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By Chinta Strausberg Known as a trailblazer and one of the nation’s first African American union ...
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  Free performance is part of the Citywide Centennial Celebration of Legendary Chicago Journalist Studs Terkel    CHICAGO, ...
Clifford Law Offices yesterday (Thursday, July 24, 2014) filed a lawsuit against the Village ...
Pre-Register Hiring Event  to Maximize Job Opportunities More than 150 On-the-Spot Job Offers Last Year CHICAGO, ...
Bank to pay combined $4.11 million penalty for deceptive practices impacting nearly 440,000 students nationwide ...
(From New America Media) By Paul Kleyman According to the front-page New York Times article last Monday, ...

Archive for June 9th, 2016

Madigan Sues Jimmy John’s for Imposing Unlawful Non-Compete Agreements on Sandwich Makers and Delivery Drivers

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 

Attorney General Files Suit Against Jimmy John’s Corporate Entities for Unfair Labor Practice

 

CHICAGO, IL  ─ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against Jimmy John’s two corporate entities – Jimmy John’s Enterprises LLC and Jimmy John’s Franchise LLC – for imposing highly restrictive non-compete agreements on its employees, including low-wage sandwich shop employees and delivery drivers whose primary job tasks are to take food orders and make and deliver sandwiches. Between its franchise and corporate-owned locations, Jimmy John’s operates nearly 300 sandwich shops in Illinois.

 

“Preventing employees from seeking employment with a competitor is unfair to Illinois workers and bad for Illinois businesses,” Madigan said. “By locking low-wage workers into their jobs and prohibiting them from seeking better paying jobs elsewhere, the companies have no reason to increase their wages or benefits.”

 

Madigan’s suit alleges the companies required all employees to sign a non-compete agreement, which the company claims is covered by copyright, as a condition of employment. The agreement restricts employees during their employment and for two years afterward from working in any other business that earns more than 10 percent of its revenue from selling “submarine, hero-type, deli-style, pita, and/or wrapped or rolled sandwiches.” Under the terms of the non-compete agreement, this work restriction applies to any sandwich business located within three miles of any Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop in the country. A later and nearly identical version of the non-compete agreement, also purportedly covered by copyright, modified the geographic limitation to two miles around any Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop in the country.

 

Madigan’s lawsuit alleges the agreement is illegal and unenforceable under Illinois law. A copy of the complaint can be found here.

 

Under Illinois law, non-compete agreements must be premised on a legitimate business interest and narrowly tailored in terms of time, activity and place. Madigan’s office has been investigating Jimmy John’s use of non-compete agreements for low-wage sandwich shop employees. Jimmy John’s two corporate entities initially stated they had ceased using non-competition agreements in April 2015, but later amended their response and revealed the change in corporate policy was not implemented or communicated to corporate-owned sandwich shops, employees or franchisees. Madigan is seeking a declaratory judgment that the agreements are unenforceable, void and rescinded. Madigan’s office also is investigating other companies that have unlawfully imposed similarly restrictive non-compete agreements.

 

The lawsuit is being handled by Madigan’s Workplace Rights Bureau, and Assistant Attorneys General Jane Flanagan, Anna Crane and John Wolfsmith. The mission of the Workplace Rights Bureau is to protect and advance the employment rights of Illinois residents, particularly low and moderate-income and immigrant residents.

 

Gov. Rauner Chooses Office Supplies over Life-Saving Services in Temporary Budget

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

House Democrats committed to compromise, but question Rauner’s refusal to fund vital needs

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan released a statement following Gov. Bruce Rauner’s press conference Wednesday on the state budget:

 

“While Governor Rauner continues his campaign-style tour, laden with personal attacks against those with whom he says he wants to work cooperatively, we remain committed to finding a solution to the state budget crisis, including a temporary budget to ensure schools open on time.

 

“There are very real concerns within our caucus about the governor’s proposal that need to be answered. By not funding many critical programs and services, the governor is putting office supplies ahead of cancer prevention. He refuses to fund grants for college students in financial need, which would kick many students out of school. In his plan, the governor refuses to fund life-saving breast cancer screenings for women and programs for domestic violence and sexual assault victims. The governor’s plan fails to fund programs that provide care to frail elderly residents.

 

“The governor wants to fund many operations of state government, including the state’s vehicle fleet and office supplies instead of providing life-saving services for Illinoisans. We, and the people of Illinois that we serve, have very serious concerns with the governor refusing to fund these programs in his proposal. We are committed to negotiating with the governor to fund these programs within the temporary budget, but many questions remain.”

 

Comptroller Munger to Detail Consequences of Continued Impasse

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
Comptroller to detail ramifications of further Springfield inaction
CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger will hold a news conference Thursday to discuss the ramifications of entering another fiscal year on July 1, 2016, without a budget. Munger will discuss potential payment changes in the new fiscal year and challenges involved in paying for services completed in the current year before taking questions from media at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St.

 

SCHEDULE FOR THURSDAY,  JUNE 9, 2016:

 

WHO:                 Illinois State Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger

 

WHAT:               News Conference on State Budget Impasse

 

WHEN:              11:00 a.m. Thursday, June 9

 

WHERE:           Blue Room, 15th Floor

James R. Thompson Center

100 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL

 

CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield Introduces Resolution Honoring the Life and Legacy of Muhammad Ali

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On June 7, 2016, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) introduced a resolution honoring the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali:

“Muhammad Ali, who was referred to as ‘‘The Greatest of All Time,’’ was not only a champion in the boxing ring, but a champion of human and civil rights who, during a difficult time in American history, stood on principle to end racism and bigotry.  More than a boxing legend, Mr. Ali was a humanitarian of the world and his talents transcended the ring into the global community where he selflessly put the interests of helping others above his own.  He was a great American, the greatest among athletes of his time and a true champion for humanity.  I join my House colleagues to honor the extraordinary life, accomplishments, and countless contributions to humanity made by the incomparable Muhammad Ali.

Click here to view text of the resolution in its entirety.

Windy City Times Publishes LGBT Visitor’s Guide to Chicago and Illinois

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Visitors to Chicago have a new guide to help navigate LGBTQ and mainstream events and places to see: The OUT! Guide: Chicago’s LGBTQ Visitor’s Guide is now available.

The 124-page guide, published by Windy City Times, includes a section on things to do outside of the city, from the Shawnee National Forest to Starved Rock State Park and Springfield. The rest of the guide focuses on Chicago and its suburbs, with hundreds of attractions, museums, art galleries, architectural locations, theaters, dance companies, restaurants, music venues, LGBT clubs and parties, sports leagues, bookstores, events and more listed. There’s also a quick reference to travel and accommodations, and a guide to the city’s many neighborhoods.

While a lot of the LGBTQ community is concentrated on the city’s North Side, especially in Boystown, Lakeview and Andersonville, the guide is careful to provide things to do across the city and suburbs, from Pullman, Little Village, Bridgeport and Hyde Park to Humboldt Park, Oak Park and Evanston. And the traditional downtown tourist attractions are also included, such as Millennium Park, the Art Institute and Navy Pier.

The guide will be distributed throughout Illinois and in neighboring states, and is available as a free download on the Windy City Times website.
View the low-res version at the link: http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/pdf/outchicagolgbtqvisitorguide_low.pdf .
View the high-res version at the link: http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/pdf/outchicagolgbtqvisitorguide_hi.pdf .
U.S. visitors can also request a free copy to be mailed to them, on a limited basis, by emailing editor@windycitymediagroup.com with the full name and mailing address for the copy to be mailed.Windy City Times is a weekly LGBTQ newspaper founded in 1985. See windycitymediagroup.com

Illinois Department of Public Health Prepares for a Public Health Emergency

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 

Strategic National Stockpile training exercise June 14-16, 2016

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Next week, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will test the ability of the state public health system to receive and distribute medicine and medical supplies during a public health emergency. In the event of an emergency severe enough to cause local medical supplies to run out (terrorist attack, flu outbreak, earthquake, etc.), the State can request what is called the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The SNS is a national repository of antibiotics, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, life-support medications, airway maintenance supplies, and medical/surgical items. The SNS is designed to supplement and re-supply state and local public health agencies in the event of a national emergency.

“The anthrax attacks in 2001 and the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic highlight the importance of being prepared for various health threats,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “And that preparation requires continual and coordinated efforts between all levels of government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and individuals. This exercise will allow us to identify any gaps we have in our plan to quickly distribute medicines during an emergency.”

Next week’s exercise will simulate an anthrax release. It will require the State to request the SNS from the federal government, receive packages of supplies within 12 hours of the request, break down the packages, and distribute them across the state to locations where medicine is needed. Numerous local health departments and hospitals across the state will simulate receiving the SNS supplies and dispensing medicine to people who have volunteered to act as the public coming to pick up medicine.

The State regularly conducts training and SNS deployment exercises to evaluate the strength of the SNS plan and improve various aspects as needed.

 

Harrisburg Man Pleads Guilty To 14 Bank Robberies

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Harrisburg man has pled guilty before United States District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo in Harrisburg to committing 14 bank robberies in four central Pennsylvania counties.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Andre Mosley, age 48, of Harrisburg, pled guilty to robbing 14 financial institutions in Dauphin, Cumberland, Franklin and York Counties between late 2014 and February 2015. The total loss is estimated at approximately $52,295. Mosely has agreed to make restitution.

The institutions that were robbed and the amounts stolen are as follows:

$1,540, Members First Federal Credit Union, Strawberry Square, Harrisburg; $2,900, Patriot Federal Credit Union, Chambersburg; $950, Fulton Bank, 200 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg; $3,495, Fulton Bank, 1429 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg; $1,930, PNC Bank, Carlisle; $3,000, Members 1st Federal Credit Union, Carlisle; $7,790, Citizens Bank, Highspire; $1,920, M&T Bank, Harrisburg; $14,480, Fulton Bank, Hummelstown; $4,670, Santander Bank, Red Lion;  $4,250, Northwest Savings Bank, York; and  $5,370, Mid-Penn Bank, Harrisburg.

The case was investigated by the Harrisburg Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Violent Crime Task Force, the Harrisburg Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police and local and municipal police departments in the communities where the financial institutions were located. Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe prosecuted the case.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Source: FBI

Chicago Organizations Deliver 150,000 Petition Signatures Opposing Illegal Airbnb Rentals in Israeli Settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
 
 On global day of action marking 50 years of Israeli Occupation of West Bank, groups tell Airbnb investor Fidelity Investments: “No more profit by occupying Palestinian land”
 
Chicago, IL: On Friday, June 3rd, a group of organizations known as the StolenHomes Coalition – SumOfUs, CODEPINK, American Muslims for Palestine, the US Palestinian Community Network, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Friends of Sabeel North America, Up Lift and Jewish Voice for Peace – are calling on one of Airbnb’s biggest investors, Fidelity Investments, to support the delisting of rental properties in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, or risk being listed on the UN’s new database of companies complicit in Israel’s illegal settlement activity.The coalition held an International Day of Action against Airbnb and rally outside Fidelity Investment offices in Chicago, as well as in front of the headquarters in Boston, to let Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson know that investing in Airbnb means Fidelity also profits off stolen Palestinian land. 40 participants entered the Fideilty office to deliver 150,000 petition signatures to Fidelity representatives, who committed to mailing them to Fidelity leadership.”We’ve always believed that Airbnb is a corporate criminal because of its complicity in supporting gentrification and displacement in the U.S.,” said Nesreen Hasan, a lead organizer with the U.S. Palestinian Community Network, “and now it’s also our target because of its support for Israeli apartheid.”“AirBnB has wreaked havoc across poor and working class Black communities in the US by being an agent for gentrification and aiding in the destruction of affordable housing” said Frank Chapman, field organizer with the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, “This kind of criminal corporate behavior is wrong in the US and it’s wrong in Palestine.”“Profiting from displacing people is just plain wrong, whether it happens on Occupied Palestinian land in Israeli settlements or in gentrifying Chicago neighborhoods,” said Scout Bratt, Coordinating Committee member of Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago, “That’s why we’re here today, and why we are proud to support the Palestinian-led movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions to achieve equality and human rights for Palestinians.”In addition to the Chicago protest, rallies were held in Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Durham, Austin, Madison, and Paris. Members of the coalition will also deliver more than 150,000 signatures to Airbnb’s European headquarters in Dublin, calling on Airbnb to delist properties in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Speakers included Nesreen Hasan and Muhammad Sankari of the US Palestinian Community Network, Frank Chapman of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Scout Bratt of Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, and Sister Dorothy Pagosa of the 8th Day Center for Justice.

WHO: In addition to the Chicago branches of American Muslims for Palestine, CODEPINK, the US Palestinian Community Network, and Jewish Voice for Peace, the Chicago action was endorsed locally by 8th Day Center for Justice Staff, American Friends Service Committee, Anti-War Committee, Assata’s Daughters, Black Lives Matter-Chicago, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine, and Students for Justice in Palestine-Chicago Network

FURTHER BACKGROUND: Last week, the coalition launched a video calledWe Can’t Live There. So Don’t Go There, featuring Palestinians speaking directly to Airbnb’s new marketing campaign Don’t Go There. Live There, and urging potential travelers not to rent vacation homes in settlements, which are often not clearly identified as such in the website’s listings.  The coalition also launched a microsite parodying Airbnb rental listings and calling attention to the the fact that the vacation rental company continues to list Israeli settlements in the West Bank. More than 150,000 people have also signed onto a petition from SumOfUs demanding Airbnb take immediate action to delist Israeli settlement rental properties.

According to international law and official US policy, Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal. The Israeli settlement enterprise is part of a decades-old military occupation that has confiscated 42% of Palestinian land in the West Bank for settlement construction, resulting in the loss of freedom of movement and other severe human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.

Earlier this year, the Associated Press reported that Airbnb had been allowing Israeli settlers in the West Bank to list their homes as “in Israel” with no mention that they are on occupied Palestinian land. In addition to misleading potential renters and aiding the Israeli government in laying permanent claim to all the land under its control, some of the proprietors have explicitly discriminated against people with Arab or Palestinian names, in direct violation of Airbnb’s stated policies.

A Human Rights Watch report published in January stated that businesses should withdraw from the settlements to end their complicity in “an inherently unlawful and abusive system that violates the rights of Palestinians.” That same month, Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, sent a letter to Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky warning that Airbnb is “effectively promoting the illegal Israeli colonization of occupied land.”

Ahead of the deliveries, the members of the coalition sent a letter to key Airbnb investor, Fidelity Investments, informing the investment firm that Airbnb facilitates and benefits from the transfer of Israeli civilians into occupied territory, which is forbidden under international law. The action at Fidelity Investment Headquarters in Boston in particular will target CEO Abigail Johnson, the richest woman in Boston and the 6th richest woman in America. Her investment in Airbnb means that she too is profiting off stolen Palestinian land.

Last month, the UN announced that it would establish a database of all companies implicated in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Unless Airbnb immediately delists Israeli settlement rentals in the West Bank, they will be included in the first draft of the database to be released in June.

With Israel’s brutal military occupation now entering its 50th year this weekend, the coalition chose this date to stand with Palestinians in their struggle for freedom, justice, and equality. This particular anniversary highlights that Israel has denied Palestinians their most basic human rights for too long and Airbnb investors must use their unique position to influence Airbnb to end its complicity.

For more information, contact: Chicago: Muhammad Sankari, US Palestinian Community Network muhammad@aaan.org, 773-656-9928
National Contact: Brett Abrams | 516-841-1105 |brett@unbendablemedia.com

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs’ Statement on Moody’s Decision to Lower Credit Bond Rating

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs today released the following statement after Moody’s decision to lower Illinois’ credit rating for the second time since the budget impasse.

“This credit downgrade is disappointing because it is avoidable,” said Frerichs. “Illinois remains a good investment, but the focus on non-budgetary items is driving up the cost of government. Higher interest rates when we borrow money mean fewer dollars for teachers, child care workers, and others who serve our most vulnerable.”

“I continue to urge Governor Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly to put their differences aside and get a budget in place before more people are hurt.”

Bonds are a tool the state uses to borrow money. The Treasurer’s Office receives and invests the proceeds of the bond sale. The lower a state’s credit rating, the higher the interest rate on the loan. Interest payments will easily exceed current investment yields.

Illinois’ General Obligation debt remains a sound investment because the state’s constitution ensures that bond holders will be repaid. However, repeated downgrades weigh heavily on how individuals and investors perceive Illinois’ economic and political climate. Negative perceptions never are beneficial nor productive.

 

About the Illinois Treasurer

The Illinois Treasurer is the state’s Chief Investment Officer and Frerichs is a Certified Public Finance Officer. He protects consumers by encouraging savings plans for college or trade school, increasing financial education among all ages, and removing barriers to a secure retirement. As the state’s Chief Investment Officer, he actively manages approximately $25 billion. Currently, the portfolio includes $13 billion in state funds, $7 billion in college savings plans and $5 billion on behalf of local and state governments. The investment approach is cautious to ensure the preservation of capital and returns $28 to the state for every $1 spent in operations. The Treasurer’s office predates Illinois’ incorporation in 1818. Voters in 1848 chose to make it an elected office.

CONSUMER ALERT!!!!: Madigan Warns Illinois Charities of Elaborate Donation Scam

Posted by Admin On June - 9 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Attorney General’s Office Reports of Interactive Email Scam Targeting Illinois Charities

 

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today alerted Illinois charities to a sophisticated email scam offering organizations large and unsolicited donations from a man who claims to be carrying out the final wishes of his deceased mother.

 

Madigan’s office has been notified by several Illinois charities that were suspicious of a potential scam after engaging in lengthy and believable email conversations with a supposed donor. Luckily, the charities did not fall victim to the scam, but passed along information in an effort to warn others.

 

Madigan’s office understands the scam to be centered on a donor who identifies himself as “Rob Whitlock” of Great Britain. He promises to donate a large sum of money in memory of his mother who passed away earlier in the year. The emails detail his mother’s wishes and her support of a specific charity’s mission, using emotional pleas to increase the authenticity of the proposal.

 

Upon conducting basic internet research, the charities find that “Rob Whitlock” appears to exist and a business website includes a photo and telephone number. But in reality, the website is fake. Whitlock’s scam involves sending a check that includes a larger amount than promised, which is designed to be received as a welcome gift. However, emails follow claiming Whitlock’s accountant made a mistake and the additional funds need to be wired back to him immediately because he has promised to help a local family with medical support for their ailing daughter.

 

It appears that some charitable organizations have caught on to the scam and contacted their banks about the unsolicited donation to learn the check is being returned by the bank because it is altered or fictitious. Other charities appear to have, unfortunately, fallen for the scam and “returned” the overage to Whitlock, losing a large amount of money.

 

Madigan urges Illinois charities to be on the lookout for this elaborate and persuasive type of donation scam.

 

“Unfortunately like many scams we see, this situation is too good to be true,” Madigan said. “We are certain these emails are the handiwork of at least one scammer looking to take advantage of Illinois charities that could use unsolicited gifts to support their missions.”

 

Madigan’s office offers the following tips for charities considering accepting a donation:

 

  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Take time to research donors thoroughly. Do not rely solely on the internet. Take time to speak with industry peers and others to gather their insights and feedback on potential donors.
  • Real donors can be trusted to share important details and will offer to meet in person. Their communication typically does not include spelling or grammar mistakes.
  • Do not refund any money until you have checked with your bank to confirm the funds have cleared.
Madigan encourages Illinois charities to report suspicious solicitations by contacting her Charitable Trust Bureau at (312) 814-2595.

 

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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