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Questions Answered by Cynthia Pietrucha
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 from home has...
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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 would the 40%... 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...
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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 with... 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 terminations can be...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for Illinois on
Q: Do you handle teacher rights cases when they are being subjected to harassment and unfair treatment?

A tenured teacher under pressure of health issues and a bi-polar daughter who has attempted suicide is unduly pressured to provided detailed differentiated Physical Education lesson plans for K-5 graders that are never acceptable. She is accused of having problems with parents/teachers and staff... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Dec 14, 2018

In Illinois, terminating a public tenured teacher is a complicated process and usually requires due process via a hearing. This can involve hundreds of pages of paperwork, strict deadlines and appeal rights.

If she is in danger of being terminated, she should notify her union (where...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: An employee on FMLA is charged with AWOL with doctor documentation for days charged. Is this a violation of FMLA?

I was written up and suspended for AWOL charges because my manager claims I didn’t call and leave a message on the dates I was written up for even though I presented my call logs that showed I did call.

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Dec 5, 2018

This behavior could be perceived as FMLA interference, an attempt to discourage you from using FMLA in the future.

The FMLA’s “interference” provision states it is “unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of or the attempt to exercise” any...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: I was working for a company for over a year And they fired me for something on my background that was over 5 years ago

I have been a driver for Lyft over a years now. And they fired me for something on my background that has been on there for over five years now. When i first started they did a background check with a company Call Checker over a year ago i was good to drive and another sometime in the middle of the... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Oct 3, 2018

I'm sorry to hear about your experiences with Lyft, but please understand you are likely not an employee but rather an independent contractor. Employees vs. Independent Contractors have very different legal rights, as most local, state and federal employment laws only protect bona fide employees.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts for Illinois on
Q: We hired a contractor in May. It's now September. Work is not complete, can we sue? We already paid him...

Contractor kept putting us off. I called him at the end of June and told him we needed our patio by the end of July. He told us we'd have a beautiful patio by then. We did not. We have a unlevel, unmeasured, poorly stamped crooked patio. It's September and it's still not cut and sealed per our... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Sep 17, 2018

You are protected by consumer rights if you believe this contractor committed fraud. You should speak with a local attorney about your options which might include reviewing any written or oral agreements about the work to be done, demanding that the contractor give you a partial refund or... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Government Contracts for Illinois on
Q: Is the government required to advertise their work projects someplace that's publicly viewable so everyone qualified can

bid on them?

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Sep 14, 2018

Sometimes. It depends on the unit of government and what funds they are using to pay for work projects. If an Illinois local government agency is required to advertise their work projects, they are likely required by state law or local ordinance to publish each bid in the newspaper and may also... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for Illinois on
Q: I have a wrongful termination inquiry. I was fired today with no justified reason. Please advise.

This company in my short tenure. I have seen people quit and get fired for no reason. Their Glassdoor page is filled with accurate accounts of what happened to me today. I was told I was fired because I wasn't happy. Not performance issues at all. They want me to sign a non disclosure in order to... Read more »

Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Sep 6, 2018

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. In Illinois, most employees are "at will" which means a company can fire you for any reason at any time - and you can also quit for any reason at any time.

Technically firing you for not being happy is perfectly legally, although very unfair,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: Is it illegal for an employer to demote and lower pay of an employee because of medical problems or conditions?
Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Jul 6, 2018

This is not an easy "yes" or "no" answer. It depends on the nature of the medical problems and the tenure of the employee. The FMLA is a federal law that protects employees who have worked for a minimum of 12 months, whereas the ADA is a federal law that protects all employees with disabilities... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: I was recently let go from my job due to me being pregnant do I have the right to file a charge on the employer
Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha answered on Dec 7, 2017

I'm sorry to hear about your recent workplace experiences.

In order to prove you have a valid charge of discrimination, you should gather as much evidence as you can (documents, text messages, witnesses, etc.). It isn't enough to just say you were let go for being pregnant. You must...
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