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Do I have to pay our employees for time off taken to get vaccinated for COVID-19?

A:  There is not presently a law which requires an employer to grant an employee paid time off for the purpose of getting vaccinated for COVID-19.  Employees can take accrued paid leave time (e.g. sick leave, vacation time) if they desire.  The City of Chicago is considering an ordinance which will prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who take time off to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and fine employers who do not permit their employees to take (unpaid) time off for such purpose.  The ordinance would also award reinstatement, back-pay and treble damages to employees if their employer violates the ordinance by firing the employee.

Q:  Our fiscal year begins on May 1. Our board is still holding meetings remotely.  Can we hold our budget hearing over Zoom?
 
A:  Yes, so long as you ensure the public’s right to participate in the hearing is preserved.  Over the past year we have received many questions about virtual public hearings, usually in the zoning context where due process principles apply.  For a budget hearing, due process concerns are absent, but public bodies must still ensure that members of the public have the ability to contemporaneously interact with the board during a budget hearing.  Typically, that means the public has more opportunity to participate than during public comment. For a virtual budget hearing, there should be the ability for contemporaneous, two-way communication.  Furthermore, the notice of public hearing published in advance should include an explanation of the public participation procedure.
 
Q:   Can a municipality bill for water and sewer service which was provided more than 12 months earlier?
 
A:   Maybe.  This situation arises when a water meter is defective, fails to properly record the volume of water consumed by a customer and the error is not discovered for more than a year.  The Illinois Municipal Code contains a statute which expresses a community shall bill for any utility service, including previously unbilled service: (A) within 12 months after the provision of that service to the customer if the service is supplied to a residential customer; or (B) within 24 months after the provision of that service to that customer if the service is supplied to a non-residential customer.  However, an Illinois Appellate Court recently held that a home rule municipality may exercise its home rule power to enact an ordinance permitting it to bill for services provided more than 12/24 months ago.  Nothing in the bill affects the ability to collect charges described on timely issued bills that are more than 12 or 24 months delinquent.

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Quorum Forum 57: Sexual Harassment (10/7/2021)
The Workplace Transparency Act requires nearly all Illinois employers to give their employees sexual harassment prevention training every year. Ancel Glink’s Amber Samuelson joins us to ... View entire article
Quorum Forum 56: Vaccine Mandates (10/6/2021)
The FDA approved the first COVID-19 vaccine and Ancel Glink’s Mike Halpin joins us to discuss what that means for employers considering vaccine mandates. Then, Andrew Scott tells about r... View entire article
Keri-Lyn Webinar (9/10/2021)
Keri-Lyn Krafthefer will be presenting a webinar on September 10 for the Chicago Bar Association’s Election Law Committee on “Local Government Issues related to Municipal Elections. “
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Archived Question of the Month
April 2021
Do I have to pay our employees for time off taken to get vaccinated for COVID-19? View answer
October 2018
Our Village has a resident that files FOIA requests once per week and the work to produce the documents has begun to take more and more of staff's time. Is it ever okay not to respond to a FOIA request? View answer
June 2018
One of our employees requires intermittent 15 minute breaks under FMLA. Are we required to compensate that employee for the time spent on those breaks? View answer
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