Posts from: April 2015

Natalie A. Remien Joins Levin Ginsburg’s Intellectual Property and Corporate Practice Groups as Partner

Levin Ginsburg is pleased to announce that Natalie A. Remien has joined the firm as a Partner in its Intellectual Property and Corporate practice groups.

Natalie is an accomplished IP attorney with over 16 years of experience in Intellectual Property law.  Her practice includes handling matters in all aspects of intellectual property including trademark protection, licensing, domestic and international enforcement, and management of global trademark portfolios.  Ms. Remien regularly reviews advertising and packaging materials for clients to reduce risk of exposure due to false advertising, overbroad claims, and misuse of trademarks or copyrights.  Additionally, her practice includes domain name disputes, copyright protection and enforcement.

While companies often request Natalie for her understanding of intellectual property issues, they quickly learn that she also has a keen mind for spotting and resolving corporate and employment issues.  Natalie’s practice includes corporate counseling and review, negotiation and drafting of independent contractor agreements, work-for-hire agreements, employment agreements including non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, offer letters and termination and severance agreements.

Natalie has worked with clients in a broad cross section of industries including toys, games, athletics and fitness, nutrition, luxury goods, multinational retailing, food and beverages, automotive goods and services and insurance and financial services.

Natalie holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a dual emphasis in Finance and Marketing, and a Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law.  Additionally, Natalie is certified in mediation from the Northwestern University College of Continuing Education.

Natalie is a champion for women in business and takes an active role in various women’s business organizations that foster the development and growth of women and minority-owned businesses.  In her free time, she enjoys learning about health and nutrition, and garnering skills that help inspire those around her to reach their true potential.

New Cook County Wage Theft Ordinance Applicable to Cook County Employers as of May 1, 2015

On May 1, 2015, employers in Cook County will be subject to the new Cook County Wage Theft Ordinance that imposes harsh penalties on employers who violate federal or state wage laws. The purpose of the Ordinance is to protect employees from wage theft and prohibits companies and individuals found to have violated wage-payment laws from obtaining Cook County procurement contracts, business licenses, or property tax incentives for a period of five years.

An employer will face penalties under the Ordinance if it has admitted guilt or liability, or has been adjudicated guilty or liable in any judicial or administrative proceeding, of committing a repeated or willful violation of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, the Illinois Minimum Wage Act, the Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, the Illinois Employee Classification Act, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, or any comparable state statute or regulation that governs the payment of wages.

The Ordinance applies not only to business entities, but to any “person”, including a “substantial owner” or an employer. A substantial owner is defined as any person who “owns or holds a 25 percent or more percentage of interest in any business entity seeking a county privilege, including those shareholders, general or limited partners, beneficiaries and principals; except where a business entity is an individual or sole proprietorship, substantial owner means that individual or sole proprietor.”

Penalties under the Ordinance include:

  1. Ineligibility for County Contracts:  The employer will be ineligible to enter into a contract with Cook County for a period of five years from the admission of guilt, date of conviction, entry of a plea, or finding in a judicial or administrative proceeding of a violation of a wage-payment law.
  2. Ineligibility for Property Tax Incentives: The employer will be ineligible to receive any property tax incentives for a period of five years from the admission of guilt, date of conviction, entry of a plea, or finding in a judicial or administrative proceeding of a violation of a wage-payment law.
  3. Ineligibility for a Cook County Business License: The employer will be ineligible to receive a Cook County business license for a period of five years from the admission of guilt, date of conviction, entry of a plea, or finding in a judicial or administrative proceeding of a violation of a wage-payment law.

Employers who are subject to the above listed penalties may request an exception to the applicable period of ineligibility by submitting a written request to the County. Such exceptions may be granted by the County if the County finds that the exception is in the best interest of the County.

Employers in Cook County should review their wage payment policies to ensure that they are in compliance with all applicable federal and state wage-payment laws.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Cook County Wage Theft Ordinance or your business’s wage payment policies, please contact:

Kristen E. O’Neill at:

koneill@lgattorneys.com or (312) 368-0100

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