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

Workplace Accommodation - Nursing Mothers
By Walter J. Liszka

In 2001, specifically July 12, 2001, the State of Illinois put in place legislation dealing with Nursing Mothers in the Workplace (820 ILCS 260/1, et seq.). This legislation required Employers, who had six (6) or more employees, to allow nursing mothers "reasonable unpaid break time each day" to express breast milk for their infant children. The Law also required that to provide this opportunity for nursing mothers, the Employer had to make "reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where the employee could express her milk in privacy." (820 ILCS 260/15)

Recently, Governor Rauner signed some amendments to the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act, which expands the obligations of Employers.

Questions? Contact Attorney Walter Liszka in our Chicago office at (312) 629-9300 or by email at
New Law Creates Online Complaint System for Misclassification of Workers as Independent Contractors Rather than Employees
By Anthony J. Caruso, Jr. 

Worrying news for Illinois companies wh ouse independent contractors!

On September 22, 2017, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed new legislation (effective July 1, 2018) called the Illinois Employee Misclassification Referral System Act.

This law requires the Illinois Department of Labor to create an online misclassification referral system on the DOL website.

As such, the misclassification complaint may be automatically referred to the Illinois Department of Employment Security; and/or the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission; and/or the Illinois Department of Revenue; and/or the Illinois Department of Labor, as applicable via one form on the DOL online website. Per the law, anonymous and third-party complaints will not be accepted. The complaints will be made by workers allegedly misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees.

Questions? Contact Attorney Tony Caruso in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email at
Governor Rauner Tells the Illinois Human Rights Commission to Get Its Act Together
By Ryan L. Young 

In a small move that will hopefully have a big impact, Governor Rauner issued an executive order in June aimed at de-clogging the backlog of over 1,000 cases at the Illinois Human Rights Commission (Commission). Any business that has experienced a case before the Commission knows how painstaking slow the process can be. On average, parties wait more than four years from the time a charge is filed until the Commission reaches a final decision.

In my experience, getting a hearing/trial before an administrative law judge in the Commission happens relatively quickly, but an appeal of the decision to the Commission can drag the case out for years. I have a case right now that we won at an administrative hearing almost two years ago. However, the other side appealed the case to the Commission; a move that thrust the case into the mess of backlogged cases. It has been over a year since the appeal, and the parties are still awaiting the Commission's Decision.

Questions? Contact Attorney Ryan Young in our Chicago office at (312) 629-9300 or by email at
What Illinois Employers Should Know About Vacation Pay: Frequently Asked Questions
By Nancy E. Joerg

There is a lot of confusion among employers about what is leg ally required in Illinois regarding vacation pay for company employees. The following are some commonly asked questions:

1.   Does an Illinois employer have a legal obligation to offer its employees paid vacation?

Answer: No, unless there is in place a Company policy or individual employment contract promising the employees paid vacation.

2. Can an Illinois employer have a strict policy that employees must use vacation by a certain stated date or the vacation is lost?

Answer: Yes

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

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

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?
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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.
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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.