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Questions Answered by Cynthia Pietrucha
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: In illinois, does unpaid medical leave make you eligible for unemployment benefits?

I am still employed but unable to do my job because of an injury (not work related); therefore, I was placed on an unpaid medical leave of absence and am receiving no pay. I am able to do some form of work; however, my job requires me to stand for long periods of time, which I am unable to do. As... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on May 20, 2021

I'm sorry to hear about your injury. If you haven't already, you should ask your employer for a light duty assignment supported by a doctor's note indicating the need to do work that does not require standing for long periods of time. The employer would then have the duty to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: With Biden's new executive order, may I keep my unemployment benefits if I quit my job due to fear & medical reason?

I do not feel safe returning due to the nature of my job (janitorial) at a very large bar/restaurant (who has remained open) , and mostly due to my medical condition (asthma), I have a mother who is severely immounocomprised I live with/ I also think that the job in general is so physically... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Feb 12, 2021

Here are some IDES FAQ you may find helpful:

3/16/2020 COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits - IDES

https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/Pages/COVID-19-and-Unemployment-Benefits.aspx 2/3

What if I‘m temporarily laid off because the place where I work is temporarily closed because...
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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Civil Litigation and Employment Discrimination for Illinois on
Q: will bankruptcy get rid of this lawsuit?

I was injured at work, was on workers comp for several months and was cut off right before surgery by the whole insurance playing their games. my wc lawyer pawned me off to another "trial" lawyer who then pawned me off to another "new guy in the firm" lawyer who completely... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Dec 14, 2020

I'm sorry to hear about your experiences. You should immediately reach out to a competent attorney to address the pending lawsuit from the actual company. At the very least you will need to complete consultation to fully understand your options.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: What all can an employer legally disclose to a 3rd party in my personnel file?

Employers are not supposed to disclose disciplinary issues or letters upon request of personnel files, none of which I was ever officially given in the first place. However my termination letter includes multiple reasons for my termination that had been compiled after they decided to terminate my... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Dec 11, 2020

In Illinois, the governing law for personnel records is:

820 ILCS 40. This Act may be cited as the Personnel Record Review Act.

(Source: P.A. 86-1324.)

See the law and how you can file a complaint about violations here:...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: Can my district manager force me to pay my own money to make up for lost wages of another employee?

I work at a franchise of Dominos as the General Manager. One of my associates did not properly clock his hours last payroll resulting in no paycheck on friday. my district manager (my boss) says there is no other way to get him his money besides me paying from my own pocket. They take my bonuses... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Nov 23, 2020

No. Not only is it unfair, but it is illegal.

The Illinois Department of Labor has offered the following FAQ on this topic:

Can my employer take money out of my wages to cover cash register shortages or damages to the employer's equipment/property?

No, an employer...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: My work is opening illegally & defying the governors no indoor dining order, will unemployment side with me if I quit?

I live in Illinois, and I also have an underlying health condition (asthma) . I was told I was laid-off 4 days ago, I began the unemployment process, as they were closing the doors and following the rules at first, now I am told I need to return in a couple days.

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Oct 28, 2020

What a crazy world we live in! Be very careful in this scenario. To collect unemployment benefits, if you are not coming in due to asthma, you would need a doctor's note BEFORE you don't return. Also you should communicate in writing so you have evidence of your communications.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: In IL., is it legal to drop ones pay 30 % if asked to take another position within the company?

I work for a major retail firm.

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Sep 30, 2020

Yes, under the Illinois Wage and Payment Act, an employer may reduce your rate of pay IF you are notified of the change prior to performing the work and your wage does not fall below minimum wage. See Section 300.630(d).

TITLE 56: LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

CHAPTER I: DEPARTMENT OF LABOR...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for Illinois on
Q: Can an employer resend a job offer after I let them know about a birth defect that may slightly slow me down?

Delivery company was having me fill out paper work for employment. Back ground checks and waivers and such, I let him know that I have a medical condition with my legs and I may not be as fast as his other employees. He said he'd have to talk to his boss. He comes back and said he'd have... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Jul 10, 2020

The law requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer ("undue hardship"). You should connect with an experienced employment discrimination attorney... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Wisconsin on
Q: I'm high risk for COVID. Boss says return to office instead of working remotely. Do I get unemployment if I get let go?

I have a Doctor's note stating I should work from home. The office has not been professionally cleaned, there "are sanitizing wipes if needed.." There is only one bathroom for the entire floor of the office building I am in. Over half of the staff already works from home. I have... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on May 26, 2020

Under federal law, you likely have the right to ask for a reasonable accommodation for your disability. Have you shared the doctor's note with management or human resources? If not, immediately write a request for a reasonable accommodation to work from home. Your doctor's note needs... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for Illinois on
Q: Is it really legal to not allow an employee to work if they medically can not wear a face mask.

The order states that those who are medically able to wear them must. But what about those who can't. Can they really tell us we can't work? Are stores really able to deny us access because we can not wear the mask because of a disability?

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on May 4, 2020

This is a difficult topic that does not have a clear "yes" or "no" answer. Overall, you should be allowed to make decisions for your own well being but in an employment setting, the employee doesn't have full control.

The logic behind the mask requirement is that...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: My boss is making me work 7 days a week, 10 hours a day. When asked he said there isn’t a labor law for illinois
Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Apr 21, 2020

Illinois has a labor law called the One Day Rest in Seven Act (820 ILCS 140/1 et seq.). The One Day Rest in Seven Act requires at least 24 hours of rest for an employee in every calendar week. This means Illinois employees cannot be forced into working 7 days in a row unless the employee... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: I called in with a stomach ache/headache can my employer force me to see MD and get note now or take 14 unpaid days.

These symptoms are not Coronavirus related nor did i have any. My choice was md now and get note or take the 14 days unpaid leave..this was on Thursday.

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Apr 14, 2020

Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well! In summary, the employer can force you to get a doctors' note stating you are "fit for duty" after you've been out for a medical condition.

The federal government has discussed this via the EEOC, by addressing federal...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts for Illinois on
Q: My fiancé and I are getting married on 10.23.2020 and are considering canceling due to covid-19. In our venues contract

Nothing is stated about a pandemic or rescheduling. We have reached out to the venue and they are pushing to postpone our wedding, we don’t think that’s fair to push it back or have it on a Sunday for the amount we are paying for. What are our rights?

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Apr 13, 2020

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. If you want to take charge of the situation, you should hire an Illinois attorney to help you review the contract and if necessary re-negotiate the terms of your contract. Many attorneys will do this for a low flat fee.

If you choose to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: How do I prove I was discriminated against in IL?

I am a white male and took a bartending position at a Chinese restaurant. I was told I'd be making "3 grand easy", upon being hired. Turned out that I was making under minimum wage and was only receiving customers when all the other - Chinese born - employees were overwhelmed.... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Mar 16, 2020

Under normal circumstances, you would have to complain to the Chinese restaurant management/HR about the perceived discrimination, giving them the opportunity to investigate or otherwise resolve the situation. However, considering Illinois restaurants/bars are going to be closed for dine-in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: Looking for clarity on Illinois paid accrued vacation law

Hi, I left my job on December 6, 2019, I was paid the 8 hours of vacation I had left. However my colleague told me to ask for my accrued vacation time also as he said Illinois is 1 of the 2 states that have a law saying you are owed accrued vacation time. I contacted my previous employer he... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Feb 19, 2020

In Ilinois, the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act protects the rights of employees to receive their due compensation. If 8 vacation hours was all you had left in 2019, you didn't accrue any vacation time in 2020 and there is no violation of an employment contract or policy, you likely... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Illinois on
Q: Am I allowed to get out of my lease early if my boyfriend & I lost our jobs? We still 8 months on our lease
Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Dec 31, 2019

It depends on what the contract says and if your landlord is being flexible to the terms. Most leases clearly state and lease term (such as 12 months) as well as renewel terms (such as automatic renewal unless one party cancels in writing so many days before the renewal starts). If you are stuck... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: hired for position and then the current employee decides not to leave. What recourse does new employee have?

Hired as general manager to train for position with current general manager until they left. Plan was to take over duties February 1, 2019. Now current manager decides not to leave and the new person has had hours cut and is not receiving hours/pay that was told would receive when hired. New... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Feb 16, 2019

Depending on additional details not provided, the incoming new employee general manager may have a breach of contract claim and/or a right to collect unemployment benefits, but otherwise, just because this is unfair does not mean it is illegal. Employers may change their plans for any reason as... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for Illinois on
Q: Is there any Illinois law that states that support personnel (admins or exec. asst) must be hourly or non-exempt status?

Recently had a work from home policy go into effect but is only allowed for exempt employees. The claim by management is that admins and support personnel, must by law, be non-exempt and are therefore ineligible for the work at home program.

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Jan 31, 2019

From a legal perspective, "Work from home" policies are typically looked upon as completely discretionary by your employer. The only exceptions might be if you benefit from such arrangement because you have a disability and are in need of a reasonable accommodation.

Working...
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3 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law, Personal Injury and Workers' Compensation for Illinois on
Q: When does the 33 percent fee change to 40 percent in a contingency agreement?

I am looking to get clarification regarding the following paragraph:

---"Contingency Agreement. This is a contingency agreement. The attorney's fee shall be: a. 33 and 1/3 percent before Trial; b. 40 percent if the case proceed to a Trial."---

Based on this, when... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Jan 27, 2019

I agree with other responses that you should discuss this with your attorney for clarification. Your attorney is in the best position to answer this question.

However, from what you shared, it appears like actually going to trial triggers the 40% contingency fee. Trials can take months...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Illinois on
Q: Is there anything else I can do if I was unlawfully terminated in was able to disprove the reasons they claim?

I worked at this place for almost a year and loved it. When the site director changed she didn't like me very much and bullied and harassed me trying to get me to quit and when I didn't she fired me. The initial reason she fired me was false and I was able to prove that, so she came up... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Jan 7, 2019

I'm sorry to hear about your termination. As many answers to legal questions, the answer here is: It depends.

Illinois is an "at will" employment state, which means an employer can get rid of you as long as they are not violating a policy, contract or law.Employment...
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