Category Archives: Illinois

NEW LAW: Illinois To Incrementally Increase Minimum Wage to $15.00 Per Hour

On February 19, 2019, Illinois Democratic Governor, JB Pritzker, signed the Lifting Up Illinois Working Families Act  (Public Act 101-0001) into law –making New Jersey the latest state to jump on the $15 per hour minimum wage bandwagon.

Under this new law, Illinois’ minimum wage will increase as follows:

  • January 1, 2020 — increases to $9.25 per hour
  • July 1, 2010 — increases to $10.00 per hour
  • January 1, 2021 — increases to $11.00 per hour
  • January 1, 2022 — increases to $12.00 per hour
  • January 1, 2023 — increases to $13.00 per hour
  • January 1, 2024 — increases to $14.00 per hour
  • January 1, 2025 — increases to $15.00 per hour

The minimum wage rate for tipped employees  will also increase as follows:

  • January 1, 2020 — increases to $5.55 per hour
  • July 1, 2020 — increases to $6.00 per hour
  • January 1, 2021 — increases to $6.60 per hour
  • January 1, 2022 — increases to $7.20 per hour
  • January 1, 2023 — increases to $7.80 per hour
  • January 1, 2024 — increases to $8.40 per hour
  • January 1, 2025 — increases to $9.00 per hour

The new law, does, however, provide a small silver lining for small businesses.  The law allows employers with 50 or fewer employees claim a tax credit on the difference between an employee’s wage in the prior year and the increased wage each January 1. That credit, is reduced by 4% each year until it is completely eliminated in 2026 for employers with six or more employees (2027 for employers with five employees or fewer).

It is recommended that all Illinois employers prepare for these increases.

NEW LAW: Illinois Employers Are Your Handbooks Compliant With The New Sexual Harassment Notice Requirements?

Attention Illinois employers … The 2018 Amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) (found in Public Acts 100-0588 and 100-1066) imposed new requirements on employers relating to notifying their employees about sexual harassment.

Under these amendments, employers are required to provide employees with specific information about employee rights to be free from sexual harassment.   In particular, employers must include the text contained in the new anti-harassment/discrimination notice (titled “You Have the Right to Be Free From Job Discrimination and Sexual Harassment”) in the employee handbook.

It is recommended that all Illinois employers review their handbooks and verify that the required language is included.

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: 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 POSTER: Illinois Requires Anti-Harassment Poster

Attention Illinois employers … starting September 18, 2018, state employers, employers with federal contracts, and employers with 15 or more employees are required to  display the Illinois Department of Human Rights’ Sexual Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace posting in a prominent location in the workplace.

It is recommended that all affected Illinois employers verify that they have complied with this new posting requirement.

NEW LAW – Illinois To Require Business Expense Reimbursement

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner recently signed Senate Bill 2999, an amendment to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act into law.  This amendment, which goes into effect on January 1, 2019, will require all Illinois employers to “reimburse an employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee within the employee’s scope of employment and directly related to services performed for the employer.”

For purposes of the new law, the term “”necessary expenditures” means all reasonable expenditures or losses required of the employee in the discharge of employment duties and that inure to the primary benefit of the employer.  The law makes it clear that employers are not required to reimburse employees for losses due to an employee’s own negligence, losses due to normal wear, or losses due to theft unless the theft was a result of the employer’s negligence.

In order to obtain reimbursement, an employee will be required to submit any necessary expenditure with appropriate supporting documentation within 30 calendar days after incurring the expense.  In the event that the employee does not have “supporting documentation” relating to the expense (i.e. the documentation is nonexistent, missing, or lost), the employee must submit a signed statement regarding any such receipts in order to be reimbursed. Continue reading NEW LAW – Illinois To Require Business Expense Reimbursement

NEW LAW – Illinois Enacts Sexual Harassment Training Requirements For Illinois Lobbyists

In response to the #metoo movement and numerous allegations relating to sexual harassment in the Illinois legislature, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner recently signed Public Act 100-0554 into law. This new law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2018, requires that Illinois lobbyists and their employers comply with new sexual harassment compliance rules.

Under this new law, all Illinois lobbyist employers are required to develop and implement a written sexual harassment policy no later than January 1, 2018. This policy must contain the following elements:

  • A prohibition on sexual harassment;
  • Details on how to report sexual harassment allegations, including options for making a confidential report to a supervisor, ethics officer, Inspector General, or the Illinois Department of Human Rights;
  • A prohibition on retaliation for reporting sexual harassment allegations, including availability of whistleblower protections under the State Officials and Employee Ethics Act, the Whistleblower Act, and the Illinois Human Rights Act; and
  • The consequences of violating the prohibition on sexual harassment or knowingly making a false report.

In addition to the above requirement, the law also requires that registered Illinois lobbyists go through regular sexual harassment training as follows:

  • Initial sexual harassment training within 30 days of filing their initial registration and
  • Annual training thereafter, which must be completed before the lobbyist submits his/her annual renewal (which is due on January 31st).

The sexual harassment training will be provided by the Secretary of State’s office as an additional module to the annual lobbyists’ ethics training program.

There are two exemptions from the training requirement

  1. The lobbying entity has no employee registered as an Illinois lobbyist; or
  2. The individual lobbyist works outside Illinois.

Finally, the new law requires that lobbyist employers make the following certifications when filing lobbyist registrations or annual renewals:

  • It has a sexual harassment policy in place that meets the requirements summarized above;
  • It will make the policy available upon written, including electronic, demand within two business days;
  • Any person may contact the registrant’s “authorized agent” (i.e., the person a registrant designates to file lobbying reports) to report allegations of sexual harassment; and
  • It acknowledges the Secretary of State Inspector General has jurisdiction to review any allegations of sexual harassment by the registrant or the lobbyists it hires.

New Laws Effective in 2018

Aside from the minimum wage increases, there are a number of new laws going into effect in the new year.

While many of these have been addressed in detail in previous articles, the following is a summary of the new laws/regulations that may be going into effect in your state …

State New Law
California AB 46 – Amends the California Equal Pay Act to define “employer” to include public and private employers.

Effective January 1, 2018

AB 168 – Adds §432.3 to the California Labor Code, which prohibits employers from inquiring into and relying on an applicant’s salary history during the hiring process.

Effective January 1, 2018

AB 260 & SB 225 – Makes two changes the Human Trafficking required notice: (1) additional businesses (including hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast inns) are required to post the notice and (2) the notice must include a text number to access support and services.

Effective January 1, 2018

AB 450 – Employers are prohibited from providing ICE agents with access to their worksite and/or records without a warrant.

Effective January 1, 2018

AB 1008 – Amends the California Fair Employment and Housing Act to include a “ban-the-box” provision, which prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history before the employer has made a conditional offer of employment.

Effective January 1, 2018

AB 1701 – Adds §218.7 to the California Labor Code, which requires direct contractors to assume liability for unpaid wages, benefits, and/or contributions owed by its subcontractors.

Effective January 1, 2018

AB 1710 – Expands protections to members of the military and veterans by prohibiting employers from discriminating against these individuals in the terms and conditions of employment.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB 63 (New Parent Leave Act) – Requires employers who employs 20+ employees within 75 miles of a worksite provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement.  Employers are not required to provide this leave to employees who are eligible for CFRA and FMLA.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB 258 (Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017) – Requires employers who are required to make a safety data sheet readily accessible to its employees also provide employees with information regarding exposure to potentially harmful chemicals in designated cleaning products.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB306 – Authorizes the DLSE to commence an investigation of an employer, with or without a complaint being filed, when retaliation or discrimination is suspected during the course of a wage claim or other specified investigation being conducted by the Labor Commissioner.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB396 – Amends the California Fair Employment and Housing Act to require employers with 5+ employees post a notice in the workplace regarding transgender rights.  Also requires employers with 50+ employees to include harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation in their anti-harassment training programs.

Effective January 1, 2018

Connecticut HB 7037 – Requires employers to provide information regarding child support garnishments to their workers’ compensation carrier when making an initial report of occupational illness or injury to the carrier.

Effective January 1, 2018

Delaware HS 1 — Prohibits employers from inquiring into and relying on an applicant’s salary history during the hiring process.

Effective December 14, 2017

Hawaii SB 1007 – Changes the reporting frequency of withheld income tax from monthly reporting to quarterly reporting for all employers.

Effective January 1, 2018

Illinois SB 318 – Prohibits employers from (1) using (or requiring an applicant/employee provide) genetic information in employment decisions (2) discriminating against an employee because of genetic information or testing, or (3) retaliating against an employee who refuses to disclose genetic information.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB 1895 – Prohibits employers from disciplining or terminating an employee who also serves as a volunteer emergency medical services personnel or as a volunteer firefighter by his or her employer for responding to an emergency call or emergency text message during work hours that requests the employee’s volunteer emergency medical services or volunteer firefighter services.

Effective January 1, 2018

Maine LD 1477 – Requires the Department of Labor and the Maine Human Rights Commission develop and make available a training guide setting forth the sexual harassment training requirements for employers’ use and increases the penalties imposed on employers for violating the notice and sexual harassment training requirements.

Effective November 1, 2017

LD 88 – Delayed the effective date of certain portions of the Maine Marijuana Legalization Act until 2/1/2018.

Effective February 1, 2018

Massachusetts HB 3680 (Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act) – Prohibits workplace and hiring discrimination related to pregnancy and nursing, and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for expectant and new mothers in the workplace.

Effective April 1, 2018

SB 2119 – Amends the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act by (1) requiring employers to provide “equal pay” for “comparable” work, (2) prohibiting inquiries into an applicant’s salary history.

Effective July 1, 2018

Nevada AB 76 – Amends the existing law to remove the requirement that the Central Repository provide certain criminal history information to employers and repeals certain immunities previously provided to employers.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB 361 – Requires Nevada employers to provide employees who are victims of domestic violence with up to 160 hours of domestic violence leave in a 12-month period.

Effective January 1, 2018

New York SB 2543 – Extends the anti-smoking provisions of Public Health Law § 1399-n (which prohibits smoking in certain public areas) to include “vaping” and the use of e-cigarettes.

Effective November 22, 2018

AB A9006C & SB 6406 – Requires employers to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of Paid Family Leave in a 12-month period for qualifying reasons.

Effective January 1, 2018

North Carolina SB 407 (Employee Fair Classification Act) – Creates the Employee Classification Section within the Industrial Commission, which will be responsible for investigating suspected employee misclassification.  Also requires employers post notice relating to employee misclassification.

Effective October 1, 2017

Ohio Admin. Code 4141-11-01 – Requires employers provide all quarterly contribution and wage reports electronically.

Effective January 1, 2018

Oregon HB 3008 — Prohibits employer from requiring employee to create, file or sign documents containing information that employer knows is false related to hours worked or compensation received by employee.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB 299 – Amends the Oregon paid sick leave law to allow employers to limit number of hours of sick time that employees may accrue per year.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB 769 – Enhances protections for the privacy of social security numbers by prohibiting persons (including employers) from disposing of (or transferring to another person for disposal) materials that display an individual’s Social Security number unless (1) before disposing of the material, the person makes Social Security number unreadable or unrecoverable or (2) the person ensures that person that ultimately disposes of media or material makes Social Security number unreadable or unrecoverable.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB828 — Requires large employers in specified industries (employers with 500+ employees in retail, hospitality, and food services) to provide new employee with estimated work schedule and to provide current employee with seven days’ notice of employee work schedule.

Effective July 1, 2018

Rhode Island HB 5182 & SB 175 — Prohibits the use of a non-hands-free personal wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle, except for public safety personnel or in an emergency situation

Effective June 1, 2018

HB 5413 & SB 290 (Paid Sick Leave Law) — Requires employers with eighteen (18) or more employees to provide three (3) paid sick days in 2018, four (4) paid sick days in 2019 and five (5) paid sick days thereafter.

Effective July 1, 2018

SB 676 — Creates a statutory vehicle for the creation and functioning of workers’ cooperatives which are corporations that are owned and democratically governed by their members.

Effective January 1, 2018

Utah SB 249 — Requires employers to file a quarterly withholding return in an electronic format

Effective January 1, 2018

Vermont HB 136 — Requires employers provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s pregnancy-related condition, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer.

Effective January 1, 2018

HB 462 — Prohibits employers from requiring, requesting, or coercing an employee to provide a social media account username or password, or to present or divulge social media content to the employer. Also prohibits employers from requiring or coercing an employee to add the employer to his or her list of contacts for a social media account.

Effective January 1, 2018

Virginia HB 1646 & SB 1333 – Reduces the maximum portion of an employee’s disposable earnings subject to garnishment.

Effective July 1, 2018

Washington Initiative No. 1433 (Paid Sick Leave Law) – Requires employers to provide paid sick leave to eligible employees.

Effective January 1, 2018

NEW LAW: Illinois’s Responsible Job Creation Act Impacts Illinois Staffing Agencies

Illinois governor, Bruce Rauner, recently signed the Responsible Job Creation Act into law.  This new law, which goes into effect on June 1, 2018, amends the existing Day and Temporary Labor Services Act and imposes new obligations on Illinois staffing agencies.

Among the largest obligation placed on day and temporary labor service agencies is an obligation to “attempt to place a current temporary laborer into a permanent position with a [third-party] client when the client informs the agency of its plan to hire a permanent employee for a position like the positions for which employees are being provided by the agency at the same work location.”

Other key provisions include:

  • Notice provision – At the time of dispatch to an assignment, the agency must provide the worker with a written statement including the following information:
    • The name of the day or temporary laborer;
    • The laborer’s schedule
    • The length of the assignment
    • The name and nature of the work to be performed
    • The types of equipment, protective clothing, and training that are required for the task;
    • The wages offered;
    • The name and address of the destination of the laborer;
    • The terms of transportation; and
    • “Whether a meal or equipment, or both, are provided, either by the day and temporary labor service agency or the third-party client, and the cost of the meal and equipment, if any.”

NOTE: The Act also provides that laborers “shall be paid no less than the wage rate stated in the notice . . . for all the work performed on behalf of the third-party client in addition to the work listed in the written description.”

  • Transportation Requirements – The Act also sets forth the following requirements relating to agency-provided transportation to/from the jobsite:
    • An agency may not charge a fee to transport a laborer to or from his or her designated work site.
    • If an agency provides transportation for laborers to their jobsites, the agency must also provide transportation back at the end of the day, unless the laborer arranges for other return transportation.
  • Required Statement of Wages – The Act also requires that the agency provide a laborer with a detailed, itemized statement of wages, which must include the following information:
    • The name, address, and telephone number of each third-party client at which the laborer worked;
    • The number of hours he or she worked and the rate of pay;
    • All deductions made from the laborer’s compensation either by the third-party client or by the agency
    • The purpose for any deductions made from wages, including for the laborer’s transportation, food, equipment, withheld income tax, withheld social security payments, and every other deduction; and
    • Any other additional information required by the rules issued by the Illinois Department of Labor.

NOTE: The total amount deducted for meals, equipment, and transportation may not cause a day or temporary laborer’s hourly wage to fall below the state or federal minimum wage.

  • Prohibitions Against Charging Laborers – The Act also prohibits agencies (and third-party clients) from charging laborers for the following:
    • cashing a check issued by the agency for wages earned by the laborer who performed work through that agency.
    • the expense of conducting a consumer report, a criminal background check, or a drug test.
  • Liability for Wages – The Act also makes the agencies liable for a laborer’s wages if a laborer is assigned to work at a client site and is not work the shift (because the third-party client does not need the laborer). In that case, the agency must pay the laborer a minimum of four hours of pay at the agreed upon rate of pay.  However, if the agency is able to contract the laborer to work at a different location during that same shift, the agency must pay the laborer a minimum of two hours of pay at the agreed upon rate of pay.
  • Registration of Agencies – All agencies are required to register with the Illinois Department of Labor.

NOTE: Failure to register may result in a civil penalty of $500 per violation.  Moreover, each day that an agency operates without registering with the department will be considered a separate and distinct violation of the Act.

Finally, the Act imposes some requirements on the third-party clients.

  • Work Verification Form — At the end of the workday, a third-party client is required to provide each laborer with a work verification form which contains the following information:
    • the date,
    • the day or temporary laborer’s name,
    • the work location, and
    • the hours worked on that day.

NOTE:  Failure to provide this work verification for may result in a civil penalties against the third-party client “not to exceed $500 for each violation found by the Department. Such civil penalty may increase to $2,500 for a second or subsequent violation.”

  • Payment of Wages and Payroll Taxes – The Act also requires the third-party clients pay wages and related payroll taxes to a licensed agency for services performed by a laborer for the third party client according to payment terms outlined on invoices, service agreements, or stated terms provided by the agency.

NOTE: Failure to comply with this requirement may result in civil penalty not to exceed $6,000 for violations found in a first audit and a penalty not to exceed $2,500 for subsequent violations within three years.

Take home for employers

It is recommended that all staffing agencies who place people in Illinois familiarize themselves with this new law and take steps to insure compliance with the law before it goes into effect on June 1, 2018.