Category Archives: Employee Policies

REMINDER – Illinois Business Expense Reimbursement Requirement Begins January 1st

Attention Illinois employers, starting January 1, 2019, all Illinois employers will be required to reimburse employees for “all necessary expenses that are incurred by the employee with the employee’s scope of employment and that are directly related to services performed for the employer.”  We previously reported on this new law in “NEW LAW – Illinois To Require Business Expense Reimbursement.”

In preparing for this new law, it is recommended that employers take note of the wide array of “business-related expenses” that an employee can incur, like

  • Mileage for work-related travel
  • Personal cell phone use for work purposes (including checking work emails)
  • Work-related expenses for remote employees (eg internet access, office supplies)
  • Costs associated with work-related travel (mileage, but also hotels, meals, air fare, parking, etc)

It is recommended that all Illinois employers develop a written business expense reimbursement policy that sets forth the steps an employee must follow to have their business expenses reimbursed.  Remember, employees are not entitled to reimbursement if they fail to follow an established, written expense reimbursement policy.

NEW LAW – Illinois Health Care Violence Prevention Act Takes Effect January 1st

Attention Illinois Healthcare employers.  Are you ready for the Health Care Violence Prevention Act?

On January 1, 2019, the Health Care Violence Prevention Act takes effect.  Under this new law, “retail health facilities”*, hospitals and veterans homes are required to:

  • Create a workplace violence plan that contains the following elements –
    • Complies with the OSHA guidelines for workplace violence
    • Classifications of workplace violence.
      • Type 1 violence: Workplace violence committed by a person who has no legitimate business at the work site and includes violent acts by anyone who enters the workplace with the intent to commit a crime.
      • Type 2 violence: Workplace violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, students, inmates, visitors, or other individuals accompanying a patient.
      • Type 3 violence: Workplace violence against an employee by a present or former employee, supervisor, or manager.
      • Type 4 violence: Workplace violence committed in the workplace by someone who does not work there, but has or is known to have had a personal relationship with an employee.
    • Management commitment and worker participation in the program. Worker participation should include nurses as well as additional staff.
    • Worksite analysis and identification of potential hazards.
    • Hazard prevention and control.
    • Safety and health training with required hours to be determined by rule.
    • Recordkeeping and evaluation of the violence prevention program.

In addition to the training requirements, employees are required to report to management any time they contact law enforcement or file a police report with law enforcement relating to a workplace violence issue.  This report must be made within 3 days of the contact with law enforcement.  Upon receiving notice, employers are required “post incident” services to any healthcare worker involved in the incident, which must include acute treatment and access to psychological evaluation.  Employers are prohibited from discouraging their employees from contacting law enforcement about a workplace violence issue.

It is recommended that all Illinois healthcare employers review the new law and ensure that they are compliant by January 1st.

*  Retail health facilities are defined as an institution, place, or building that is devoted to the maintenance and operation of a facility for the performance of health care services and is located within a retail store at a specific location, but excluding hospitals, ambulatory treatment centers, physicians’ offices and other facilities providing “limited healthcare services”), hospitals and veterans homes.

NEW LAW – New York City To Require Lactation Rooms

Attention New York City employers, under a new law (Int. 879-A and Int. 905-A), which takes effect on March 18, 2019, employers with 4 or more employees will be required to provide “lactation rooms” for breastfeeding employees to express milk in the workplace.  In addition, employers must develop a written policy relating to lactation accommodation that must be provided to all employees and all new employees upon hire.

The City Commission on Human Rights will be developing a model policy that employers can use.

NEW LAW – St. Paul To Increase Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour

Attention St. Paul employers, on November 14, 2018, Mayor Melvin Carter signed Ordinance 18-54 into law that will increase minimum wage to $15 per hour by between 2022 and 2027.

Under the new law, minimum wage in St. Paul will increase in accordance with the following schedule:

Employer Size Year Scheduled Increase
10,001+ employees January 1, 2020 $12.50
July 1, 2022 $15.00
101 to 10,000 employees July 1, 2020 $11.50
July 1, 2021 $12.50
July 1, 2022 $13.50
July 1, 2023 $15.00
6 to 100 July 1, 2020 $10.00
July 1, 2021 $11.00
July 1, 2022 $12.00
July 1, 2023 $13.00
July 1, 2024 $14.00
July 1, 2025 $15.00
5 or fewer July 1, 2020 $9.25
July 1, 2021 $10.00
July 1, 2022 $10.75
July 1, 2023 $11.50
July 1, 2024 $12.25
July 1, 2025 $13.25
July 1, 2026 $14.25
July 1, 2027 $15.00


NEW LAW: Starting January 1st Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act to Protect Illinois’ Military Service Members

Earlier this year, Illinois governor Bruce Rauner signed the Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (ISERRA) (Public Act 100-1101) into law. This law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2019, streamlines and expands the various job-related protections afforded to Illinois service members.

Most importantly, the ISERRA repeals the following statutes:

  • Military Leave of Absence Act,
  • Public Employee Armed Services Rights Act,
  • Municipal Employees Military Active Duty Act, and
  • Local Government Employees Benefits Continuation Act

And consolidates the protections afforded under these statutes into the new law.  The only law not consolidated into the ISERRA, the Illinois Family Military Leave Act, which family members of a service member with protected leave under certain circumstances*, remains intact. Continue reading NEW LAW: Starting January 1st Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act to Protect Illinois’ Military Service Members

NEW LAW: Michigan Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

On November 6, 2018, voters in Michigan passed Proposal 18-1 (the “Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act,” which legalized the recreational use* of marijuana for individuals 21 and over.  With the passage of this new law, which goes into effect 10 days after election results are officially certified, there are now 10 states** (and Washington DC) that have legalized recreational marijuana.

While the new law certainly brings new concerns into the Michigan workplace, as employers will undoubtedly be concerned about how to respond to an employee’s use of marijuana outside of work, the new law contains several provisions that are helpful to employers. Continue reading NEW LAW: Michigan Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

NEW LAW: Missouri Legalizes Medicinal Marijuana

On November 6, 2018, voters in Missouri passed Amendment 2 (the Medical Marijuana and Veteran Healthcare Services Initiative) which legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in Missouri.  With the passage of this new law, Missouri becomes the 33rd state to legalize medicinal marijuana.

Under the new law, individuals with qualifying conditions* will be able to obtain permission from their physician to legally use marijuana for medicinal purposes.  However, while medicinal marijuana use will be legal, the law is clear that employers will still be able to enforce their drug-free workplace policies prohibiting employees from working under the influence of marijuana and will be able to discipline employees for violating that policy. Continue reading NEW LAW: Missouri Legalizes Medicinal Marijuana

NEW LAW: DC To Require Sexual Harassment Training for Tipped Employees

Attention DC Employers, on October 23, 2018, the District of Columbia Mayor signed the “Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act of 2018.”  While this law repealed Initiative 77 (discussed in NEW LAW – Washington DC Elimination of Tip Credit Repealed) and imposed new posting requirements on all DC employers (discussed in COMING SOON: New Posting Requirements for All DC Employers), the new law also imposes the following new requirements on employers of tipped employees:

Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training For Tipped Employees

Employers will be required to provide sexual harassment training to their tipped employees and managers.  This training must be either through a course developed by the Office of Human Rights (OHR) or from an OHR-certified provider. Continue reading NEW LAW: DC To Require Sexual Harassment Training for Tipped Employees

NEW RULE: DOL Eliminates “80/20” Tip Credit Rule

On November 8, 2018, the US Department of Labor issued a new Opinion letter (Opinion Letter FLSA 2018-27) wherein the DOL rescinded the 80/20 tip credit rule.  Under this rule, employers were not able to use the tip credit for tipped employees who spend more than 20% of their time performing allegedly non-tip generating duties.

In lieu of this rule, the DOL has stated that ““We do not intend to place a limitation on the amount of duties related to a tip-producing occupation that may be performed, so long as they are performed contemporaneously with direct customer-service duties and all other requirements of the Act are met.”

NEW CASE: Employer Must Pay for Post-Offer Medical Exams

In a recently decided federal case ( EEOC v. BSNF Railway Company), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that employers are required to pay for an employer-required post-offer medical examination.

In this case, the company made an offer of employment to an individual and conditioned the offer of employment on the candidate successfully completing a medical examination.  This candidate had a history of back issues and was required to obtain an MRI as a part of the examination (which the candidate was going to have to pay for out-of-pocket).  The candidate told the company that he could not afford to pay for the MRI and the company rescinded the job offer.

The Court confirmed that ADA permits follow-up medical testing where such testing is “medically related to previously-obtained medical information.”  However, the ADA does not specify who should pay for the additional testing.  The Court determined that requiring the candidate to assume the costs of the additional testing could go against the anti-discrimination provisions and the policy purposes of the ADA, by forcing them “to face costly barriers to employment.”  As a result, the Court found that employers must bear the costs of any such testing.