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The Chicago Employment Law Blog

Ill. Prepares for Medical MJ, but Employers Can Still Fire Potheads

The public is showing a growing interest in Illinois' new medical marijuana program, The Associated Press reports.

Though the law already passed under the state's new four-year medical marijuana pilot program, it has not yet been implemented.

Here are three considerations for Illinois employers and employees to keep in mind concerning medical marijuana:

Do Chicago Employers Have to Provide Sick Leave?

This year's flu season was particularly rough. Chicago's public health department reported 154 flu-related intensive care unit hospitalizations between the end of September 2013 and early February, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Though spring is fast approaching, people are still coming down with the flu, requiring them to take time off from work to recover.

But are employers legally required to provide paid sick leave?

Can Illinois Businesses Refuse Service to Gays?

Although businesses can refuse to serve customers who don't pay their bills, Illinois businesses likely can't refuse to serve gay people.

While federal law doesn't protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people from discrimination when patronizing businesses, Illinois and Chicago laws forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation.

However, businesses that aren't open to the public may have a legal loophole.

Can Workers Be Fired For Taking Family Leave?

It's the anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act which entitles eligible employees to unpaid leave should certain personal or family health issues arise.

But can workers be fired for taking family leave? Generally speaking, you can't get fired or demoted for taking FMLA leave.

But if you do get fired, your claim of FMLA retaliation will depend on a number of factors, such as the following:

7 Legal Reasons to Fire An Employee

The question of whether or not to fire an employee is a daunting predicament for employers. To make the decision simpler (or less complicated), employers should find out whether the law is on their side.

Here are seven legal reasons to fire an employee:

Office Holiday Decorations: 5 Legally Merry Tips

When it comes to office holiday decorations, why shouldn't you be able to celebrate the holidays at work? Before you begin decking the halls of your office, keep in mind that there may be some legal points to consider.

Here are five legally merry tips when it comes to your office holiday decorations:

Can Unpaid Interns Sue for Harassment, Discrimination?

Let's face it, interns have it rough. When they're not overworked and underpaid, they're battling the "casting couch" and enduring crude jokes -- sadly, with little to no legal recourse available.

When unpaid internships take an abusive turn, some interns have sued their employers, as Mother Jones recently reported. But because of how state and federal employment laws are written, most cases don't get very far in court.

What about in Illinois? Can unpaid interns sue for harassment or discrimination in Chi-town?

What Should You Know About Being a Whistleblower In Illinois?

What should you know about being a whistleblower in Illinois? Or, on the other hand, what should you know about whistleblowers as an employer?

A whistleblower is an employee who essentially tattles on their employer. The violation(s) he reports may be personal (e.g. an employment discrimination claim) or more general (e.g. illegal practices at work, like not paying for overtime).

Many states, including Illinois, have protections for whistleblowers. Here's a general breakdown:

Racist complaints are a nasty black mark on any business. Most employers will want to handle the issue as swiftly and diplomatically as possible.

This usually includes terminating those employees who are responsible for racist behavior at work. But Chicago-area employers should consider the following before making any employment decisions:

Illinois' medical marijuana bill promises some protections for registered users, but if it's signed into law, employees can still be legally fired for using medical marijuana.

Illinois could be the 19th state to have passed medical marijuana legislation, but the proposed law -- which is currently awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn's signature -- does little to protect medical pot users who will be subject to firings and discipline for their legal use of the drug.