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Illinois employment law attorneyWhen you rely on a staff to help promote your company’s interests, it is important to be aware of your employees’ needs. Unhappy, overworked employees can quickly lead to decreased morale, reduced productivity, and lower profitability for your business. Aside from the numbers, it is also important to look after your employees as people—men and women who have committed themselves to helping you reach your professional goals.

Over the last couple weeks, the internet has been abuzz with commentary regarding a Michigan woman’s decision to take a mental health day away from work. More accurately, the talk has been focused on her manager’s positive response and the realization that more companies should be as supportive of their workers.

Sick Days for Mental Health

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Posted on in Business Law

non-compete clauses, low-wage employee, non-compete agreements, nondisclosure agreement, Arlington Heights business law attorneysOn August 19, 2016, Illinois state Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law referred to as the Illinois Freedom to Work Act. The law took effect on January 1, 2017—a law which will notably impact the private business sector.

Is a Non-Compete Clause Enforceable?

It is common for private business owners to require their employees sign and adhere to non-compete agreements. However, the Illinois Freedom to Work Act specifically prohibits a business owner from entering into a contract that denies a low-wage employee the ability to find employment elsewhere that competes with his or her current company.

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Arlington Heights business law attorney, employee handbook, employee policies, business law compliance, company policiesClearly outlining your company’s policies, standards, and expectations is one of the most effective things you can do as a business owner to create mutually beneficial relationships between you, the owner, and your employees.

Establishing thorough employee policies will not only help you clarify operational standards with your staff, it will also help reduce your chances of running into problems with various business law compliance issues.

Employee Handbook Necessities

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Arlington Heights employment law attorneys, employment at willIllinois is an employment at will state. That means employers do not have to provide a reason for termination to their employees. However, there are important limitations and exclusions that employers should know about before they terminate an employee. The following information explains the laws and provisions, and where employers can find help with ensuring they are compliant with Illinois state law.

Discrimination and Termination

Employers cannot terminate an employee for reasons related to race, color, marital status, physical or mental disability, gender, religion, ancestry, citizenship status, national origin, age, or military status. So, although they do not need an official reason to terminate an employee, it is usually preferred that employers do have documentation to back up their reason. This can provide protection in the event of a discrimination lawsuit.

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Arlington Heights employment law attorneys, tax withholding, record-keeping lawsWhen business is booming and you know you need to hire someone to fill the gap, it is easy to get excited. However, you cannot let that excitement cloud your judgment. There are critical employment law specifics you need to know before hiring your first employee. Some of the most critical relate to tax withholding and record-keeping requirements.

Preparing for the Hiring Phase

Before you can hire an employee, you must first obtain an employer identification number (EIN). This number is used for tax reporting purposes, and it is required for submitting certain documents to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You also need it to report information about your employees to the state. In addition, keep in mind that you will need to keep records of employment, tax withholding, deductible expenses, and other financial and employment-related information for a minimum of four years.

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