New Law Requires You To Post the City of Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance

If you are an employer with a business location in Chicago or you have a business license to operate in Chicago, as of July 1, 2015 you must do all three of the following:

   • Post a copy of the City of Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance Notice in your business facilities; 
   • Give each employee a copy of the Ordinance with their first paycheck they will receive after July 1, 2015; 
   • Give each new employee a copy of the Ordinance hired after July 1, 2015 when they receive their first paycheck.

--> Click here to get a copy the notice <--

This Ordinance establishes a new schedule for raising the minimum wage of $13.00 per hour in Chicago by 2019. The phase in for the wage increase is:

Effective Date

Non-Tipped Employees

Tipped Employees

Current

$8.25

$4.95

July 1, 2015

$10.00

$5.45

July 1, 2016

$10.50

$5.95

July 1, 2017

$11.00

Amount to be determined and announced yearly on or before June 1st.

July 1, 2018

$12.00

July 1, 2019

$13.00

 The minimum wage increase applies to all employees who, within any two week period, work within at least two hours in the Chicago.

A failure to post or distribute this ordinance notice can result in a fine of $500 - $1,000 per violation. It is likely that some entrepreneurial lawyers will find a way to make a fortune by filing a class action lawsuit against employers who violates the ordinance.

If you have any questions about the ordiance or your obligations, call Henry Krasnow or Zachary Pollack.

 

 

All Contract Arbitration Provisions Are Not Created Equal: Seven Pitfalls in Agreeing to Arbitration

Written By: Henry C. Krasnow

Someone very smart once observed, "There are no perfect solutions; each solution creates new problems."

Litigation is slow, frustrating and expensive. And, when anything is slow, frustrating and expensive, people invariably attempt to come up with alternatives. That is the American Way.

Arbitration is the best known alternative to having a dispute resolved by litigation. In arbitration, the people involved in a dispute do not use the courts (the government-supplied dispute resolution system with published rules and judges paid by the taxpayers), but rather use a private system where the judges are called arbitrators and there are few rules. The hope is that this private system will be quicker and cheaper (the lack of rules is hoped to make it simpler) and somehow fairer.

Anyone comparing the merits of these two systems should keep in mind that all dispute resolution systems can be evaluated on a continuum.

Recouping Unpaid Assessments - A New Approach

Written By: Isaiah A. Fishman

The recent recession has caused many condominium and homeowner associations to struggle with unit owners who refuse to pay their assessments. After all, from the point of view of a unit owner facing a foreclosure or going through bankruptcy, paying the condominium or homeowner association assessments is low on their list of priorities, especially since they do not expect to be a long term resident.

New Developments In Noncompete Agreements

Written By: Henry C. Krasnow

Non-compete agreements (sometimes called restrictive covenants) have bedeviled businesses and the legal system as long as anyone can remember. No business owner wants to train an employee to be a great salesman or a brilliant plant supervisor, only to have that person leave to compete by calling on the same customers or opening up their own business. On the other hand, no employee wants to limit his or her future opportunities by being tied forever to a job in which he or she is underpaid and under appreciated.

The Illinois Supreme Court recently changed the rules regarding noncompete agreements. As a result, whenever there is a dispute about a noncompete agreement, the scope of the inquiry will be expansive enough to include an evaluation of the "totality of the facts and circumstances of the individual case."

Estate Planning For Unmarried Couples

Although unmarried couples care deeply about what should happen if one of them dies, their good intentions can easily be frustrated unless care is given to the preparation of the proper documents. Estate planning for an unmarried couple is almost invariably met by problems not experienced by married couples. Even when the amount of money involved seems relatively small, carefully drafted legal documents are often crucial.

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

Recent economic hardships have created unique opportunities to save estate taxes. These opportunities will be gone once the economy recovers, so prompt action should be considered by everyone.

Some of the most promising opportunities include:

Loans to Family Members
Interest rated have remained low this year, but they will eventually increase. You may give your family members or other loved ones the benefit of borrowing money at interest rates lower than those available from commercial lenders. For example, without gift taxes a loan of less than 3 years can be made at 0.19%, a loan of 3-9 year at 1.20%, and a loan of more than 9 years at 2.67%. Existing loans may also be refinanced.

Sophisticated Estate Planning Techniques
Those who have been fortunate enough to create large taxable estates (more than $5 million) may find additional advantages in strategies that perform best in a low interest rate environment such as GRATs, installment sales to grant or trusts and charitable lead annuity trusts.

Gifts of Business Interests
Business owners have the chance to use historically depressed prices (and loans at historically low rates) to help younger family members purchase portions of the business at low rates. This strategy shifts wealth to younger family members when the business prospers during the economy's return to growth.

Even if your situation is uncomplicated by estate tax issues, it is still necessary to have basic estate planning documents like a will and powers of attorney. If you have estate planning documents but they have not been updated or reviewed in the last 3 years, it is important to make sure they remain effective, given the number of changes to the law in recent years.

As year-end approaches, please consider whether income and estate tax savings techniques can be of value to you. Because it can take time to put these techniques into effect, we recommend that you promptly call us to arrange a time to speak with an expert in our estate planning department. You can either call your Krasnow Saunders Kaplan & Beninati lawyer, Francis Beninati, or Karin Prangley of our estate planning department to set up an appointment.

Choosing the Right Type of Entity For Your Small Business

The High Cost of Doing Business as a Sole Proprietorship

Many people think it is easier and less expensive to operate a business as a sole proprietorship, believing that it is expensive and complicated to incorporate. But in reality, the fees to register and maintain an entity such as a limited-liability company ("LLC") or a corporation are minimal considering the peace of mind and the liability protection they provide to the business owner.

You Don't Need To Be Walmart To Demand More Value From Your Lawyer

Written By: Henry C. Krasnow

Last spring, Walmart announced that it would only accept rate increases from the law firms it hired if those firms could show that its lawyers were more valuable for some reason other than merely aging by a year. Applauding Walmart's stand, a Vice-President of the Association of Corporate Counsel said that most in-house lawyers wished that they, too, "had Walmart's pull in the legal market" so that they could refuse to accept price increases.

But you don't have to be Wal-Mart to demand more value from your lawyer.

Unpaid Assessments: An Alternative To Writing Off Unpaid Debts

Creating condominium or homeowner-association documents that permit the association to maximize collections of assessments in an economic downturn is important to any developer. Fortunately, it is not difficult or costly to achieve. Without effective remedies to collect unpaid assessments, the association will have reduced revenues and will need to cut services or increase assessments to the remaining owners.

The Employee Free Choice Act Re-Introduced in Congress

Recently, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was re-introduced in Congress. The EFCA is unquestionably the most significant piece of federal labor law legislation in decades. Many of you may recall that an identical version of this bill passed the House last year but died in the Senate by a filibuster. If it now becomes law, it will impact employers and employees in significant several ways.