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With the start of a new year, Illinois employers face some new state laws. Increase in State Minimum Wage Illinois has increased its minimum wage from $13.00 to $14.00 per hour statewide, including Cook County (except Chicago). The minimum wage for employees in Chicago is higher. For large Chicago businesses employing 21 or more workers, the minimum wage for employees is $15.80 per hour For smaller Chicago businesses employing between 4-20 workers, the minimum wage for employees is $15.00 per…

Employers across Illinois are readying their leave policies to comply with the Paid Leave for All Employers Act. Chicago employers need to prepare for something more. On November 9, 2023, the Chicago City Council passed a new Paid Leave Ordinance that added 40 hours of paid leave to its present 40 hours of mandated sick leave. Chicago employers must take immediate action because the new Ordinance is effective January 1, 2024. If an employer already has a policy on December…

October is Estate Planning Awareness Month. This annual reminder offers the opportunity to review your estate planning and ensure it is up-to-date and accomplishes your goals. Funding your Revocable Trust Your estate planning is prepared. You signed it. Mission accomplished? Almost…. There is a very important step, called “trust funding” that often gets missed after executing a trust. If you started funding your revocable trust and did not finish, BREATHE, it is ok. You are still able to finish!  Now…

The concerns about finding and recovering assets in Switzerland are legion. There is a strict blocking statute and bank secrecy, but all is not lost. In the context of insolvency proceedings, Swiss criminal proceedings offer an effective tool to enable disclosure of banking information and the freezing of assets. The blocking statute provides that any person who carries out activities on behalf of a foreign state on Swiss territory without lawful authority and where such activities are the responsibility of…

As we find ourselves well into the latter half of the year, the thoughts of winter travel, holidays and the bustling activities of the upcoming months begin to occupy the minds of many. It is also an opportune moment to reflect on your estate plan and decide if any aspects require careful attention before the year's end, including contemplating annual gifts. Annual Gifts Individual Gifts In 2023, the annual federal gift tax exclusion is $17,000. This means that you can…

On August 4, 2023, Governor Pritzker signed into law extensive amendments to The Day and Temporary Labor Services Act (Act). They were immediately effective, but the Illinois Department of Labor (Department) has not yet promulgated any guidance or instructions. As a result of the amendments, the Act increased penalties, imposed new notice requirements and heightened protections for laborers. Most significantly, temporary workers assigned to a client job site for 90 days or longer will be entitled to receive the same…

At the beginning of 2023, Illinois increased the state minimum wage to $13.00 per hour. The City of Chicago’s minimum wage already exceeded the state minimum wage, and on July 1, 2023, the City further increased its minimum wage. Chicago’s Minimum Wage as of July 1, 2023 The increases for Chicago are based on the size of the employer. Large Businesses (with 21 or more employees) will see an increase to $15.80 per hour for non-tipped employees and $9.48 per…

Recent court proceedings demonstrate the extent courts may go to authorize alternative means of service. When service methods by process server or mail, whether certified or express, are unsuccessful, you should consider the other alternative means courts have allowed. In In re Three Arrows Cap., Ltd., No. 22-10920 (MG), 2022 WL 17985969 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Dec. 29, 2022), after an insolvency proceeding in the British Virgin Islands, a Chapter 15 proceeding was filed in the U.S. to enforce and defend claims against…

HMB recently issued a Client Alert following the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Tims v. Black Horse Carrier, 2023 IL 127801, where the Court held that all Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) actions would be governed by a 5-year statute of limitations period. Since then, the Illinois Supreme Court has dealt another blow to Illinois BIPA defendants. Cothron v. White Castle System, Inc. On February 17, 2023, the Court issued its long-awaited decision in Cothron v. White Castle System,…

On February 21, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a decision which found that employers who included confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions in separation agreements of nonmanagerial employees were engaging in unfair labor practices prohibited by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This decision will have a far-reaching effect, impacting the use of these common provisions upon which many employers have conditioned severance payments. What was decided? Employers routinely ask separated employees to maintain the terms and existence of…

Illinois will join Chicago and Cook County in requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. Once signed by Governor Pritzker, the Paid Leave for All Workers Act will become effective on January 1, 2024. The General Assembly declared that it was “in the public policy interests of the State for all working Illinoisans to have some paid leave from work to maintain their health and well-being, care for their families, or use for any other reason of…

Background on BIPA Illinois employers collecting biometric information for timekeeping purposes have been assaulted by class action lawsuits brought under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Typically, plaintiffs in these actions seek five years of damages for claims that employers collected biometric information through fingerprinting or face screening without issuing a public policy declaring the use and retention of these records and without first providing notice and receiving the employees’ consent. BIPA does not expressly include a statute of…

In the new year, cryptocurrency bankruptcies will be breaking new ground over the ability to recover customer deposits. An understanding of the ruling in the Bernie Madoff SIPC liquidation could provide guidance for such recoveries. Bankruptcy Code sections 548 (a) and 550 (a) give chapter 11 debtors, appointed trustees and post-confirmation liquidating trustees the power to sue and recover money and other forms of property the debtor sold, loaned, gifted, or otherwise transferred to third parties within two years of…

Is your business ready for Illinois in 2023? With the start of each new year come new employment laws in Illinois. 2023 is no different. Here are three changes to Illinois employment law. State Minimum Wage Increases to $13.00 per hour Illinois is moving slowly towards a $15.00 per hour minimum wage across the state. In Chicago, the minimum wage already exceeds that threshold. For large Chicago businesses employing 21 or more people, the minimum wage for non-tipped employees is…

On October 13, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the classification of employees and independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). After President Biden took office, the DOL attempted to rescind and withdraw an independent contractor rule (the 2021 Rule) that had been put in place in the waning days of the Trump Administration. The DOL’s attempts to withdraw the 2021 Rule were stymied by judicial action. Now, the DOL…

Why Estate Planning Awareness Week? In 2008, Congress designated the third week of October (October 17-23, 2022) as National Estate Planning Awareness Week as a reminder to the public of the importance of estate planning. Having a proper estate plan is important to ensure that you and your loved ones are taken care of. When done well, estate planning aims both to allow you to pass on your assets as you see fit, and to minimize the state and federal…

Written by: Rick S. Rein with contributions made by Ben Dockery. “The 2022 Amendments to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) update and modernize the UCC to address emerging technologies. A new UCC Article 12 on Controllable Electronic Records governs transactions involving new types of digital assets (such as virtual currencies and nonfungible tokens), and corresponding changes to UCC Article 9 address security interests in digital assets.”[1] A member of the uniform law commission explained that two underlying themes of Article…

In August, California’s Attorney General announced a settlement with Sephora that carried a $1.2 million dollar fine for Sephora’s California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) violations. This is the first CCPA action taken by California that resulted in a fine and settlement. It is important to understand what the California Attorney General alleged Sephora did in violation of the CCPA, so that your business does not face a similar scenario. The CCPA In June of 2018, the CCPA was signed into…

By Jordan M. Goodman and Joe Carr, Tax Partner, BDO USA. Please feel free to reach out to the authors with questions.  A new trend in state and local tax reporting in California combines certain income tax and unclaimed property reporting requirements on 2021 and future business income tax returns to enhance compliance. The increased compliance efforts of the California State Controller’s Office (SCO) regarding unclaimed property will likely result in increased audit activity. CA Assembly Bill 466, which became…

In the 2021 Supreme Court term (October 2021 – September 2022), the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) issued decisions in 66 cases. With its new conservative majority (J. Roberts, J. Alito, J. Thomas, J. Gorsuch, J. Kavenaugh and J. Barrett), the Court tackled a wide variety of issues ranging from immigration, freedom of religious expression, gun safety to abortion rights. You can read Part I of this article examining the Court’s decisions impacting arbitration and the vaccine mandate here. Part…

In the 2021 Supreme Court term (October 2021 – September 2022), the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) issued decisions in 66 cases. With its new conservative majority (J. Roberts, J. Alito, J. Thomas, J. Gorsuch, J. Kavenaugh and J. Barrett), the Court tackled a wide variety of issues ranging from immigration, freedom of religious expression, gun safety to abortion rights. Part I of this article will discuss the Court’s decisions impacting arbitration and the vaccine mandate. Part II will discuss…

Trusts are popular for various reasons to hold assets, and the Nevis International Exempt Trust is indicative of the reason for such popularity as an asset protection device. A settlor looks for a safe and stable jurisdiction to hold assets and to be able to access and control such wealth. Nevis provides such security. As important, settlors consider protection from future creditors who may attack the trust trying to set it aside and gain access to the trust funds. The…

Chicago's amended sexual harassment laws went into effect on July 1, 2022. The ordinance applies to companies employing at least one employee within the city. What you Need to know Under the amended Human Rights Ordinance, Chicago employers must: Maintain a written sexual harassment policy Provide the policy in the employee's primary language to employees within the first calendar week of their employment Post the notice in a conspicuous place in the workplace Provide one hour of mandatory sexual harassment…

Recent decisions from courts in Illinois offer guidance in lending transactions and handling of bank accounts. Amos Financial LLC. v. Szydlowski The Illinois Court of Appeals in the First District recently created precedent with implications for lenders dealing with guarantors and assignees. In Amos Financial LLC. v. Szydlowski, 2022 IL App (1st) 210046-U, the court affirmed the lower court’s decision to hold the guarantor of a note liable to the assignee of a separate note created two years later. This…

On July 1, most Chicago employers face an increase in the Chicago minimum wage. Chicago’s Minimum Wage Ordinance applies to employers who maintain a business facility within the city or who are required to obtain a business license to operate in the city and to employees who work two hours in the city within a two-week period. The ordinance does not apply to employees under 18 years of age, adult employees in their first 90 days of employment, certain disabled…

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