October 2020
Dear Readers of The Extra Mile:

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn. As part of our 30th anniversary celebration, you will see a new look and feel in our firm’s communications, starting with this newsletter. This visual refresh reflects our grounding in the sound foundation laid by our five founding partners, but also our commitment to continuing their tradition of excellence in client service in the years to come.

Our firm also is celebrating several new additions. Ben Shaw has joined the firm following his graduation from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Some of you may know Ben from his time with the firm last summer, and we are excited to have him back on a full-time basis. We also are pleased to announce several new births among our HLERK family. Attorney Mary Karagiannis gave birth to her daughter Elizabeth on September 30. Attorney Frazier Satterly gave birth to her daughter Spencer on September 23. Senior Counsel Bennett Rodick became a first-time grandfather to his grandson Aiden on September 10. And Legal Assistant Carol Andersen became a proud grandmother to granddaughter Norah on August 14.

We are continuing our annual October Year in Review event in partnership with IASA, although the format is changing. This year, the seminar will be entirely virtual on October 29 from 8:30am to 12:30pm and at no cost to attendees. There is still time to sign up, so register now and join us!

With that, we invite you to enjoy the latest legal updates from the past month, and we look forward to seeing you virtually next week, on October 29!
Court Refuses to Overrule IHSA’s Decision to Postpone Fall Sports
A DuPage County judge denied a motion for a temporary restraining order brought by student-athletes and their parents seeking to overrule IHSA’s postponement of several fall sports until the spring due to COVID-19. 

Click HERE to read the full article.
Village Violated FOIA by Denying Request for List of Blocked Users on Its Social Media
In a nonbinding opinion, the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor found that the Village of Orland Park improperly denied a FOIA request for the lists of users the Village blocked on its social media feeds. The PAC also asserted that FOIA imposed a duty on the Village to preserve those lists once requested under FOIA.

Click HERE to read the full article.
Chicago City Council Pandemic Briefings Violated OMA 
In a nonbinding opinion, the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor found that the Chicago City Council violated OMA by holding briefings with a majority of a quorum of aldermen to discuss the City’s response to the pandemic without complying with the OMA. Because the briefings met the definition of a meeting under the OMA, the City should have provided public notice of the briefings and opened the briefings to the public. 

Click HERE to read the full article.
Presidential Executive Order Prohibits Promoting “Divisive” Race and Diversity Concepts by Federal Contractors and in Federal Grant Programs 
President Trump issued an Executive Order setting forth the policy of the United States “not to promote race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating” by federal contractors and in certain federal grant programs and specifically limiting topics that can be included in workplace diversity and inclusion trainings. This Executive Order may impact school districts that receive federal funds or grants and school districts that act as federal contractors. In addition, the Executive Order indicates that this policy may affect interpretation of Title VII “hostile work environment” claims. However, the federal courts are the final arbiters of the meaning of Title VII.

Click HERE to read the full article.
Nurses’ Advocacy for Students with Disabilities Was Protected Activity 
A federal appellate court ruled that a school nurse who advocated on behalf of a student with disabilities by challenging the adequacy of accommodations given under a Section 504 plan engaged in an ADA--and Section 504--protected activity for the purposes of an employment retaliation claim. The court also ruled that an 11-month gap between the time of the protected activity and the adverse employment action did not preclude a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action. 

Click HERE to read the full article.
Employers Must Exercise Reasonable Diligence in Tracking Remote Work under the FLSA for Non-Exempt Employees
The DOL recently issued a guidance on remote work, reminding employers of their obligation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to pay employees for all work, even if the employer did not ask for the work to be done. As many FLSA non-exempt employees work from home during COVID-19, they may be working unnoticed hours for which their employers are required to pay them.

Click HERE to read the full article.
Illinois Supreme Court Grants Leave to Appeal in School Funding Case
The Illinois Supreme Court is allowing a group of school districts to file an appeal in a case asserting that the State is not funding schools adequately enough to provide students a high-quality education and comply with State educational requirements. An Illinois appellate court previously dismissed the case, Cahokia Unit School District No. 187 et al. v. Pritzker, on a split decision based on prior Illinois Supreme Court decisions finding that it was not for the court to determine whether schools are providing a “high-quality” education. A decision rendered by the Illinois Supreme Court could have significant impacts on school funding.

Click HERE to read the full article.
  • All Illinois employers must report any adverse judgments of discrimination and harassment from calendar year 2019 to the IDHR by October 31, 2020. In the future, calendar year reports of these adverse judgments will be due to IDHR by July 1 of the following year. See this link for more details. 
  • Pursuant to the Illinois Workplace Transparency Act and the IHRA, school districts must complete sexual harassment training of all employees by December 31, 2020, and annually thereafter. Districts must use either the IDHR model training program or use a training that meets the IHRA’s minimum training standards. See this link for more details.

  • Remember that November 15 is School Board Members' Day in Illinois. Visit www.iasb.com for their School Board Members' Day resources page. 
  • Join Steve Richart and Danielle Schnieder as they present, OMA Gray Areas and Pandemic Rules for IASB on November 5, 2020 at Noon. Click HERE for registration and information.

  • Please save the date to join HLERK at the following IAASE Webinars and Roundtables:
  • December 9: Current Emerging Legal Issues 12:00-1:00pm - IAASE Webinar Series
  • December 16: Communicating Effectively with Difficult Parents during COVID Closures 12:00pm-3:00pm - IAASE Region 1/Roundtable
  • January 19: Legal and Legislative Updates (Non-COVID) 12:00-3:00pm - IAASE Region 1/Roundtable
  • January 22: Legal and Legislative Updates (Non-COVID) 8:30-11:30am - IAASE Region 1/Roundtable

Click HERE for more information and registration.
The Extra Mile is intended solely to provide information to the school community. It is neither legal advice nor a substitute for legal counsel. It is intended as advertising but not as a solicitation of an attorney/client relationship. 

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