News

Congratulations to Jackson from the HesseMartone Team!

The HesseMartone team and their Springfield Managing Principal, Rick Stewart, are pleased to announce that Rick’s son, Jackson, has passed his Eagle Board of Review. He is Troop 31’s 70th Eagle Scout, joining his father and continuing their family tradition.

Eagle Scout is the highest rank available in the Scouts BSA program of the Boy Scouts of America and only 4% of all scouts earn this rank.

Congratulations Jackson (and to your proud father).

HesseMartone President and CEO Andy Martone quoted in St. Louis Business Journal

The St. Louis Business Journal has quoted Andy in its article on “Smart Strategies for Growing Your Business Locally”.

The article can be found here.

HesseMortone Sponsors 2020 SIOSH/SafetyCon Conference

HesseMartone is proud to support the 2020 SIOSH/SafetyCon conference as a Gold Level Sponsor. The event brings together construction and industry experts to highlight best practices for safe workplaces.

The conference will feature a keynote talk from Super Bowl Champion and NFL Hall of Famer, Aneas Williams.  Held at the Southern Illinois University campus, there will be 12 break out sessions and an awards presentation for Contributions in Health & Safety for General Industry & Construction.

SIOSH/SAFETYCON
January 27, 2020
7:30am to 4:00pm
Morris University Center / Meridian Ballroom

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Visit https://www.imec.org/event/sioshsafetycon_012720 for more event details and registration.

HesseMartone Sponsors Annual Shooting Event by SIBA, AGCI, and ECA

HesseMartone supported the annual Shooting Event held by The Southern Illinois Builders Association (SIBA), Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Illinois, and Egyptian Contractors Association . Four-man teams competed in a sporting clay competition at the World Shooting Complex in Sparta, Illinois.  HesseMartone and other firms sponsored the cash prizes and gift cards awarded to the winners of the 151 shooters who participated in the event.

Southern & Central Illinois was the First Place Team winner with a score of 352 points.

HesseMartone Provides Sexual Harassment Training for SIBA

HesseMartone will be offering a new Sexual Harassment training on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Sponsored by the Southern Illinois Builders Association and Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program, this certificate program will cover the new Illinois legislation effective January 1, 2020 and July 1, 2020.

This certificate program will be in compliance with the new training standards, which includes an interactive training component, specific content requirements, and an updated reporting process to the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 9:00 a.m.
SIBA Office
1468 Green Mount Road O’Fallon, IL

For more information about the program, see the flyer below.

HesseMartone Works with IRTBA

The Illinois Human Rights Act has been amended with new requirements going into effect on January 1, 2020 and July 1, 2020. These requirements include new guidelines for sexual harassment prevention training and reporting to the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

Andy Martone and Morgan Taylor of HesseMartone outline these new requirements in their article “Sexual Harassment Training- It’s the Law”.

It was distributed in the Friday Facts newsletter on January 10, 2020 which is published by the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association (IRTBA).

Read the article on page 3 of the newsletter below.

An Employer’s Guide to Illinois Cannabis Regulation — A workable (and legitimate) definition of “impairment”

The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“Cannabis Act”) protects an employer who acts reasonably based on a “good faith belief” than an employee was “impaired by or under the influence of cannabis”.

This makes it important to define and explain “impairment” and being “under the influence”.

The Cannabis Act itself provides some help, requiring that the employer be able to demonstrate:

  1. Specific, articulable (describable) symptoms;
  2. While working (or on call);
  3. That decrease or lessen;
  4. The employee’s performance of the duties or tasks;
  5. Of the employee’s job position.

Each of these components must be present in order to trigger the protection of the statute.

The Cannabis Act specifically addresses the meaning of “symptoms”, indicating that they include symptoms relating to the employee’s : 1) speech; 2) physical dexterity; 3) agility; 4) coordination; 5) demeanor; 6) irrational or unusual behavior; 7) negligence or carelessness in operating equipment or machinery; 8) disregard for the safety of the employee or others; 9) involvement in any accident that results in serious damage to equipment or property; 10) disruption of a production or manufacturing process;and 11) carelessness that results in any injury to the employee or to others.

This laundry list describes potential symptoms of impairment/being under the influence.

These symptoms do not provide definitive proof.

For that, the employer probably needs a positive test result — which means that “impairment” may really mean “demonstrating one or more of the symptoms of being impaired by cannabis and testing positive for the presence of cannabis in the employee’s system at the time the symptom is demonstrated”. While it may be possible to act without the confirmation of a positive test result, it is risky to do so because the law also provides that the employee must be given “a reasonable opportunity to contest the basis of the determination”.

What’s an employer to do?

Adopt a policy or modify an existing policy to track the requirements of the statute with regards to symptoms of impairment. When necessary, negotiate the changes with any applicable labor organization;

Provide supervisor training in recognizing, corroborating and documenting the existence of the symptoms of impairment;

Create a system of documentation/checklists that makes it easy and effective to do so;

Preserve any objective evidence of impairment that exists.

This article is the second in a 5-part series on “An Employer’s Guide to Illinois Cannabis Regulation”.

An Employer’s Guide to Illinois Cannabis Regulation– Not so Fast! “Zero Tolerance”​ may not mean zero tolerance.

As of January 1, Illinois employers have to deal with recreational cannabis, whether they like it or not.

While Illinois has been a relatively lax medical cannabis state for years, legalizing cannabis for recreational usage places it under the protection of the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against an employee or applicant for using a “lawful product” — like recreational cannabis. And while the Right to Privacy Act does carve out an exception for the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“Cannabis Act”), this exception does not mean that cannabis users are not protected against discrimination by Illinois law.

The Illinois Cannabis Act does allow for employers to maintain a “zero tolerance” drug testing policy — but this does not mean that employees who test positive for THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) can be automatically discharged just because the employer’s drug testing policy says so…

…because under the Cannabis Act, only employers whose drug testing policies are “reasonable” are provided with (limited) protection from lawsuit…

…and because an employee can test positive for THC without being “impaired” or “under the influence”.

In other words, the courts could interpret “zero tolerance” to mean “zero tolerance for impairment” instead of “zero tolerance for THC”.

What’s an employer to do?

  1. Adopt a drug testing policy that focuses on “impairment” or being “under the influence”;
  2. Plainly and legally define what those terms mean;
  3. Train supervisors in recognizing and documenting impairment;
  4. Provide for due process with regard to the employee.

This article is the first in a 5-part series on “An Employer’s Guide to Illinois Cannabis Regulation”.

HesseMartone Welcomes Tim O’Grady to the Firm

HesseMartone is excited to announce that Tim O’Grady has joined the firm as an Attorney.

Prior to joining HesseMartone, Tim has represented employers in race, gender, age, and disability claims. He has represented construction companies in numerous contractual disputes in court, and he has advised construction companies concerning legal issues for Missouri, Illinois, and Federal projects. He has also represented corporate clients in insurance coverage and subrogation litigation, and he advises clients on employment agreements and non-compete agreements.

Tim is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Illinois. See his page on our firm website here.

Abby Schwab Coordinates Gifts for Families in Need

The United Way’s “100 Neediest Cases” campaign has helped thousands of families and individuals during the holiday season for generations.  Each year, 100 cases are selected from a list of thousands provided by more than 60 social service agencies throughout the St. Louis region. 

Abby Schwab, a HesseMartone attorney, coordinated this year’s “adoption” of three families from the United Way’s “100 Neediest Cases” in the hope of making their holiday season just a little brighter.  Throughout the month of December, Abby and the HesseMartone elves worked together to coordinate and shop for individualized gifts for each family member. 

In its seventh year of participation, HesseMartone was able to provide the families with beds, bedding, a dining table and chairs, towels, blankets, pots and pans, a high chair, basic household cleaning supplies, clothes, shoes, winter coats, and the team was even able to help one family pay off an outstanding electric bill.  In addition, the HesseMartone elves made sure that each child received most, if not all, items on their “wish list,” ranging from dolls and dollhouses to Lego sets and board games.  

HesseMartone invests much thought into helping others in a meaningful way and invites you to do the same. Visit https://www.100neediestcases.org/ to learn more or to get involved in this program.