Photo of Sean Darke

Sean Darke is an employment and labor litigator whose legal services go far beyond defending businesses in the courtroom. In both union and non-union environments, businesses look to him to resolve matters ranging from everyday workplace disagreements to high-stakes, high-exposure lawsuits.

On January 9, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor issued final rules for employers to determine if a worker is an independent contractor or employee. Workers who do not meet the new criteria under the rule must be classified as employees and subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act  (“FLSA”) protections and requirements. If misclassified, these workers must be treated as employees and will be eligible for overtime pay, unless they otherwise satisfy the requirements to be considered exempt, and be subject to the minimum wage requirements under the FLSA. The employer would also need to comply with the recordkeeping requirements and maintain daily and weekly time records for the worker.Continue Reading To Be or Not to Be (An Independent Contractor): U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Rules for Employers

Changes to Illinois and City of Chicago Labor and Employment Laws

I. Passing of the Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act (PLFAW).

The new Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act becomes effective on January 1, 2024. The Act applies to most employees in the state, with very limited exceptions (notably students and independent contractors are excluded). Employers may use two alternative methods to comply with the PLFAW.Continue Reading Illinois 2023 Year-End Reminders and Changes Coming to Employment Law in 2024 and Beyond

Over the past decade or so, there’s been much effort by the government to expand the scope of who may be deemed a joint employer. Those efforts have been to make contractors and their subcontractors, franchisors and their franchisees, and staffing agencies and their clients, joint employers. If they are joint employers, then one may be liable for the employment law wrongs of the other, and one may even have to engage in collective bargaining with respect to employees on the other joint employer’s payroll. Major efforts in this regard were made during the Obama Administration, all of which were rolled back during the Trump Administration.Continue Reading The Rules on Who’s a Joint Employer Have Dramatically Changed

On August 4, 2023, Governor Pritzker signed into law a recent overhaul of the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act (the “Act”). Since the Act was passed in 2000, the number of low-wage day or temporary laborers (“Temporary Workers”) in Illinois has more than doubled, rising from approximately 300,000 to 650,000. The recent amendments to the Act impose new responsibilities on staffing agencies and companies utilizing temporary workers to meet their staffing needs.Continue Reading Sweeping Changes to Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act Now in Effect

The United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in Groff v. DeJoy, clarifying its earlier opinion in Trans World Airlines v. Hardison, 432 U.S. 63 (1977) that described an employer’s obligation to an employee seeking an accommodation based upon their religious beliefs. The Plaintiff in the case, Gerald Groff, worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a rural carrier associate, covering for full-time workers who were absent. Groff was a long-time Evangelical Christian who, for religious reasons, believes that Sundays should be devoted exclusively to worship and rest, not secular labor, and could therefore not work on Sundays.Continue Reading Religious Accommodation Standard Under Title VII Reformed by U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Groff v. DeJoy

Dykema attorneys Robert Boonin and Sean Darke will be presenting the above entitled webinar for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce on January 18, 2023. They will address how the legal landscape for employers has changed since the pandemic, the 2020 election, and 2022 mid-term elections, which may surprise many employers and which may require major changes to their approaches to employment relations. The webinar, which will have interactive Q&A, will highlight the biggest developments and provide participants guidance on how to reduce their liability going forward, and to otherwise avoid unwittingly stepping on a legal land mines triggering significant liability. Continue Reading What Employers Need to Know Now! The Top Legal Changes and Issues for 2023!