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Can a business ban guns from the business and workplace? If a customer walked into your retail business or professional office carrying a gun, would you be comfortable with that, or would it feel a little too much like the O.K. Corral? What if they were carrying their weapon openly? Businesses in Oklahoma (postal abbreviation: OK) have had a new reason to ask themselves those questions since November 1, when a change in state law…
Non-competition agreements (“non-competes”) have long been viewed as viable means for Chicago area business owners to prohibit former employees from taking confidential information and using it to unfairly compete against the business.   Non-competes are actually prohibited in some states, but not Illinois. Illinois allows the use of non-competes with some limitations.  Illinois employers are allowed to use non-competes provided they reasonably protect the employer’s legitimate business interests.  What this means has been left to the…
Illinois Cannabis Laws create new issues for Property Owners Cannabis may be legal in Illinois after January 1, but it is still illegal under federal laws.  This will make for some interesting discrepancies in how the laws will be applied.  Federal law remains in direct conflict with the new Illinois state law.  There are a number of issues that property owners should be concerned with on January 1. Federal Subsidized Housing:  In federal subsidized housing…
Lung injuries related to vaping began to appear on hospitals’ radar screens last summer, and the e-cigarette industry has been singed by criticism ever since. Chicago Business Lawyer George Bellas warns about health issues with vaping The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had reported 42 deaths based on e-cigarette or vaping product use as of December 10, along with more than 2,400 cases of lung injury related to the products. In response, some…
The threshold for white-collar employees to be classifiable as “exempt” will rise about 50% to $684 per week (about $35,568 per year) on January 1, 2020. Employers will need to make adjustments to ensure they’re compliant with this updated rule, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, announced on September 24 by the U.S. Department of Labor.  By “exempt” I am referring to employees who do not qualify for overtime pay. The rule change—which boosts the…
The new Illinois laws legalizing cannabis has a benefit to old stoners – expungement of criminal records. Among the several provisions of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act which takes effect on January 1 are provisions that include some dramatic criminal justice reforms.  The most important of these provisions are the expungement provisions for certain past cannabis-related criminal convictions. Illinois laws now permit expungement of prior cannabis related crimes. The new laws provide for…
Is Your Website ADA Compliant? I have previously reminded business owners that their websites must be ADA compliant in a post titled: “Is Your Website ADA Compliant”.  And a recent (non) decision by the U.S. Supreme Court affirms that position. As a followup to this post, the U.S. Supreme Court recently declined a petition for certiorari in Domino’s Pizza v. Guillermo Robles, letting stand the Ninth Circuit’s decision holding that Title III of the…
George Bellas explains Blockchain Technology  What is bitcoin?   Is it the same as blockchain? The quick answer is that bitcoin is not the same as blockchain. “Bitcoin” is a form of cryptocurrency and “blockchain” is the concept technology that underlies it. The concept of a blockchain was first conceived in 2008 by someone names Satoshi Nakamoto, which may be pseudonym for someone or a group of people, who introduced a white paper[1]
Employment Discrimination issues explained by George Bellas Chicago Business Lawyer The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all other places that are open to the general public.[1]   When it comes to employment, the ADA provides that employers covered by the statute may not discriminate against “qualified individuals” with a disability with…
Employers who collect biometric information such as fingerprints, face scans, or retina or iris scans from employees—or even customers—need to ask permission and explain why the data is being collected, or they could well face legal liability. The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which regulates how employers must handle biometric data, received a relatively liberal interpretation from the Illinois Supreme Court, which means that state-level lawsuits have wider latitude than federal ones—but even…