Employment Law Chicago Blog

  • Are Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Agreements Enforceable in Illinois?

    Whether a non-competition or non-solicitation agreement is valid and enforceable under Illinois law depends upon the specific terms of the agreement, as well as the unique facts and circumstances surrounding the agreement, employment, separation of employment, and post-employment employee conduct.

    Adequate Consideration

    The first question is whether adequate consideration exists to support a restrictive covenant.

  • Illinois Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal of Retaliatory Discharge Lawsuit

    On February 4, 2021, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of claims for retaliatory discharge and violation of the Illinois Whistleblower Protection Act.  Rehfield v. Diocese of Joliet, 2021 IL 125656 (Feb. 4, 2021).  Plaintiff alleged that defendant unlawfully retaliated against her by terminating her for reporting a parent’s threatening conduct to police.  Plaintiff alleged that her employment termination violated Illinois public policy to investigate and prosecute criminal offenses.  She further alleged that defendant’s actions were likely to make other staff and faculty members reluctant to come forward to report potentially unlawful or criminal conduct.  Plaintiff also alleged that defendant’s actions violated the Illinois Whistleblower Act, which prohibits Illinois employers from retaliating against Illinois employees for disclosing information to a law enforcement agency, provided that the employee has reasonable cause to believe the information discloses a violation of a state or federal law, rule, or regulation.

  • 7th Circuit Reverses Dismissal of USERRA Lawsuit

    On February 4, 2021, the 7th Circuit reversed a district court's order dismissing a USERRA lawsuit.  White v. United Airlines, Inc., No. 19-2546 (7th Cir. Feb. 4, 2021).  In 1994, Congress passed the Uniformed Services Employee and Reemployment Rights Act ("USERRA"), with the goal of prohibiting civilian employers from discriminating against employees because of their military service. 38 U.S.C. § 4301(a).  The question in this case was whether USERRA’s mandate that military leave be given the same “rights and benefits” as comparable, nonmilitary leave requires an employer to provide paid military leave to the same extent that it provides paid leave for other absences.  The 7th Circuit held that paid leave falls within the set of “rights and benefits” defined by USERRA and, therefore, employers are required to provide paid military leave under USERRA to the same extent that employers provide paid leave for non-military absences such as paid sick leave and the like.  This was a question of first impression for the 7th Circuit.

  • 7th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Employer on Age Discrimination Claims for Employment Termination and Failure to Re-hire in RIF Context

    On January 22, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of an employer-defendant in an age discrimination lawsuit under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA").  Marnocha v. St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center, Inc., No. 20-1374 (7th Cir. Jan. 22, 2021).  The plaintiff, a neonatologist, alleged that the defendant terminated her employment and failed to rehire her for an open position in the context of a reduction-in-force.  The ADEA was enacted by Congress in 1967 to protect older workers from employment discrimination.  The ADEA protects employees who are age 40 or older.  It is unlawful for employers to take adverse employment action against employees who are in the protected age class because of their age.

  • 7th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Employer in Title VII Lawsuit

    On January 19, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of an employer-defendant in a Title VII employment discrimination lawsuit alleging wrongful termination on the basis of national origin, race, and religion, as well as unlawful retaliation.  Khungar v. Access Community Health Network, No. 20-1958 (Jan. 19, 2021).  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, color, and genetic information.  To defeat a summary judgment motion in a Title VII case, a plaintiff must raise factual disputes sufficient to support a reasonable finding of discrimination by a jury.  A plaintiff may prove employment discrimination with direct or circumstantial evidence under the direct or indirect burden-shifting method.

  • 7th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Employer in Title VII Lawsuit

    On January 19, 2012, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of an employer-defendant in a Title VII employment discrimination lawsuit alleging unlawful discrimination on the basis of national origin, race, and religion, as well as unlawful retaliation.  Khungar v. Access Community Health Network, No. 20-1958 (Jan. 19, 2021).  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, color, and genetic information.  To defeat a summary judgment motion in a Title VII case, a plaintiff must raise factual disputes sufficient to support a reasonable finding of discrimination by a jury.  A plaintiff may prove employment discrimination with direct or circumstantial evidence under the direct or indirect burden-shifting method.

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