Illinois Client Update
Legal News for Illinois Employers
June, 2019
C ontact Walter in our Chicago, IL office at (312) 629-9300 or by email
Illinois Legalizes Recreational Marijuana
By Walter J. Liszka, Esq.
By now, many of you have perused newspaper reports on the internet, and have been made aware that effective January 1, 2020, the State of Illinois has legalized recreational marijuana. It is interesting to note that the State of Illinois will be the first state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis by legislative action rather than public referendum. In point of fact, the State of Illinois will be the eleventh (11 th ) state to legalize recreational marijuana.
" Recreational Use of Marijuana " will allow the sale, possession, and use of cannabis by any person 21 years of age or older for recreational purposes and certainly provide for a rapid expansion of cannabis retailers. It should be noted that the final bill signed by Governor Pritzker on June 24, 2019 removed the right of unlicensed private citizens to grow cannabis for their personal use. In fact, it established the only persons who are registered as "qualifying patients under the State of Illinois' existing medical cannabis program" may participate in home grow. The following activities will continue to be prohibited under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act:

Contact Nancy in our St. Charles, IL office at (630) 377-1554 or by email
Illinois Trucking Companies Who Use Owner-Operators Should Do Self-Audits
By Nancy E. Joerg, Esq.
Many Illinois trucking companies have independent contractor agreements for owner-operators (to help establish an independent contractor relationship between the Illinois trucking company and the owner-operators who perform services as truck drivers for the trucking company).
Illinois has an usual and precise legal definition of owner-operator of trucks as laid out in Section 212.1 of the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act . Section 212.1 went into effect in August 1995.
Since then, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and its auditors, Hearing Officers and officials have evaluated the independent contractor of truck owner-operators according to this highly unique law (which is essentially a very strict six part test .) All Illinois trucking companies who use independent contractor owner-operators should do a careful self-audit to make sure they don't violate Section 212.1. If they are in violation of any part of Section 212.1, the trucking company will be found to have employees instead of legitimate independent contractor owner-operators.

Wessels Sherman Attorneys Featured Among The Distinguished Faculty At National Business Institute’s “Advanced Employment Law Seminar”
Wessels Sherman attorneys Jim Sherman, Joe Laverty, Nancy Joerg and Peter Hansen were invited to speak on June 18 and 19, 2019 at National Business Institute’s Two-Day Practical Course on “ Advanced Employment Law: What you Need to Know ” in Lisle, Illinois.

  • Jim Sherman’s topics were “Navigating the Americans with Disabilities Act” and “Retaliation Claim Legal Strategies: Defenses, Counter-Suits and More.”

  • Peter Hansen spoke onInternal Investigations and Attorney-Client Privilege: How it is Preserved or Refuted.”

  • Nancy Joerg’s topic wasIndependent Contractors: Detecting Employer Missteps.”

  • Joe Laverty’s topic wasNon-Compete, Non-Solicit and Confidentiality Agreements.”

Contact Tony in our St. Charles, IL office at (630) 377-1554 or by email
Alert: Pending Legislation in Illinois Would Impose Huge Impact On Sexual Harassment Claims On All Employers
By Anthony J. Caruso, Jr., Esq.
On April 11, 2019, the Illinois state Senate passed Senate Bill 1829, also known as the Workplace Transparency Act . If passed by the Illinois House of Representatives and if signed by the Governor, this Act would impose new requirements and limitations with respect to harassment and discrimination claims on Illinois employers. As of May 10, 2019, this bill is pending before the House Rules Committee.
What would the Workplace Transparency Act REQUIRE?
What would the Workplace Transparency Act REQUIRE?

  • It would prevent employers from including sexual harassment claims in employment contracts with non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses.
  • Under the Illinois Human Rights Act, arbitration clauses in an employment contract could not include harassment and discrimination claims, however, it would be allowable in settlement agreements.

C ontact Walter in our Chicago, IL office at (312) 629-9300 or by email
Illinois and Artificial Intelligence
By Walter J. Liszka, Esq.
In the concluding days of the Illinois legislative session (extended by Speaker Madigan beyond normal closure date of May 31, 2019), the Illinois legislature passed a Fair Tax Recommendation, legalized recreational marijuana as of January 1, 2020, passed a balanced budget and increased gas taxes and other fees to pay for infrastructure, but that's not all.
On May 29, 2019, the Illinois legislature unanimously passed the Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act (HB 2557) which will regulate how Employers can use artificial intelligence to analyze job applicant fitness for various positions. Under the new law, which has yet to be signed by Governor Pritzker, before requesting that an applicant submit to a video interview, employers will be required to :

How to Use Severance & Release Agreements When Firing an Employee
When: Thursday, September 12, 2019, 2-3 pm

Presented by Attorneys Nancy Joerg & Tony Caruso

If a company is planning on terminating an employee whom the company feels may be litigious or may be a high-risk termination, then the company may want the employee to sign a severance and release agreement. Giving an employee severance in exchange for the employee signing a release of all claims is an effective way a company can help avoid potential litigation .
Employee Handbooks for Illinois Employers. What Policies to Include (and Why)!
When: Thursday, November 7, 2019, 2-3pm

Presented by Attorneys Nancy Joerg & Tony Caruso

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? Join us to learn the true purpose of a handbook; Illinois specific language to use ; what policies to leave out; how to treat employee benefits; and what handbooks should say about performance reviews and salary.
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.  
Editor-in-Chief: Nancy E. Joerg, Esq.