Employment Law Newsletter by Ryan Haas
winter 2015
Sleeping on the job may not be misconduct for purposes of unemployment compensation
   Generally, when an employee is terminated for “misconduct” in Illinois, the employee is not eligible to receive unemployment benefits. Yet, what does “misconduct” mean under the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act (“the Act”)? Most employers likely have a good sense of when an employee has engaged in misconduct in violation of a company policy. Yet, when considering whether employee misconduct is really “misconduct” as defined under the Act, employers may be surprised to learn that their idea of misconduct may not be the same as that described in the Act.

   On February 18, 2015, the Illinois Appellate Court issued an unpublished decision in Universal Security Corp. v. Dept. of Emp. Security, holding that an employee, who was an unarmed night security guard at O’Hare International Airport, and who was terminated for company misconduct when he fell asleep on the job, did not engage in “misconduct” as defined by the Act.
Read more about how the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act defines misconduct and how it pertains to employers' providing unemployment benefits.
Featured Articles
DOL changes definition of ‘spouse’ under the FMLA
   Employers need to be aware of a new Final Rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) changing the definition of “spouse” and allowing for more employees to qualify for leave time under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for specified family and medical reasons. The FMLA also includes certain military family leave provisions for covered employees.
To read more about the DOL's new Final Rule, click here.
HIPAA hurts: jury verdict upheld against Walgreen Co. for $1.8 million
   It seems like every day in the news there is a new story about electronic data breaches from hackers. While these types of data breaches tend to make the front page headlines, hackers account for only a small percentage of reported breaches under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). In fact, hackers accounted for only eight percent of reported breaches in 2011 and nine percent in 2012. For employers, these statistics are critical in making decisions about where to deploy resources to prevent and protect against HIPAA breaches and state privacy law violations.
Read the full client alert by guest author, Kimberly Boike
The author, Ryan Haas, invites you to contact him and welcomes your inquiries.
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