New “Equal Opportunity Employment is the Law” Poster

 November 9, 2009

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) revised its “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law” poster to reflect current federal employment discrimination laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), which is effective November 21, 2009.  The revised poster also includes updates from the Department of Labor.  The ADAAA expands the definition of “disability” under the Act. GINA prohibits employment discrimination based on genetic information.

An employer must comply with the posting requirement and may do so by:  (1) posting the supplement to the poster alongside the EEOC’s September 2002 “EEO is the Law” poster or the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ August 2008 “EEO is the Law” poster; or (2) posting the EEOC’s November 2009 version of the “EEO is the Law” poster. Both posters are available for download from the EEOC’s website which can be accessed by clicking here.

Amended FOIA

We are receiving numerous questions regarding the amended Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which becomes effective as of January 1, 2010.  Information regarding FOIA can be found in the Scariano, Himes and Petrarca, School Law Review Newsletter, Fall 2009 Issue.  For a copy of the newsletter, click here.  Additionally, the Firm will cover the topic in depth at its annual client seminar at Seven Bridges in Lisle on February 6, 2010.  Invitations for the client seminar will go out in early December 2009.

The Firm is in the process of developing a new school board policy and procedures incorporating the recent amendments to the Act and is preparing an e-Blackboard email publication to distribute to our electronic mailing list.  In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding FOIA, please do not hesitate to call one of our attorneys.

The Firm continues to offer five free hours of in-service training annually. The training may be divided between administrators and board members, and is available on numerous topics including FOIA.  You are encouraged to contact your attorney at Scariano, Himes and Petrarca to schedule your 2010 in-service hours.

Scariano Himes & Petrarca Hospitality Suite

As a reminder, if you have not RSVP’d to attend the Scariano, Himes and Petrarca Hospitality Suite on Friday November 20, 2009 you can still do so by sending an email to emcnulty@edlawyer.com by November 13, 2009, with a list of attendees.  The Hospitality Suite will follow the IASB, IASA and IASBO 77th Joint Annual Convention from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Mid-America Club located at the AON Center, 200 East Randolph, 80th Floor, Chicago, Illinois.  To link to the invitation and for directions, click here.

Principal Evaluations and School Polling Places

IMPORTANT FEBRUARY ISSUES

January 11, 2008

Changes to the School Code and Criminal Code present deadlines and challenges for school districts. The School Code requires an evaluation of principals, while the Criminal Code prohibits registered sex offenders from entering school building polling places.

1. PRINCIPAL EVALUATION

The School Code requires evaluation plans for principals. For principals with a one-year contract, the principal must be evaluated by February 1 of each year.

Principals with multi-year contracts must be evaluated by February 1 of the final year of the contract.

The evaluation is to be completed in writing by the Superintendent or designee (with a Type 75) and must do all of the following:

      1.         Consider the principal's duties, responsibilities, management, and competence as principal;

      2.     Specify the principal's strengths and weaknesses with supporting reasons; and

      3.     "Align with the Illinois Professional Standards for School Leaders or research-based district standards". A copy of the evaluation must be provided to the principal and a copy must be placed in the principal's personnel file.

Failure to provide at least one evaluation during the contract period, prior to February 1 presumes satisfactory performance and automatically extends the contract for one year, under the same terms and conditions.

Please contact A. Lynn Himes (312-565-3100, ext. 233 or ahimes@edlawyer.com) with any questions you may have regarding this topic.

2.CHANGES IN THE ELECTION CODE/CRIMINAL CODE

The Illinois Criminal Code has been amended to prohibit registered child sex offenders from entering a school polling place. Thus, the Election Code has been amended to permit registered sex offenders whose polling place is a school to either vote absentee OR at a location mandated by the local election commission.

The offender must file a request with the local election commission for an absentee ballot or vote early at another location. The local election commission must designate a place at which a registered sex offender can vote.

Practically, we are advising that you contact your local election commission and request it to provide to its election Judges a list of voters who are registered sex offenders. The Illinois State Police is responsible for notifying the local election commissions with the names of registered sex offenders in the area. Finally, if your school has on site security personnel, it may be worthwhile to advise the security staff of the situation and be ready to enlist their support in removing individuals who are prohibited from entering your buildings. In the alternative, you may wish to consult with your local law enforcement agency to discuss how this new prohibition will be enforced locally. Please contact Kevin P. Camden (312-565-3100, ext. 255 or kcamden@edlawyer.com) with any questions you may have regarding this topic.