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  • mandatory paid leave Illinois

    Hi,

    I work in Illinois for a company that is based in Arkansas. My division was just notified today that 'some' employees will be scheduled for mandatory, unpaid time off in 1-week blocks beginning June 1. We do not have the option to use our accrued paid time off for these blocks of time and have no say as to when they are scheduled. Most employees are exempt at my company (including me), and I understand why they are requiring the 1-week blocks but I am unclear as to how they can vaguely say "some" associates without having any sort of rationale as to who. From my prior experience with the company, I know they have an annual ranking process, and I suspect that those who are scheduled for time off will be the ones who are ranked at the bottom of the list. If that is the case, is that considered discriminatory? Also, are there any legal rights under Illinois law that would differentiate what they could do to me if I am one of the "chosen" versus the Arkansas employees? Thanks very much.
    SchuylerJo
    Junior Member
    Last edited by SchuylerJo; 05-20-2009, 10:58 PM. Reason: should be mandatory UNpaid leave as the title

  • #2
    It's only illegal discrimination if the decision is made based on a protected characteristic, such as your race, gender, age (if over 40), religion, etc.

    If you are covered under a CBA, the contract may have provisions regarding this (or not).
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      FYI, there is NO state where it is illegal, in general, to require employees to take a week off without pay.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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      • #4
        It would also not be illegal to select employees based on geographic location or performance ranking.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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        • #5
          Unpaid mandatory leave

          Thanks for your responses. As I thought, I was on the list. I was told that it was based upon employee rankings, deadlines, and client needs and that I am ranked towards the bottom because I am newer and less experienced. Also, that they could "do without me" for a week without impacting clients. However, during the same call I was encouraged to fill out the paperwork to move to the next level of my job because I was told I was ready to do that. Also, I was told that I would not be eligible for the company end of year bonuses, also due to my low ranking, which was apparently solely based upon experience and not my performance.

          I am finding all of this information to be very confusing - I am ranked low because I am newer, but I have been performing very well and should apply for the next job level, and the company is in such dire financial straits that it has to implement an unpaid leave program while at the same time it is paying bonuses for the first time in a few years.

          This all may be legal but it certainly seems unfair. Sigh.

          Also, is anyone familiar with Illinois unemployment? Will I be eligible after my first week (they have said this could happen in each quarter)? If I have a part time job that I regularly work outside of my full time job, how does that impact my unemployment eligibility?

          Thanks!

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          • #6
            Once you file a UI claim, the claim is good for one year and only a single one-week waiting period is applied. Therefore, you would not be eligible the first furlough, but you would likely be eligible for subsequent ones within the next 12 months. You can earn some money from your part-time job and get partial benefits. The amount you can earn without affecting your benefits is set by the state.
            http://www.ides.state.il.us/uidocs/bis/handbook.pdf
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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            • #7
              More of the Unpaid Leave Saga

              In my communications with 'higher-ups' in regards to this process, I was informed that there have been two separate "rankings" of employees in the past year. The first is a regular annual ranking that took place in November. I was ranked in the bottom 10%, apparently because I am junior in the role (I have actually been employed at the company for 3 years, but switched positions last July. I have this in writing, that it was due to my inexperience rather than my performance). This ranking was used to give out bonuses for that fiscal year (which ended in March). Those in the bottom 10% are not eligible for a bonus, so no bonus for me.

              Whammy #2 is when I was once again placed in the bottom 10% for the most recent round, which determined who would be part of the upaid leave program. What this was based upon is rather vague, what I have officially been told is that it is more of a "who will have the least client impact" kind of ranking.

              I have been told by pretty reliable contacts that employees who are ranked in the lower 10% are being placed on a performance improvement plan of some sort. I have not, and no one has mentioned this to me, and honestly I have good reviews and have never been communicated to about any sort of need to improve my performance.

              Do I have any right to justification for why I am in the bottom 10 if there are others with similar experience levels who are ranked higher?

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              • #8
                Sorry but no. This isn't something that is addressed by law.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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