News

HESSEMARTONE EMPLOYEE NAMED TO NATIONAL BOARD

HesseMartone has a long history of charitable contribution, and we are proud to support our employees who strive both inside and outside the Firm to make a difference in our communities.

Marney Cullen, litigation paralegal, has been elected to the national Board of Directors for The RESCU Foundation, Inc.  The RESCU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which promotes and helps maintain the physical and mental health and well-being of the artists, entertainers and service personnel who participate in the 300+ renaissance festivals and historical re-enactment events nationwide. RESCU provides vision and health screenings, wellness and first aid/safety workshops, and financial assistance for medical and dental care, prescriptions and short-term housing. RESCU also coordinates a network of medical, dental and mental health personnel to provide low-cost or pro bono services for festival participants, and follows all HIPAA guidelines for client privacy, acting quickly to provide needed care with compassion and understanding.

Joining HesseMartone in 2015, Marney has spent several decades as an artist and entertainer at renaissance faires and celtic festivals across the United States.  She has been a familiar face to visitors at The St. Louis Renaissance Festival since in 2008, where she has also spent time volunteering and providing coordination for RESCU’s fund-raising events.  As a member of RESCU’s national board, Marney’s primary responsibilities will be working with the Programs Committee to develop a cohesive program of well-woman and mother/baby services and to establish a network of screening programs and accessible resources for participants’ children coping with learning disabilities.  She will also be working with the Fundraising Committee providing oversight of fund-raising efforts nationwide. For more information about The RESCU Foundation, Inc., please visit www.RESCU.org.

DOL’S NEW OVERTIME RULE IS FINALLY HERE

On March 7, 2019, U.S. Department of Labor issued its much-anticipated proposed overtime rule raising the salary-level threshold for exempt employees from the current $23,660 to $35,308.  If the Rule becomes effective, employees currently classified as “exempt” but making less than $35,308 will be reclassified as nonexempt and therefore eligible for overtime pay. 

In evaluating how this Rule will impact its workplace, Employers can take solace in the fact that the Rule makes no change to the traditional “duties” tests, which would have potentially required a much more complex evaluation of all exempt positions.  Under the Rule as proposed, Employers can focus their assessment on whether it makes sense to raise the salary above the threshold for any given position or to change the status of a position to nonexempt and accept that overtime pay will be required.

ILLINOIS MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE: BEYOND THE HEADLINE

On February 19, 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed amendments to the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL) into law, increasing the state minimum wage in stages from the current $8.25 to $15.00 per hour by January 1, 2025.

While this action was anticipated, Employers should not overlook other important changes to the IMWL. Damages recoverable by employees for violations of the IMWL have been sharply increased and there are substantial fines and penalties that can be assessed by the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL).

The amendments also authorize the IDOL to conduct random audits of employers.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=0001&GAID=15&GA=101&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=113573&SessionID=108&SpecSess=

https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/430263-illinois-house-passes-bill-raising-minimum-wage-to-15-governor-vows-to

MARY OSBORN JOINS HESSEMARTONE TO HEAD FIRM’S NEW ILLINOIS OFFICE

HesseMartone welcomes experienced attorney Mary Osborn as head of the Firm’s new Illinois office (Rockford/Chicago) and Special Counsel to the Firm.  Mary’s primary practice areas are labor and employment law, representing management and public sector employers.  Mary is an SHRM-CP and has taught Human Resource Management at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois.  Mary has 27 years of experience as in-house counsel and in private practice.

Prior to joining Hesse Martone, Mary was Assistant General Counsel for a multi-national construction materials company.  In this role, she was lead counsel for labor relations issues and primary counsel relating to review and negotiation of commercial contracts.  Mary was also in private practice as one of the founding partners of an Illinois management side labor law firm.  Mary is admitted to practice in the State of Illinois and before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the United States District Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Mary received her undergraduate degree from Rockford University f/k/a Rockford College and her Juris Doctorate from Northern Illinois University School of Law

ANDY MARTONE TO PRESENT AT THE SOUTHERN ILLINOIS BUILDERS ASSOCIATION (“SIBA”) LUNCH & LEARN ON MARCH 6, 2016

On March 6, 2019, HesseMartone CEO Andy Martone will present a program and lead a discussion on preparing for and managing a benefit fund audit at the Southern Illinois Builders Association (“SIBA”) and Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program (“SICAP”) Lunch and Learn. 

The purpose of this program is to assist employers in preparing for, dealing with and surviving multi-employer benefit fund audits.

A copy of the flyer can be found here:

NLRB RETURNS TO LONG-STANDING INDEPENDENT-CONTRACTOR STANDARD

In a January 25, 2019 decision in SuperShuttle DFW, Inc, the National Labor Relations Board returned to its long-standing independent-contractor standard, reaffirming the Board’s adherence to the traditional common-law test.  In doing so, the Board clarified the significant role entrepreneurial opportunity plays in its determination of independent-contractor status, as the D.C. Circuit has recognized.  The decision overrules FedEx Home Delivery, a 2014 NLRB decision that modified the applicable test for determining independent-contractor status by severely limiting the significance of a worker’s entrepreneurial opportunity for economic gain.

https://www.nlrb.gov/news-outreach/news-story/nlrb-returns-long-standing-independent-contractor-standard

https://www.nlrb.gov/case/16-RC-010963

MATT SIMMONS JOINS HESSEMARTONE TO HEAD FIRM’S NEW ATLANTA OFFICE

HesseMartone welcomes experienced attorney, Matt Simmons, as head of the Firm’s new Atlanta office and Special Counsel to the Firm.  Matt’s primary practice area is employment and commercial litigation.  Matt has significant experience as in-house counsel and in private practice. 

Prior to joining HesseMartone, Matt was the Head of Litigation and Associate General Counsel at one of the nation’s largest staffing companies.  In this role, Matt managed the company’s entire litigation docket, primarily consisting of non-compete and trade secret litigation, breach of contract actions, federal and state wage and hour laws, and class actions.  Matt also served as the company’s liaison to its human resources department and participated in the management of its day-to-day corporate functions.  Prior to this corporate role, Matt was in private practice, where he successfully tried or otherwise resolved dozens of cases in both Federal and state courts across the nation.  

Matt received his undergraduate degree from Duke University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law.  Matt is a member of the Georgia Bar and the American Bar Association, the Atlanta Bar, and the Atlanta Council for Younger Lawyers.

MARTONE ADVISES MISSOURI GENERAL CONTRACTORS ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN THE WORKPLACE

HesseMartone CEO, Andy Martone, is presenting a workshop on medical marijuana in the workplace to the membership of the Associated General Contractors of Missouri next Tuesday, February 5. Missouri’s medical marijuana law takes effect on June 29, 2019, with the state Department of Health and Senior Services issuing medical cards by the end of the year. Employers need to prepare and update their policies before the law takes effect. AGCMO members should visit the association’s website for full workshop registration information.

US GOVERNMENT IS BACK OPEN FOR BUSINESS, HOW DID THE FEDERAL CONTRACTORS FARE?

While some federal contractors continued to work during the shutdown, some were paid and some were not. Though some were classified as essential, the vast majority were not. The difference in payment centered on the terms of their contract with the agency and the contracting officer.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/backlogs-deadlines-and-a-massive-bureaucratic-reboot-await-federal-workers-after-shutdowns-end/2019/01/26/ed67e020-2189-11e9-8e21-59a09ff1e2a1_story.html?utm_term=.749ac05bce93&noredirect=on

 

 

COUNTY SHERIFFS AND TERMINATION DECISIONS AS REVIEWED BY THE MERIT BOARD

HESSEMARTONE is proud to represent several Illinois county sheriff departments and law enforcement employers. An interesting case on the use of Merit Boards, their role in administrative review, and employment termination decisions was released last week. The Cook County Merit Board, who reviews challenged terminations by the union, had been constituted of members who were serving for less than the full term. The circuit court reviews the Merit Board’s decisions.

 

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Opinions/AppellateCourt/2019/1stDistrict/1170915.pdf