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Privacy in the Workplace: What Level of Privacy Can an Employee Expect at Work?

by Natalie Lorenz, Associate

Employers often wonder: Can they look at an employee’s emails?  Record an employee’s calls?  Go through an employee’s desk?

To answer these questions, employment law attorneys first must determine which laws might apply in a particular situation.  In Illinois, attorneys would consider at least the following: (1) the Constitution, (2) the Federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”), (3) the Illinois Eavesdropping Law, and (4) the common law tort of “intrusion upon seclusion.”

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The Status of the Personal Injury Award Exemption in Missouri

by Joe Harvath, Associate

Is your personal injury claim exempt from your bankruptcy estate under Missouri law?  The answer to that question has recently changed from yes to no.  Federal bankruptcy law allows states to “opt out” of federal exemptions and enumerate their own exemptions.

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Truck Accidents and Driver Fatigue | Your Personal Injury Lawyers

by Bill Niehoff, Shareholder

On June 7, 2014 at 12:54 a.m., a Wal-Mart truck driver slammed into the back of a vehicle on the New Jersey Turnpike critically injuring comedian Tracy Morgan and others and killing comedy writer James McNair. According to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation, the driver had been working for 13:32 hours out of a permitted 14:00 hours and driving 9:37 hours out of a permitted 10:00 hours. There is little doubt that driver fatigue played a significant role in this tragedy.

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Taxation of Court-Ordered Damages Awards

by Natalie Lorenz, Associate

Question: Do I have to pay taxes on damages I received in a court case?  Answer: It depends on the reason you received the damages.

Damages are not taxable if they are awarded on account of a personal physical injury.  26 U.S.C. 104(a)(2).  Under this test, there are two requirements: first, there must be a physical injury, and second, damages must have been awarded “on account of” that physical injury.

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New Illinois Law Will Prohibit Employers From Asking Job Applicants About Criminal Convictions

By Mark S. Schuver, Shareholder

Effective January 1, 2015, employers in Illinois with more than 15 employees will be prohibited from asking job applicants about their criminal conviction record.  Awaiting signature by the Governor, the Illinois “Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act” states that an employer “may not inquire about or into, consider or require disclosure of the criminal record or criminal history of an applicant until the applicant has been determine [to be] qualified for the position and notified that the applicant has been selected for an interview by the employer or employment agency or, if there is not an interview, until after a conditional offer of employment is made to the applicant.”

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