Title IX Sexual Harassment Final Rule Goes in to Effect in August

School districts focused on how and when schools might re open in the fall must be prepared to comply with the Final Rule recently released by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), amending Title IX regulations. For the first time since Title IX’s enactment in 1972, the regulations will now define “sexual harassment” and establish detailed procedures …

Phase 3 Guidelines for Municipalities

Today, Illinois enters Phase 3 of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s 5-Phase reopening plan. Although the main focus of this phase has been the reopening of certain businesses, local governments will also be affected in their operations and facilities. Phase 3 is not a return to normal, though; the Governor has released detailed guidelines and restrictions that should still be followed. General …

Legislative Changes for Local Governments Due to COVID-19

For more than two months, Governor J.B. Pritzker has been issuing Executive Orders that waive or alter a variety of laws involving local governments. These orders were designed to temporarily deal with ramifications of the COVID-19 emergency. However, when the General Assembly met in Special Session last week, many of their votes essentially ratified the Governor’s orders by making permanent …

Special Session Brings Changes for Public Safety

  The Illinois General Assembly met last week in Special Session to pass legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of its priorities was to provide extended benefits to first responders and other front-line workers who are facing the threat of coronavirus exposure every day at work.  Those changes to Chicago pensions, workers’ compensation, and PEDA benefits are detailed below, …

Special Legislative Session Addresses Remote Learning Issues

During its Special Session last week, the Illinois General Assembly did not decide when or how schools should open in light of the ongoing pandemic. However, the legislature did pass Senate Bill 1569, which made significant changes to the School Code in the event more school closures are needed. The bill also resolved certain teacher employment related issues that were …

Tips and Takeaways for Remote Learning Days

Several new guidance documents were issued by Governor Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) at the end of the day on March 27, 2020. All of the documents may be found on the ISBE website at https://www.isbe.net/Lists/News/NewsDisplay.aspx?ID=1319. Here is a list of takeaways for your district as you navigate remote education beginning on or after March 31, …

Free Webinars Offered to Provide COVID-19 Guidance

The COVID-19 pandemic has created numerous challenges for employers, including local governments. We have been fielding numerous questions from our clients on a wide range of topics, including paid leave, safety procedures, meeting attendance, unemployment, e-learning, and more.  As the daily press briefings from the president and the governor indicate, the situation continues to evolve, with these challenges likely remaining …

How the federal response to COVID-19 affects employers

On March 18, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), an emergency measure to assist Americans during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Act provides many benefits, including two types of temporary employee benefits. All public and private employees are covered by those benefits, unless they work for companies with 500 or more employees. …

Public bodies may meet remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak

A recent executive order by Governor J.B. Pritzker suspends portions of the Open Meetings Act, 5 ILCS 120 et seq., and allows local government meetings to occur without in-person attendance. As health officials urge residents to practice “social distancing” to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), public bodies face a significant challenge in adhering to the Act’s requirement that a quorum …

ISBE amends emergency rule regarding time out and physical restraint

On December 4, 2019, the Illinois State Board of Education issued an Emergency Amendment to the Emergency Rule regarding the Use of Time Out and Physical Restraint. The initial Emergency Rule (“Emergency Rule”), which went into effect on November 20, 2019 for 150 days, addressed both Time Out and Physical Restraint. The Emergency Rule is available on the ISBE website …