The Chicago Employment Law Blog

May 2012 Archives

Cognis Corp. Fires Employee For Refusing to Waive His Rights

It's rare that a case is so clear cut that a judge can rule for the plaintiff before the trial even happens. Unfortunately for Cognis Corp., their retaliatory actions were so clearly illegal that they won't even get a chance to defend themselves, reports JobMouse.com.

It's all because of a little thing called summary judgment.

Summary judgment is usually used by defendants. What it means is, if the court were to take every disputed fact and inference in a light favorable to the other person, they still would not have a case.

United Continental Hit With Racial Discrimination Suit

The turmoil in the aviation industry continues. While American Airlines is working on bankruptcy and U.S. Airways tries to buy them out, United Continental, the behemoth airline created by a recent merger, is being sued by 24 African-American employees, including three Illinois pilots, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The legal-speak behind the suit is that internal policies that determine promotions have a disparate impact on African-Americans’ opportunities for promotions.

Don't Worry, Things WILL Get Worse; FindLaw's Guide to Job Loss

Maybe you've been working there for a week. Maybe you've been working there for a decade. Well, it doesn't matter now. You just got fired.

There's a number of platitudes we could throw at you. The night is always darkest before the dawn. Don't worry, things will get worse. Or you could just listen to Kanye West's "Stronger," which is an entire song centered around a platitude.

FindLaw Poll: People Pad Resumes, It Hurts

Here at FindLaw, we’re not just excellent explicators of existing law. We don’t just react to news stories. We also do original research.

One of our recent polls by FindLaw.com asked readers whether or not they “padded” their resumes.

Padding, in this case, means more than adding a series of adjectives to your job description. It would probably be more like what the Yahoo! CEO did before he was canned.

What Does the EEOC Have to Do Before it Can Fight Discrimination?

Judge Ruben Castillo, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, released an opinion last week that might just lead to the Supreme Court in a few years. The case stems from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's role as guardian of the discriminated and disabled.

One of the EEOC's strategies to combat employment discrimination is to file class action lawsuits, which combine the claims of dozens or more employees into a single trial. This allows the court to redress the claims of many people with less expenses for both the EEOC and the employer.

Many Chicago police officers who’ll be working this weekend during the NATO Summit are not happy about the overtime compensation they’ll be receiving, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Fraternal Order of Police, the union that represents the majority of Chicago’s police officers, has filed a grievance over the CPD’s plan to compensate the officers working this weekend with overtime pay. The union contends that its labor contracts state that the officers should be given the option of taking additional time off for the extra hours worked.

It’s hard enough finding a job in this economy without having to worry about employment discrimination as well. Did you know that there are countless federal and state laws protecting job applicants from discrimination of all types?

If in your job search you find yourself wondering just how far an employer can go, you should check out The FindLaw Guide to Hiring. It’s free and it’s a great resource to help you understand your rights during the application process. Below, we’ve included brief descriptions of just a few of the hiring topics covered in the guide.

Hospital bills are expensive enough, without someone tacking on their own charges as well.

Shatina Golden, an employee at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, has been arrested for allegedly using patients’ personal information to pay her own bills, the Chicago Tribune reports. Golden has been charged with aggravated identity theft and identity theft.

A former bartender at a Tinley Park restaurant has filed a federal lawsuit against the owner of the restaurant, claiming that she was fired when her pregnancy became apparent, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

According to the suit, the owner of the Charley Horse Restaurant terminated Heidi Spontak after infering from Spontak’s appearance that she was pregnant. Spontak later filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Have you ever felt discriminated against while applying for a job or at your place of work? Both employers and employees are subject to federal employment laws that protect them from various forms of employment discrimination.

Below, we’ve included five of the most important federal laws protecting employees from workplace discrimination.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is investigating the wrongful termination complaints of six former employees of the University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago Business reports.

The former employees claim that they were wrongfully terminated after taking 12 weeks leave. They're alleging that the hospital violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by firing them.

With the Illinois pension deficit at over $80 billion, it’s clear that legislative action must be taken. On Wednesday, however, a State Senate panel decided that a bill that would place much of the burden on local governments didn’t provide the change that’s needed.

In March, the Illinois House of Representatives passed the pension reform bill by a unanimous vote. The bill’s chances were quashed, however, when a panel of the Illinois Senate voted it down this week, the Chicago Tribune reports.

During his time as Chicago’s longest-serving mayor, Richard M. Daley, used the state’s convoluted pension scheme to his advantage, significantly boosting his payout and saving $400,000 in contributions, the Chicago Tribune reports.

When Daley retired last year, his public pension benefits were $183,778 a year, around $50,000 more than he would have otherwise received.

On Friday, a former church bookkeeper was sentenced to three years in prison for stealing $50,000 from the church where he worked, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Robert C. Drefs claimed that he embezzled the money from Messiah Lutheran Church in Elmhurst because he heard voices that ordered him to do so. He pleaded guilty to theft charges in March.