Title IX Final Rule

by Maureen A. Lemon The U.S. Department of Education has recently unveiled the updated final regulations for Title IX. The Final Rule becomes effective August 1, 2024, and reinforces your school district’s obligation to safeguard against sex discrimination. Final Rule Summary. Here are 2 key takeaways: Enhanced Protections: The new regulations expand the protections against sex-based harassment while imposing new …

Appellate Court Interprets Illinois Pension Code’s Requirements for Non-Duty Disability Pension Benefits for Combined Service Firefighter

by John E. Motylinski  Ever since the Illinois General Assembly enacted provisions to allow firefighters to combine creditable service from two or more fire departments or fire districts, firefighters have used this flexibility with their pensions to seek new opportunities within the fire service for advancement and improved salary or benefits. However, as the Illinois Appellate Court recently ruled, the …

Paid Leave for All Workers Act Now Effective

by Ericka J. Thomas and Brian Johnston Illinois recently enacted a sweeping paid leave law that experts call the nation’s strongest state policy yet. The Paid Leave for All Workers Act (“PLAWA”) entitles all employees in Illinois (with limited exceptions) to accrue up to 40 hours of paid time off annually for any purpose. The Act became effective on January …

Federal Court Rules COVID Screenings Non-Compensable Work Time

by Adam Hudoba A federal district court in the Northern District of Illinois recently ruled that COVID screening activities were not compensable work time. This decision provides clarification on whether employers need to compensate for COVID screenings. In Johnson v. Amazon.com Services, LLC, Amazon’s warehouse employees’ job duties ordinarily included moving boxes, stacking packages, and loading boxes. No. 23 C …

PAC: Public Bodies May Not Approve Closed Session Minutes in Closed Session

by Michael Castaldo III It is standard practice for public bodies to keep written minutes of all their closed session meetings, along with verbatim recording. But what is the appropriate procedure once closed session minutes are created? The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (“PAC”) recently took up that question in a binding opinion. In that case, a Village Trustee …

New in Schools, Part II: Amendments to Student Administrative Transfer Procedures

by Maureen Anichini Lemon Public Act 103-0473 recently revised Article 13A of the School Code to allow schools to “immediately” transfer students determined to be subject to suspension or expulsion to an alternative school program. Nevertheless, students remain entitled to the same due process rights (including a hearing before the school board) that they receive prior to an expulsion. Beginning …

New in Schools, Part I: Bullying Prevention Law Changes

by Maureen Anichini Lemon The Illinois General Assembly recently made several changes to the Illinois Bullying Prevention Law. 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7. In a nutshell, the Law prohibits bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, military status, sexual orientation, gender-related identity or expression, unfavorable discharge from …

Illinois Supreme Court Affirms Pension Asset Consolidation Is Constitutional

by Hayley Loufek On January 19, 2024, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its decision declaring constitutional Public Act 101-610 (the “Act”), which consolidated the assets of downstate local police and firefighter pension funds into two statewide investment funds. The purpose of the Act is “to streamline investments and eliminate unnecessary and redundant administrative costs, thereby ensuring more money is available …

U.S. Department of Labor Proposed Salary Rule Changes

by Michael Castaldo III The United States Department of Labor has initiated a substantial change in labor regulations through a proposed rule change to expand minimum wage and overtime pay eligibility to workers who were previously considered exempt. This rulemaking has the potential to impact millions of employees and employers. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires covered employers to …

Illinois Wrongful Death Plaintiffs Can Now Recover Punitive Damages

by Joseph S. Davidson The cost of defending cases in Illinois continues to rise. Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 0219 into law on August 11, 2023, effective immediately. The statutory change will allow heirs of decedents to recover punitive damages in wrongful death actions filed on or after August 11, 2023. For years, Illinois law has “consistently held …