Court Affirms Line-of-Duty Death Benefits to Firefighter’s Surviving Spouse

by Carolyn Welch Clifford   (Spring 2020 Newsletter) In a novel case decided earlier this year, the Illinois Appellate Court upheld the decision of a pension fund board of trustees to award line-of-duty surviving spouse benefits to the wife of a firefighter who died of cancer. In Village of Buffalo Grove v. Buffalo Grove Firefighters’ Pension Fund and Kim Hauber, 2020 …

Employment Related Concerns: Legalized Cannabis

by Karl R. Ottosen  (Spring 2020 Newsletter) 2020 has come with new employment related matters which most of us never expected to face. One, which now seems ages ago, is the legalization of recreational cannabis in Illinois, which requires all employers to update policies and practices. Except for certain regulated transportation employees, CDL-licensees, and public safety personnel (and possibly employees …

Electronic Meeting Attendance in Light of Corona Virus Pandemic

by John H. Kelly   (Spring 2020 Newsletter) With Governor Pritzker’s declaration of a state of emergency due to COVID-19 and public health requirements of social distancing, the ability of public bodies to conduct their business with in-person, open meetings has been severely curtailed. At the same time, an executive order by the Governor made it slightly easier to conduct meetings …

Tips and Takeaways for Remote Learning Days

Several new guidance documents were issued by Governor Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) at the end of the day on March 27, 2020. All of the documents may be found on the ISBE website at https://www.isbe.net/Lists/News/NewsDisplay.aspx?ID=1319. Here is a list of takeaways for your district as you navigate remote education beginning on or after March 31, …

Free Webinars Offered to Provide COVID-19 Guidance

The COVID-19 pandemic has created numerous challenges for employers, including local governments. We have been fielding numerous questions from our clients on a wide range of topics, including paid leave, safety procedures, meeting attendance, unemployment, e-learning, and more.  As the daily press briefings from the president and the governor indicate, the situation continues to evolve, with these challenges likely remaining …

How the federal response to COVID-19 affects employers

On March 18, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), an emergency measure to assist Americans during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Act provides many benefits, including two types of temporary employee benefits. All public and private employees are covered by those benefits, unless they work for companies with 500 or more employees. …

Public bodies may meet remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak

A recent executive order by Governor J.B. Pritzker suspends portions of the Open Meetings Act, 5 ILCS 120 et seq., and allows local government meetings to occur without in-person attendance. As health officials urge residents to practice “social distancing” to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), public bodies face a significant challenge in adhering to the Act’s requirement that a quorum …

ISBE amends emergency rule regarding time out and physical restraint

On December 4, 2019, the Illinois State Board of Education issued an Emergency Amendment to the Emergency Rule regarding the Use of Time Out and Physical Restraint. The initial Emergency Rule (“Emergency Rule”), which went into effect on November 20, 2019 for 150 days, addressed both Time Out and Physical Restraint. The Emergency Rule is available on the ISBE website …