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Belleville Illinois Legal Blog

Wage claim judgments elusive for some workers

Being properly paid is an important worker right. Accordingly, workers who are not paid their entitled wages may file a claim and seek enforcement with the Illinois Department of Labor. But, 75 percent of workers who won a wage claim under the state's employment law since 2018 have not received any money.

In 80 percent of cases, employers pay unpaid wages after the Labor Department notifies them about the claim. The remaining 20 percent of employers dispute these claims and an administrative hearing will be held to decide the matter.

New pot law poses dilemmas for employers

Recreational marijuana use will become legal in Illinois on Jan. 1. Employers may, however, need to change their drug-screening policies for marijuana to avoid employment law problems.

The new law still permits employers to keep a drug-free workplace. Legislation amending the new recreational cannabis law allows employers to conduct reasonable, random and nondiscriminatory drug testing. Employers can also fire or discipline employees or withdraw a job offer for failing a drug test.

Fast-food workers sue over workplace violence

In addition to guarding against unlawful conduct, such as discrimination and sexual harassment, employers are responsible for other employee protections. Based, in part, on information from employment law proponents, 17 Chicago-area fast food employees sued McDonald's for a citywide and national pattern of violence.

The lawsuit was filed earlier this month in an Illinois state court. The employees claim that they face a daily risk of violence at work, corporate officials were negligent by failing to protect workers from violence and that workers' safety was sacrificed in favor of corporate profits.

Don't make these mistakes after your car accident

This year, Illinois residents have already experienced Arctic blasts from the north and there is a whole lot of wintry weather between us and Spring 2020.

As winter closes in and the weather worsens, car accidents become even more likely. If you have the misfortune to suffer injuries in a collision caused by another motorist, make sure that you make none of the four mistakes described below.

Protections for workers from wrongful termination

Employers cannot fire employees for an unlawful reason even if they are considered at-will employees who can generally be fired at any time. If an employee is concerned that they have been the victim of wrongful termination in their workplace, it is important for them to know what is considered an unlawful firing.

In some circumstances, an employee may be fired unlawfully because they have an employment contract that was violated. For those who do not have an employment contract, a firing may also be unlawful if it was because of discrimination based on race, age, sex, national origin or other impermissible factors. In addition, it may also be unlawful to fire someone for exercising their legal rights such as taking family or medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

A brief overview of the American with Disabilities Act

Living with a disability can be tough. It can affect one's ability to conduct even the most basic daily activities. Yet, many disabled individuals are able to function in society, including playing a part in the workforce. Although these men and women are capable of performing a wide range of workplace duties, they are often unfairly discriminated against, which can serve as an emotional and financial blow. This is wholly unacceptable, which is why disabled individuals who believe they have been discriminated against should consider whether legal action is justified.

One way to do so is to obtain a basic understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This federal law makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against an individual in all aspects of employment simply because he or she has a disability. Those covered by the ADA, which are those with disabilities, must have a condition that substantially affects a mental or physical capability such that it impairs a major life activity, such as walking, thinking, seeing, hearing or breathing. With that in mind, a disabled individual must still be able to perform the job in question, whether with or without reasonable accommodation.

Survey shows extent of experienced and perceived discrimination

Discrimination unfortunately still occurs in a wide range of settings and situations. Although extensive efforts have been made to educate the public on discriminatory practices and harassment, such behaviors continue to occur in the workplace on an all too frequent basis.

In fact, a recent survey found that 60% of workers have either experienced or witnessed some from of workplace discrimination, whether based on age, gender, race, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The true extent of workplace discrimination and harassment is difficult to gauge, though, especially considering the fact that different generations may view the same behaviors differently.

Unauthorized treatment can support medical malpractice claim

The administration of medical treatment is a delicate process. While medical professionals should be willing to do everything they can to help their patients, they also need to operate within the bounds specified by those patients. In other words, doctors and nurses shouldn't provide treatment that a patient hasn't authorized unless it is an emergency situation. Doing so could cause harm to a patient with long-term consequences.

This is why doctors typically must obtain informed consent before providing medical care. The process of obtaining informed consent requires that a doctor discuss the diagnosis in question, the types of treatments available, the risks of those treatments and the risks of receiving no treatment at all. This may sound like common sense, but the truth of the matter is that far too often medical professionals fail to take appropriate steps to ensure that they have truly obtained informed consent.

Do you face risk of hazardous energy releases?

Those who work in construction or in industrial settings can be seriously injured and even killed by a release of hazardous energy. These risks can occur during the performance of their everyday tasks or during an emergency situation when protocols are bypassed.

Energy has many sources on a busy jobsite and include:

  • Mechanical
  • Chemical
  • Electrical
  • Pneumatic
  • Hydraulic
  • Thermal

Guiding you through a personal injury action

It is true that accidents do happen, but many of these incidents are caused by the carelessness and negligence of others. When individuals in Illinois and elsewhere are harmed in an accident, it can be an overwhelming experience. Many have not been in this predicament before, so it can be confusing when it comes to understanding what rights an accident victim has and what legal recourses are available.

The attorneys at the Law Office of Van-Leer O. Eckert, P.C., can help discern this information. A personal injury action can be difficult to navigate; however, our law firm seeks to take some of the worry from our clients by ensuring they fully understand their situation and what options they might have.

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