Chris’ practice focuses on representing and advocating for business entities, units of government, and not-for-profit organizations.
Chris regularly practices in both state and federal courts, as well as in administrative proceedings, litigating a wide variety of issues from employment and labor related matters, contested estates and trusts, to business and shareholder disputes, contract disputes, collections, and appeals. His experience ranges from small claims representation to complex, multi-state litigation and class action defense. Chris is licensed to practice in the State Courts of Illinois and the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois.
In addition to litigation and alternative dispute resolution, Chris advises his clients on day-to-day matters, employment and labor issues, personnel policies, and organizational matters. He also maintains a regular transactional practice, advising clients on significant business transactions and real estate transactions, as well as estate planning.
Chris is also an experienced municipal and government attorney, assisting various units of government through general operational and governance issues, property transactions, collective bargaining and labor/employment issues, FOIA and Open Meeting Act issues, annexation, condemnation, prosecution of ordinance violations, and litigation. He currently serves as the appointed City Attorney for the City of Canton. He also has served as a Special Assistant Attorney General to the Illinois Attorney General, representing the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Prior to joining the firm in November, 2019, Chris worked at the law firm of Barnhart, Tinsman & Associates, Ltd. where he practiced in areas such as family law, personal injury, juvenile law, estate planning and probate, criminal law, and general civil litigation. He also served as Guardian Ad Litem in child custody, adoption, guardianship, personal injury, and other matters affecting minors or disabled individuals.
Chris resides in Canton with his wife, Ashley. He is heavily involved in the community, serving on the boards of numerous organizations.
401 Main Street, Suite 1600
Peoria, IL 61602
David Lubben will be presenting at the Illinois SHRM Employment Law Conference on State Legislative and Employment Law Update on March 30, 2022.
Depending on class of admission, certain noncitizens may be authorized to work in the United States, pursuant to nonimmigrant visa status. Spouses of L-1A and H-1B visa holders are considered “derivative beneficiaries” and their status runs concurrently to the status of the primary beneficiary spouse. By statute, L-2 spouses are authorized for employment incident to status, thus they are not required to apply for an employment authorization document (“EAD”) prior to accepting employment in the U.S. However, previously, the instructions for Form I-765 (the application for employment authorization documents) indicated L-2 spouses must apply for an EAD, pay the $410 filing fee to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), and wait for receipt of an EAD prior to accepting employment. This process was taking up to 14.5 months, depending on the service center processing the application. Unlike the L-2, H-4 spouses are required to apply for employment authorization and an EAD prior to accepting employment in the U.S., pursuant to applicable regulations.
Filed I-765 applications commonly face extreme processing delays as individual H-4 and L-2 visa holders wait for their applications to be adjudicated, resulting in gaps in work authorization and employment, creating severe consequences for not only the visa holders, but the employers who either risk employing individuals without proper work authorization and documentation or losing the workers.
In September 2021, a class action lawsuit Shergill v. Mayorkas was initiated on behalf of plaintiffs with H-4 or L-2 status lasting longer than their initial work authorization, and each individual being required to file for an EAD extension prior to the expiration of their initial work authorization (and without seeking an additional extension of their H-4 or L-2 status). On November 10, 2021, the parties Shergill v. Mayorkas reached a settlement agreement. Pursuant to the executed settlement, L-2 visa holders are now authorized to work incident to status, and they will not be required to file for an EAD; they will instead be issued new I-94 documents which document their L-2 visa status and can be used for Form I-9 verification process. It is expected these documents will be issued within 120 days. Additionally, individuals with valid H-4 status who timely file EAD renewal applications and continue to maintain H-4 status beyond the expiration of their EAD qualify for the automatic extension of their employment authorization and EAD. This automatic extension also applies to L-2 visa holders with current employment authorization and EAD documentation.
This outcome will substantially decrease the burden of EAD renewals on USCIS – which will allow USCIS offices and their staff to devote resources to other severely backlogged petitions. Davis & Campbell will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further updates upon release of further USCIS guidance regarding H-4 and L-2 derivative beneficiaries. If you have any questions regarding H-4 and L-2 visas, please contact David Lubben or Carli Smith.
On November 5, 2021, OSHA issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) to protect workers from COVID-19. The ETS covers employers with 100 or more employees and requires covered employers to develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy unless the employer adopts a policy requiring employees to choose either to be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work.
When it comes to bargaining obligations that may arise under this ETS, the General Counsel for the NLRB weighed in on November 10, 2021, with a new Operations Memorandum. View Memorandum.
The NLRB’s position is that covered employers will have decisional bargaining obligations regarding aspects of the ETS that affect terms and conditions of employment to the extent the ETS provides employers with choices regarding implementation. While an employer is relieved of its duty to bargain where a specific change in terms and conditions of employment is statutorily mandated, the employer may not act unilaterally so long as it has some discretion in implementing those requirements.
The ETS affects terms and conditions of employment including the potential to affect the continued employment of those who become subject to it. To the extent elements of the ETS do not give covered employers discretion, the employer is nonetheless obligated to bargain about the effects of the decision. Whether a covered employer may implement a mandatory policy prior to a valid impasse or agreement when bargaining over effects will depend on the facts of the situation.
Moving forward on implementation of the ETS at union facilities may require an employer to analyze its collective bargaining agreement and notify the union of its implementation of the new OSHA requirement.
Governor Pritzker has signed an amendment to Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (the new recreational marijuana law), and – in so doing – has effectively expanded employers’ rights to drug test and discipline for marijuana use.
First, public employers may now prohibit/discipline officers, paramedics, and firefighters from/for using and possessing marijuana when they are off-duty. The previous language merely prohibited on-duty use and possession. Second, the amendment provides that all employers (both public and private) may subject employees to random drug testing and may also subject applicants to pre-employment testing for marijuana, in addition to testing employees based on an employers’ “good faith belief” of impairment (i.e., post accident, reasonable suspicion, etc.). Employers may then discipline/terminate/not hire an employee or applicant for failing any such test.
In sum, employers do not need to observe impairment prior to testing (or subsequently disciplining) for marijuana use. However, remember that all drug tests and discipline following failed drug tests must continue to be administered via employers’ reasonable and non-discriminatory drug policies. Thus, in addition to having a drug policy in place, employers should regularly review those policies to ensure the content remains reasonable.
Nicole D. Meyer | Davis & Campbell, L.L.C.
401 Main Street, Suite 1600 | Peoria, IL 61602
(309) 673-1681 | Fax: (309) 673-1690
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