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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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06 Aug 2012 New Illinois Law Prohibits Employers from Seeking Social Media Password Information

Employers in Illinois will be prohibited from seeking social networking password information from employees and applicants starting Jan. 1, 2013, now that Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed into law Public Act 097-0875, which is an amendment to the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, 820 ILCS 55/10. As we previously reported, the legislation makes it unlawful for an employer to require an employee or applicant to disclose passwords or other related social networking account information in order for the employer to access information…

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13 Jul 2012 OSHA – Employers have a duty to help prevent heat-related illnesses

Although the oppressive heat wave that affected much of the country is behind us for now, as the summer rolls on we can expect that additional hot weather will continue to pose challenges for those who work outdoors or in locations where heat can build up to extreme levels. Prevention of heat-related illnesses can be even more of a priority with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees that cause the heat index to soar to potentially dangerous levels.  To help employers anticipate issues that can arise when…

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26 Jun 2012 U.S. Supreme Court to consider definition of “supervisor” for purposes of vicarious liability in hostile work environment case

While all eyes are on the United States Supreme Court this week as we await the release of its decision on the health care reform law as it concludes the 2011-2012 term, we also are looking ahead to cases of importance to employers on the Court’s docket this fall. The Supreme Court on Monday decided to add an interesting racial harassment case to its docket for the 2012-2013 term that will begin in October. The question the Court is expected to answer is whether the…

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26 Jun 2012 Employee Social Networking Password Protection May Soon Become Law in Illinois

Employers in Illinois who are interested in the Internet activities of their employees and job applicants, including activities on social networking sites, will need to be more cautious if Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signs a bill on his desk that the Illinois Legislature recently passed. The legislation, House Bill 3782, would amend the state’s Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act at 820 ILCS 55/10, a section that currently prohibits employers from asking prospective employees about their prior history of worker’s compensation claims. The amended Act would prohibit Illinois employers from requiring employees or…

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25 Jun 2012 What Managers Can Learn from Lilly Ledbetter

At first blush the autobiography of famed Equal Pay Act plaintiff Lilly Ledbetter might not seem all that much of a draw for those whose work involves defense against employment discrimination claims.  Yet the recently published book, Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond, (Crown Archtype 2012) has much to offer for employment lawyers, human resource executives, and front-line managers who are involved in employment law compliance. We all know how the story ends – with the enactment…

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25 May 2012 American Bar Foundation Study Measures Fairness Perceptions in Employment Discrimination Cases

By the time an employment dispute becomes a lawsuit it may be hard for the opposing parties to see a “win-win” situation ahead, judging by a recent study that the American Bar Foundation funded. Based on research that included a sample of 1,788 employment discrimination cases and 100 interviews with plaintiff/employees and defendant/employers and their counsel, employment litigation is viewed as disruptive, disappointing, and unfair to all. For employees, the process is frustrating due to unfamiliar procedural obstacles and the substantial personal and financial toll…

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