Category:

Employment

Employment Contracts: The History of Non-Compete Agreements and the Future of Garden Leave Provisions

Non-competes are a traditional approach for employers seeking to place a restrictive covenant on an employee post termination or resignation. Recent studies show as high as 39.8 percent of all private sector employers are requiring non-competes, regardless of age or position. These agreements are typically signed by an employee near the date of hire, or over the course of employment, and typically limit the employee from working for or with competitors post-employment; sometimes even placing further restrictions regarding geographical areas or time periods.

Congress Should Revisit the Federal Vacancies Reform Act

In 1998, Congress passed legislation to address vacancies created when a high-ranking official of an executive branch agency leaves their position. The Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA) establishes a time limit of 210 days from the date of a vacancy for which a person may serve in an acting capacity in a position that is otherwise nominated by the President, with advice and consent of the Senate. The FVRA allows acting officials to serve beyond that time if there is a first or second nomination pending in the Senate for the vacancy. However, certain agencies have supplemental succession plans within their enabling statues that may supersede or complicate the FVRA.

The State of the Equal Pay Act in Illinois and Across the Country

In the almost sixty years since the passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, women and people of color are still deprived of wages equal to their male and white coworkers.  Illinois has recently made strides to level the playing field by passing amendments to their Equal Pay Act requiring large companies to disclose demographic data on their employees and sign compliance statements regarding pay discrimination.  Going forward, Chicago is considering requiring employers to post salary ranges on their job postings, while the Biden Administration has been fighting to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.  The future of equal wages in America depends on the results of these crucial legislative battles.

Advancing Abolition Is a Must — Abolition Means Transformative Wellbeing and Prevention

Policing is a settler colonial creation to control native populations and is exported aboard to teach other empires how to do the same. In 2007, the FBI found that cops averaged roughly four hundred “justifiable homicides” every year, whereas nearly eighty cops were murdered in the line of duty. These disparities have only further developed, where since 2014, cops averaged nearly one thousand homicides each year, and the number of cops killed in the line of duty remained around forty-eight. Policing and prison systems are premised on punishment, rather than transformative healing, health, and prevention. Thus, as stated in Decriminalization Is Not Enough, Abolition Is a Must, resources and funding which are currently given to our present system of policing and prisons should be reallocated to tools that actually serve the community, rather than on incarceration.

Justice is a means through which people can discuss, decide, and create environments that encourage them thrive and it involves the people who are most impacted by those conditions. In that vein, abolition will look different in each community. The goal of abolition should be prioritizing the needs of each community by allowing the community control and ultimate decision-making ability. Abolition allows each community to communicate, prioritize, and enact methods and means that will make that community the best environment for its members. As Dereka Purnell wrote in Becoming Abolitionists, “activists or abolition-curious people will often ask me, ‘What does abolition look like to you?’ My answers change all the time during conversation, especially since I believe that the dreaming and practicing should happen together. This is what I’m thinking about today as I’m writing the conclusion to this book. Every neighborhood would have five quality features: a neighborhood council; free twenty-four-hour childcare; art, conflict, and mediation centers; a free health clinic; and a green team.” Upon community needs, discussion, and approval, funds currently spent on police and prison systems should be reallocated to education, housing, health care, and public spaces. 

New for 2022: Employment Compliance Trends

2021 brought on many challenges never faced before for employers, most of which surrounded the central issue of working from home. Employers struggled to keep employees focused with all the distractions of being at home, technology connectivity issues, and making sure employees could still stay connected on a personal level with co-workers. While we may finally be shifting slightly away from the work from home space, 2022 will bring on a whole new variety of employment compliance issues that companies will need to tackle. Now that employees are coming back to the office, the focus will be shifted from managing work from home experiences to minimum wage increases, discrimination protections, and marijuana legalizations just to name a few.

Why a Culture Change in the Workplace Benefits your Mentoring Program

It’s hard and expensive to find and retain good employees. With this in mind, it’s not a surprise that companies are willing to try all sorts of things to make sure their employees stick around. For example, many companies have attempted to establish corporate mentorship programs where newer employees are paired up with veterans who can show them the way. But is this the right approach? Mentoring programs typically rely on single mentor-mentee matches and formal hierarchical pairings. Even if you can implement the best mentoring program, it is unlikely to achieve its intended result when the surrounding workplace is competitive and individualistic. For mentorship programs to have a real effect on the workplace, it seems that we all must take a step back and realize that real mentorship starts with company culture, not formal programs.

Decriminalization Is Not Enough, Abolition Is a Must

In the United States, since the 1980s, the federal prison population has increased by roughly 790%. Specifically, presently within Illinois, there are approximately 76,000 citizens who are incarcerated. In 2014, Illinois appropriated and spent nearly $1.3 billion on prison budgets. Where even though cannabis is now legal, in Illinois, roughly 90 inmates are still incarcerated for offenses relating to the use, manufacturing, and selling of cannabis. According to the Last Prisoner Project, inmates remain incarcerated even though House Bill 1438 establishes that persons who have been convicted on an offense are granted a pardon because the Bill provides no resentencing or commutation procedures, and the process to have sentences pardoned is slow.

In examining the injustices of carceral punishment, statistics like these show that these injustices are not an anomaly, but rather the norm. Because prisons are premised on punishment, rather than transformative healing, health, and prevention, prisons are a human rights issue, rather than a criminal justice issue. Prisons are premised on punishment, rather than transformative healing and health, and prevention. As a result, resources and funding which are currently given to our present system of policing and prisons should be reallocated to tools that actually serve the community, rather than on incarceration.

Nurse for Hire Services, the Next Uber?

The pandemic overloaded hospitals with increased patient volume, and after almost two years of battling COVID-19, health care worker burnout is at an all-time high. As a result of burnout, the healthcare industry is suffering from worker shortages, especially among nurses. Nursing shortages are straining hospital profitability, care delivery, and efficiency. Competition for labor will likely continue even after the pandemic. The healthcare labor shortage has attracted significant interest from venture capital. Venture capitalists are pouring millions into new healthcare worker staffing platforms. This week, a proposed measure was filed with the California attorney general’s office that could be on the ballot for the state’s voters this fall. The proposal seeks to classify certain healthcare workers as independent contractors, so that workers can find work online or through apps. The proposal to include health care in the gig economy presents the question of whether nurse staffing platforms will be the next Uber.

The Wave of Pay Transparency Laws: Why We Should Discuss Our Salaries

Your employer may discourage you from discussing your compensation with your co-workers, but did you know it’s not actually illegal? For example, some managers may portray to you that if you ask about your coworker’s pay, you might as well start packing up your belongings. In addition, most of us are uncomfortable with broadcasting our salary, but what if this secrecy is the reason for the conflict? If we removed that secrecy, it would allow for salary transparency to be standard in the workplace, eliminating the economic marginalization of workers and closing the wage gap. 

Industries Deserve Consistent Apprenticeship Rules and Regulations

November 15, 2021, marked the beginning of the seventh annual National Apprenticeship week. That same day, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) published a proposal to rescind its regulation and recently established framework regarding Standards Recognition Entities (SREs) of Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs). To succeed, industries offering apprenticeships need consistent rules and regulations that do not change at the whim of the executive branch. Passing the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 (Act) is one way that Congress can support established registered apprenticeship programs.