Showing posts from February, 2011

Illinois Prevailing Wage Act Part 2 - What a Public Entity Needs to Know

Last week we introduced the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act, 820 ILCS 130/0.01,et. seq, and summarized the broad scope of the Act.  This post will elaborate on the Act from the standpoint of the public body.  The Act requires that "prevailing wage" be paid to laborers, mechanics and other workers for "public works" projects.  A public works project includes essentially any construction, maintenance, and equipment installation for any "public body" or for any project receiving certain public funding. 

A public body is defined by the Act to include State agencies, municipalities, public districts (yes, this includes fire protection districts, drainage districts, water and sanitary districts, soil and water conservation districts, etc.), school districts, "and every other political subdivision."  A public entity would be well advised to assume that it is required to pay prevailing wage unless it has specific opinion from counsel to the contrary.  Illin…

Illinois' Prevailing Wage Act Part 1 - What Is It and When Does It Apply?

Illinois' Prevailing Wage Act, 820 ILCS 130/0.01, et. seq, has been around for a long time but was revamped in the past few years, and the changes are significant.  The Act requires that "prevailing wage," as determined for similar work for the county or locality in which the work is to be performed, be paid to all "laborers, mechanics and other workers" employed in any "public works," and includes hourly cash wages plus fringe benefits for training and apprenticeship programs, health and welfare, insurance, vacations, and pensions.  "Works" is essentially construction work, but "construction" is defined to include maintenance, repairs, and equipment assembly and disassembly.  "Public" works are defined to include any "public body," including State agencies, municipalities, public districts, school districts, "and every other political subdivision...," and also to include work done by a private entity …

Agreements to Arbitrate - Update on Carr v. Gateway

Last February I wrote about the 5th District Appellate Court's decision in Carr v. Gateway, Inchere.  In this case, the designated arbitration forum stopped accepting consumer disputes.  The arbitration agreement was very specific as to the private forum for the arbitration and the rules to be used, and even included a clause to penalize any party seeking to arbitrate the dispute in another forum.  Well, the Illinois Supreme Court reviewed the decision and released its opinion this week, affirming the Appellate Court's judgment.  Particularly emphasizing the penalty clause, the Court noted that the arbitration forum was integral to this agreement, Section 5 of the federal Arbitration Act did not apply to appoint a substitute arbitrator, and therefore the plaintiff's claims could proceed in court.

Although this was an Illinois case, the Court considered precedent from other jurisdictions, and I believe really made a thorough analysis and wrote a well-reasoned opinion.  I…

Public Insurance Adjuster Contracts and New Licensing Requirements

This post has been updated, see the new post here.  

Imagine that your home is destroyed in a fire overnight.  After family and friends, you would likely next call your insurance company to report the catastrophe and initiate a claim.  The person from the insurance company who investigates your claim and calculates the amount to be paid for the loss is called an "adjuster."  About this time you also attempt to read through the fine print morass that is your insurance policy, and realize the difficulty of making sense of it all.  Now imagine that after you report the claim you receive a letter from a "public adjuster," which helpfully points out to you that the insurance company's adjuster is an employee of the insurance company and therefore tied to the insurer's interests, and that the public adjuster is available to help you negotiate a better settlement with the insurance company, often for a percentage of the settlement proceeds, say for example 10 perc…