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Chicago Trial AttorneysBy: Eddie Hettel

            On May 5, 2020, the People of the State of California filed a lawsuit for injunctive relief, restitution, and penalties against Uber Technologies, Inc., Lyft Inc., and 50 individuals whose identities remain private. The suit alleges that the defendants made calculated business decisions to misclassify their on-demand drivers as independent contractors rather than employees and continue to do so in violation of California law.

By classifying their workers as independent contractors, Uber and Lyft evade workplace standards and requirements such as minimum wages, overtime premium pay, reimbursement for business expenses, workers’ compensation coverage for on-the-job injuries, paid sick leave, and wage replacement programs like disability insurance and paid family leave.

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By: Eddie Hettel

Cook County personal injury attorneyThe COVID-19 pandemic has altered day-to-day life across the globe. With traditional face to face interactions coming to halt, schools, businesses, and governments have worked tirelessly to find innovative ways to continue their operations. The Illinois Supreme Court is among this group, and for the first time in history, will hold oral arguments for the month of May via Zoom teleconference.

In an effort to practice social distancing while continuing to conduct court proceedings for eager litigants, the Illinois high court has adopted this contemporary solution to keep its doors open.

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Shawn Kasserman teaching constitutional lawShawn Kasserman of Tomasik Kotin Kasserman recently had the opportunity to teach constitutional law to the eighth-grade class at Dirksen Elementary School through the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s program, Lawyers in the Classroom. This program partners attorneys throughout the Chicagoland area with local schools to teach constitutional law to children in second through eighth grade. On January 15, 2019, Shawn taught Dirksen’s eighth grade class about the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures in the context of schools. The students discussed possible violations under the Fourth Amendment and debated whether these violations had any merit. 

 

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By Robert Geimer

The U.S. Government has announced it reached a settlement with a New York Hospital over claims the hospital allowed television crews to violate patient privacy.  According to the announcement, New York Presbyterian Hospital will pay $2.2 million in fines for allowing crews of ABC television series “NY Med” virtually “unfettered access” to private patient information and for filming patients in distress without their consent.  The HHS Office of Civil Rights called the violations “egregious.”  As part of the settlement, the hospital will be monitored for two years to ensure that it fully complies with patient privacy.

By Robert Geimer

According to an analysis by Pro Publica, doctors who receive money, gifts and meals from drug companies write prescriptions for name brand drugs at a higher rate than doctors who do not receive money or gifts.  The highest prescribing percentages went to doctors who received more than $5,000 in money or gifts.  Though doctors have long disputed a connection between drug company payments and prescribing habits, this analysis provides proof.  If this were to happen in a different context, it might be considered bribery or a payoff.  But because of the outsized influence and campaign contributions of pharmaceutical and physician groups, it is just “incentive.”

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