Employment Law

The Employment Law Group at Fox Swibel provides clients practical, business‐oriented solutions to employment law problems. We provide day‐to‐day counseling and advice regarding all legal matters affecting the employment relationship, including non‐discrimination laws, wage & hour issues, FMLA and ADA issues, misappropriation of trade secrets, restrictive covenants, and employee handbooks and policies. We assist clients to assess and manage risk in handling employee discipline issues, drafting and interpreting employment contracts, structuring leaves of absence, and planning reductions‐in‐force.

When an employment dispute arises, we work with clients to evaluate cost-effective litigation strategies and any available alternatives to litigation. Our attorneys regularly appear in the trial and appellate levels of federal and state courts, as well as administrative agencies. We have expertise defending claims of discrimination, failure to accommodate, harassment, retaliatory discharge, fraud, defamation, and negligent supervision and retention. Likewise we regularly handle claims involving breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, non‐competition agreements, duty of loyalty, federal and state wage payment laws, the WARN Act, ERISA, and employee handbooks.

Publications

U.S. Supreme Court Lowers Bar for Discrimination Claims

By: David S. Levine In an important recent decision affecting employers, the U.S. Supreme Court lowered the required showing for employees claiming discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. In particular, under the Supreme Court's Muldrow v. City ...
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The FTC Non-Compete Ban: What Employers Should Know

In a highly anticipated decision, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") voted April 23, 2024 to finalize a rule (the "Rule") banning non-compete agreements for most workers. The Rule is scheduled to become effective 120 days after its publication in the ...
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Navigating the New Illinois, Cook County, and City of Chicago Paid Leave Laws

For many Illinois employers, the new year will bring new obligations to provide their employees paid leave. After Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Paid Leave for All Workers Act (the "Illinois Act") into law earlier this year, the City of ...
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Illinois Supreme Court Scans BIPA Menu, Orders Big Fines

Image Source – Shutterstock   Illinois employers who use employees’ fingerprints, face scans, or other biometric identifiers to enable workers to access timekeeping, payroll, IT, or other systems have long been on notice that the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act ...
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New Illinois Law Mandates Paid Leave for Employees

Image Source – Shutterstock The Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers (PLFAW) Act was passed by the Illinois legislature in January and was signed into law by Governor Pritzker on March 13, 2023. Effective January 1, 2024, it will require ...
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7th Circuit Clarifies That Discouraging Leave May Violate FMLA

Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit (which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin) wrestledwith the question of whether an employer can violate the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by discouraging an employee from exercising rights under ...
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OOO: While You Were Out, Chicago Called to Tell You About New Anti-Harassment Obligations

Summertime often means summer hours and time out of the office.  As such, some employers may have missed that the City of Chicago recently amended its sexual harassment ordinance to expand the definition of “sexual harassment,” to impose new policy ...
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2022 Ushers in Sweeping Restrictions on Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Agreements

For those employers looking to think, talk and worry about something besides COVID-19, we have just the topic: the Illinois Freedom to Work Act.   In August 2021, Governor Pritzker signed into law an amendment to the Act that imposes new ...
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Illinois Bias Law Now Covers Criminal Convictions

Image Source - ShutterStock Illinois employers now have yet another law to navigate. The state human rights statute now bans discrimination based on a candidate’s or employee’s criminal conviction unless the employer can show a “substantial relationship” exists between the ...
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Lack of Secrecy Dooms Employer’s Suit to Stop Form Sales Reps’ Use of Customer Lists

Image Source - ShutterStock The Illinois Trade Secrets Act (ITSA) prohibits misappropriation of trade secrets and allows recovery of attorneys’ fees in suits to enforce the Act. A recent decision by the Appellate Court of Illinois is a cautionary tale ...
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Illinois Supreme Court Adopts Religious Ministerial Exemption

Image Source - ShutterStock We’ve written about court decisions applying judicial doctrines under the First Amendment to bar some types of employment claims against religious entities. The Illinois Supreme Court has now weighed in. Extracurricular activities We have already told ...
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Illinois Supreme Court Confirms Retaliatory Discharge Applies Only to At-Will Employees

Image Source - ShutterStock More than 40 years ago, the Illinois Supreme Court first recognized the tort of retaliatory discharge as an exception to the general rule that an “at-will” employee is terminable at any time and for any or ...
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First Amendment Doesn’t Protect Religious Employers From Hostile Environment Claims

Image Source - Shutterstock Over the years, courts dealing with employment discrimination suits against churches, synagogues, and other religious organizations have carved out an exemption that bars claims by “ministerial” employees challenging the employer’s hiring and firing decisions. The rationale ...
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State Bias Law Changes Don’t Stop for Pandemic

Image Source - Shutterstock With so much attention on COVID-19 and its impact on workplace issues, employers may have lost track of some important changes affecting Illinois employers in 2020. Some of these changes took effect on July 1. Let’s ...
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Legal & Tech: Practical Considerations for Hires, Furloughs and Separations of Remote Employees

Legal & Tech: Practical Considerations for Hires, Furloughs and Separations of Remote Employees Apr 9, 2020   Image Source - Shutterstock With the shelter-in-place orders going through April 30th and possibly beyond, it is important to prepare your company for possible ...
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Summary of Legislation and Rulemaking Impacting Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Summary of Legislation and Rulemaking Impacting Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19 Apr 1, 2020 Image Source - Shutterstock The impact of COVID-19 has affected everyone in the United States.  In response to the widespread economic consequences suffered by small businesses ...
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DOL Updates Guidance on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Image Source - Shutterstock In the days since the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law on March 18, 2020, employers and advocacy groups have raised a number of questions about how the law will be interpreted ...
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President Signs COVID-19 Legislation That Will Impact Employers’ Leave Polices

Image Source - Shutterstock The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law by President Trump on March 18, 2020, includes a number of provisions that will directly impact employers, in addition to public health measures. Here are the key ...
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COVID-19 Legislation Will Impact Employers’ Leave Polices

Image Source - Shutterstock The Emergency Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) passed The U.S. House of Representatives early Saturday, March 14, 2020, and includes a number of provisions that will directly impact employers, in addition to public health ...
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Conservatory Worker’s Claim Fails to Uproot Employment-At-Will Doctrine

Image Source - Wikimedia Commons Illinois, like almost every other state, adheres to the centuries-old doctrine of employment at will, which means that either an employer or an employee may terminate their relationship at any time, without notice and without ...
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