October 2021

Dear Readers of The Extra Mile:

We hope the school year has started off well and that you are feeling settled into your school routine. Now that it is October and officially fall, hopefully cooler weather will replace the summer heat – and with it bring baseball playoffs and the return of other fall festivities.

October also brings new additions at the firm. George Acosta, Kristen Kinast, and Valerie Robert have joined the firm following their graduation from law school. Some of you may know George, Kristen, and Valerie from their time with the firm last summer, and we are excited to have them back on a full-time basis.

As a reminder, our annual “The Year in Review: The Highlights and Lowlights of Illinois School Law” seminar will be held virtually on October 28 from 8:30am to 12:30pm. Please scroll down for additional information and to register.

In this month’s edition of The Extra Mile, we are highlighting a Seventh Circuit retaliatory discharge employment case and several Board Governance/Corporate issues, including the Open Meetings Act, the Prevailing Wage Act notice requirement, and contract authority. Also included is a link to our article summarizing the recent Executive Orders, ISBE/IDPH Emergency Rules, and updated guidance documents.
Employer Not Liable for Retaliatory Discharge Claim For Animus of Biased Supervisor Where Employer Had Independent Reasons For Discharge

In Vesey v. Envoy Air, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected Vesey’s attempts to hold her employer airliner liable for a hostile work environment or for retaliatory discharge when the supervisor allegedly asked a third employee to file an internal complaint against Vesey. Read more
City Council Improperly Invoked Probable or Imminent Litigation Exception to Enter Closed Session

A city council improperly invoked the “probable or imminent” litigation exception under the Open Meetings Act when it entered closed session to discuss possible termination of an intergovernmental agreement because no suit had been instituted or threatened by either party to the agreement, and litigation was only discussed as a distant possibility or as a negotiating tactic. Read more
Park District Failed to Fulfill the Notice Requirement under the Prevailing Wage Act Where Contract Included Conditional Language

A park district failed to fulfill its notice obligations under the Prevailing Wage Act because its contract with a landscaping contractor did not clearly stipulate that the payment of prevailing wage rates was required for a landscaping project. Read more
Contract Not Approved by City Council Found Void in Claim for Unpaid Invoices

A city was sued by a retail energy provider over several months of unpaid invoices. An Illinois appellate court found that the energy provider could not prove that a valid contract existed between the parties because the contract had been signed by a municipal employee who lacked the authority to approve contracts and without the approval, or knowledge, of the city council. Read more
INSIGHTS FOR SCHOOL LEADERS
"The Year in Review: The Highlights and Lowlights of Illinois School Law" Seminar. We are proud to partner with IASA in hosting this invaluable annual event, in which attorneys from the firm cover the most important school law updates from the past year. The event will be held virtually on Thursday, October 28 from 8:30am to 12:30pm. Read more and register here.
As in years past, Hodges Loizzi will have a strong presence at the IAASE Annual Fall Conference:


  • Jen Deutch and Aimee LeBlanc will be presenting “Understanding Special Education Legal Decisions in the Era of COVID-19”


This year's IAASE Fall Conference will be held virtually on October 21-22. Click here to register.
Jennifer Mueller Rosenberg will be presenting on legal trends related to LGBTQ+ discrimination in schools at the 35th Annual Illinois Council of School Attorneys (ICSA) Seminar on School Law on November 19, 2021.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • The Illinois School Student Records Act was recently amended by P.A. 102-0557 to allow elementary and high school districts with overlapping attendance boundaries to share student record information under certain conditions if the districts are parties to an intergovernmental agreement. Contact an attorney in the Board Governance/Corporate practice group if you are interested in pursuing an intergovernmental agreement to allow for greater records sharing with a feeder or high school district.

  • Senior Counsel Stan Eisenhammer and Partner Pam Simaga were honored by the federal Judges of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association for Excellence in Pro Bono and Public Interest Service for their for their work on the 2016 pro bono case Manuel v. The City of Joliet, which they successfully argued all the way up to and before the U.S. Supreme Court.
TAKE NOTE
  • Remember to require student health exams and immunizations by October 15, unless your district has set an earlier date (with parent notification).

  • Pursuant to the Illinois Workplace Transparency Act and the IHRA, school districts must complete annual sexual harassment training of all employees. Districts must use either the IDHR model training program or a training that meets the IHRA’s minimum training standards. See this link for more details.


CONSUMER PRICE INDEX
Latest figures: August 2021
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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