each party. It is the basis for the terms and conditions of the relationship.

What types of policies should be in the employee handbook for Illinois employers?

Below is a list of examples:
  • Employment Relationship Policy
  • Discrimination/Harassment/Violence/Bullying Policies
  • Compensation and Benefits Policies
  • Leave of Absence Policies
  • Reasonable Accommodation Policies
  • Policies Regarding Employee Conduct
  • Confidentiality Policies
  • Social Media Policies
What specific elements and specific policies should be included in the employee handbook for Illinois employers?

Under federal law, if you have 50 or more employees and have an employee handbook, your company is legally required to have the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act as a policy in the handbook.

Also, under federal and state law, employers with government contracts in excess of certain amounts are required to have an anti-harassment policy in their handbook.

I invite you to attend our upcoming teleseminar to get more information about what employee handbook policies are legally required in Illinois. See below for more details.

Questions? Contact Attorney Tony Caruso in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email at
  Presented   by Attorneys 

Teleseminar: Employee Handbooks for Illinois Employers.  What Policies to Include (and Why)!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 2:00 - 3:00 pm

Have you ever wondered if your employee handbook is
really up to date and complete? Are you in the process of re-writing your handbook and you're not sure what you should, or should not, include? This teleseminar is for you and will cover:
  • The true purpose of a handbook?
  • What specific language Illinois employers should and shouldn't use?
  • Which exact policies Illinois employers should include and what to leave out?
  • How to strategically cover employee benefits?
  • What should employee handbooks say regarding pay raises and performance reviews?
All registrants will receive a free copy of the WESSELS SHERMAN MODEL EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK FOR ILLINOIS EMPLOYERS especially created for Illinois employers. It contains effective and up-to-date workplace policies to help you avoid costly lawsuits!

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.
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.