Tag Archives: Illinois

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’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.

Cook County Employers – Are You Prepared For The New Earned Sick Leave Ordinance?

On July 1, 2017, the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance goes into effect. This new law applies to those municipalities who have not opted out of the ordinance. Is your business ready for the new law?

Under this law, all employers located in Cook County (except those in municipalities that have opted out) are required to provide employees with at least 40 hours of earned sick leave per year.

Earned sick leave may be provided to employees on an “up front” or “accrual” basis.

If an employer chooses to advance (“up front”) the earned sick leave, employers must provide all 40 hours of earned sick leave on July 1st or on an employee’s 1st day of employment. At the beginning of each subsequent year, a non-FMLA-Covered Employer must advance at least 60 hours of earned sick leave while an FMLA-Covered Employer must advance at least 100 hours of earned sick leave.

If employers choose to use the accrual method, then employees must accrue a minimum of one (1) hour of earned sick leave for every forty (40) hours worked within the geographic boundaries of Cook County up to a maximum of forty (40) hours in a calendar year. In addition, employees must be permitted to carry over accrued but unused earned sick leave into the following year as follows:

  • Non-FMLA-Covered Employers – at least half of an employee’s total unused accrued Earned Sick Leave, up to a maximum of 20 hours.
  • FMLA-Covered Employers – at least half of an employee’s total unused accrued earned sick leave and any remaining unused accrued earned sick leave (up to 40 hours) for FMLA-purposes.

Only employees who perform a minimum of 2 hours of work in Cook County in any two-week period are eligible to accrue earned sick leave. In addition, earned sick leave is only accrued for work that is performed within the geographic boundaries of Cook County.

An employee becomes eligible to use earned sick leave when he or she has worked for the employer in any location (i.e. within or outside of Cook County) for at least 80 hours in any 120-day period. In addition, employees are able to use their accrued earned sick leave in any location (i.e. within or outside of Cook County) where the employee works for the employer.

An employee may use his/her accrued earned sick leave for the following purposes:

  • an employee’s or his/her family member’s injury or illness, or treatment or recuperation from illness or injury;
  • time off due to closure of the business or the employee’s child’s school or place of care due to a public official’s order or a health emergency; or
  • time off if the employee or a family member is the victim of domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking.

In addition, FMLA-Covered employers must allow eligible employees to use “FMLA-restricted” time off for any FMLA-qualifying purposes.

The Earned Sick Leave Ordinance required notice poster must be displayed where employees can easily read it. The poster is available here.

Take Home For Employers

Cook County has published the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Rules to help employers understand this new law. It is recommended that all employers in Cook County review these new Rules.

Reminder – Mandatory Retirement Plans Coming to Illinois in June 2017

As reported in an earlier article (Mandatory Retirement Plans In Illinois), back in 2015, former Illinois governor Pat Quinn passed the Illinois Secured Choice Savings Program Act. This law requires Illinois employers who (1) have been in business for 2 or more years and (2) have 25 or more employees provide a retirement savings program to their employees.

Under this law, covered employers must offer a retirement savings plan to employees or automatically enroll employees in the State retirement plan. Employees have the option to opt out of the program in writing, but if employees do not opt out, covered employers must deduct 3% of the employee’s compensation and deposit it in the State plan.

The Illinois Secured Choice Savings Program goes into effect on June 1, 2017. It is recommended that affected employers review their obligations under this new program and take steps to ensure that they are in compliance come June 1st.

2017 Minimum Wage Increases — Cities and Counties

In an earlier article (“State Minimum Wage Increases for 2017“), we provided a breakdown of the increases to State minimum wage that are going into effect on January 1, 2017 (December 31, 2016 for New York).

In addition to these minimum wage increases, several cities (and some counties) have their own “local minimum wages” which are also increasing in the new year.

Minimum Wage as of November 21, 2016 Scheduled Increase for January 1, 2017
Arizona Cities
Flagstaff $8.05 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
California Cities/Counties
County of Los Angeles $10.00 No increase 1/1/17         To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17         To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
County/City of San Francisco $13.00 No increase 1/1/17 To increase 7/1/17 — $14.00
Berkeley Alameda County $12.53 No increase 1/1/17 To increase 10/1/17 — $13.75
Cupertino Santa Clara County $10.00 $12.00
El Cerrito Contra Costa County $11.60 $12.25
Emeryville Alameda County $13.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $14.00
small employer (55 or less)
large employer (56 or more) $14.82 No increase 1/1/17      May increase 7/1/17 based on CPI
Long Beach LA County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17 To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
Los Altos Santa Clara County $10.00 $12.00
Los Angeles LA County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
Mailbu Los Angeles County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
Mountain View Santa Clara County $11.00 $13.00
Oakland Alameda County $12.55 No increase 1/1/17
Palo Alto Santa Clara County $11.00 No increase 1/1/17
Pasadena LA County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
Richmond Contra Costa County $11.52 $12.30
San Diego San Diego County $10.50 $11.50
San Jose Santa Clara County $10.30 No increase 1/1/17
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (101 or more) $10.30 $10.50
San Leandro Alameda County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
San Mateo San Mateo County $10.00 $12.00
For profit companies
small Non profit companies (25 or less) $10.00 No increase 1/1/17
large Non profit companies (26 or more $10.00 $10.50
Santa Clara Santa Clara County $11.00 No increase 1/1/17
Santa Monica LA County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
Sacramento Sacramento County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17         To increase 1/1/18 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.00 $10.50
Sunnyvale Santa Clara County $11.00 $13.00
Illinois Cities/Counties
Cook County $8.25 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.00
Chicago $10.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $11.00
Iowa Counties
Johnson County $9.15 $10.10
Linn County $7.25 $8.25
Polk County $7.25 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 4/1/17 — $8.75
Wapello County $7.25 $8.20
Maine Cities
Bangor $7.50 $9.00
Portland $10.10 $10.68
Maryland Counties
Montgomery County $10.75 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 10/1/17 — $11.50
Prince George’s County $10.75 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 10/1/17 — $11.50
New Mexico Cities/Counties
Bernalillo County $8.65 No increase 1/1/17
Santa Fe County $10.91 No increase 1/1/17
Albuquerque $8.75 No increase 1/1/17
Las Cruces $8.40 $9.20
Santa Fe $10.91 No increase 1/1/17
New York Cities/Counties
“Upstate” employers (excluding fast food employers) $9.00 for all employees but fast food employees $9.70
“Upstate” Fast Food employers $9.75 for fast food employees only $10.75
“Downstate” employers (excluding fast food employers) $9.00 for all employees but fast food employees $10.00
“Downstate” Fast Food employers $9.75 for fast food employees only $10.75
New York City “small” employers (excluding fast food employers) $9.00 for all employees but fast food employees $10.50
New York City “large” employers (excluding fast food employers) $9.00 for all employees but fast food employees $11.00
New York City Fast Food employers $9.75 for fast food employees only $12.00
~ “Upstate” = employers in all counties “upstate” from the greater NYC area              ~ “Downstate” = employers in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties                    ~ “Small” NYC employers = employers with 10 or fewer employees                            ~ “Large” NYC employers = employers with 11 or more employees
Oregon Cities/Counties
Nonurban Counties
(Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa Wheeler counties)
$9.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.00
Portland $9.75 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $11.25
Washington Cities
City of SeaTac (hospitality and transportation workers) $15.00 No increase 1/1/17
Seattle
small employer (500 or less) $12.00 $13.00
large employer (501 or more) $13.00 $15.00
Tacoma $10.35 $11.15

Recommendation for Employers

It is recommended that employers in the above-listed cities/counties prepare for these minimum wage increases.  In addition, if your city/county is not listed on this chart, we recommend that you check with your local Chamber of Commerce to determine the minimum wage in your city.

Caveat: Please be advised that this information is being provided as a courtesy and that ePlace Solutions, Inc. does not track local laws and ordinances and will not update this information with changes in local laws and ordinances.

New restriction on non-compete agreements in Illinois

In a recently passed law (Illinois Freedom to Work Act), Illinois has prohibited private sector employers from entering into non-compete restrictions with “low-wage employees” and renders any such agreements entered into after the statute’s effective date (January 1, 2017) illegal and void.

What is a “low-wage employee”?

Under the new law, a “low-wage employee” is defined as any employee who earns the greater of:

  • the hourly minimum wage under federal (currently, $7.25 per hour), state (currently, $8.25 per hour), or local law (currently, $10.50 per hour in Chicago) or
  • $13.00 per hour

In other words, until such time that federal, state, or local {Chicago} minimum wage exceeds the $13 threshold, any employee who earns $13.00 or less is considered a “low-wage employee.”

What is considered a non-compete agreement?

Under the new law, a non-compete agreement is any agreement that restricts the “low-wage employee” from performing:

  • any work for another employer for a specified period of time;
  • any work in a specified geographical area; or
  • work for another employer that is similar to such low-wage employee’s work for the employer included as a party to the agreement.

Illinois Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights Signed into law

On August 21, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law the Illinois Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights into law. This new law amends four existing Illinois employment laws (the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, Illinois One Day in Seven Act, Illinois Human Rights Act and the Illinois Wages of Women and Minors Act) so they will now apply to domestic workers.

What are domestic workers?

Under Illinois’s law, domestic workers are person who work in the following professions:

  • housekeeping;
  • house cleaning;
  • home management;
  • laundering;
  • cooking;
  • chauffeuring;
  • nanny services;
  • companion services and caregiving,
  • personal care or home health services for elderly persons or persons with an illness, injury, or disability who require assistance caring for themselves; and
  • other household services.

 

What are the changes?

Illinois Minimum Wage Law

All domestic workers must receive minimum wage in Illinois, currently $8.25 an hour, and must be paid overtime for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek.

Illinois One Day in Seven Act

All domestic workers must be allowed at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every calendar week. The day of rest should coincide with the domestic worker’s day that he/she traditionally reserves for religious worship.

If a domestic worker voluntarily agrees to work on his/her day of rest, the employee must receive overtime pay for all hours worked on that day.

Illinois Human Rights Act

The Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) applies to employers who employ 15 or more employees in Illinois. With the new law, the IHRA’s protections (against discrimination and harassment and those related to pregnancy) are extended to domestic workers.

Illinois Wages of Women and Minors Act

The fair wage rights for women and minors are extended to domestic workers.

Impact on Illinois employers

The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2017. To the extent that your company employs domestic workers, it is recommended that your company review its policies and practices and verify that you are in compliance with these laws as they relate to your domestic workforce.

Illinois Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act Amended

The state of Illinois recently amended its Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act to extend victims’ leave benefits to more Illinois employees.

The Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (“VESSA”) entitles employees who are victims of domestic or sexual violence or whose family members or household members are victims of domestic or sexual violence to take unpaid leave to address issues related to the domestic or sexual violence. Under the current law, a victims’ leave rights are dependent on the number of employees employed by the employer.

Currently, victims’ leave rights are as follows:

Employer Size Victims’ Leave Rights
0 to 14 employees No victims’ leave available
15 to 49 employees 8 workweeks of unpaid victims’ leave in any 12-month period
50+ employees 12 workweeks of unpaid victims’ leave in any 12-month period

Under the new law, employees who work for an employer with 14 or fewer employees will be entitled to 4 workweeks of unpaid victims’ leave in any 12-month period.

The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2017.

DOL Partnership regarding worker misclassification — 34 States and Counting

Thirty-five states have agreed to “team up” with the US Department of Labor to investigate worker misclassification. Is your state one of them?

In 2015, Department of Labor launched an initiative to combat the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. As a part of this initiative, the Department of Labor sought to partner with the state agencies and agree to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification. To date, 35 states have entered into a memorandum of understanding regarding worker misclassification issues.

These states are:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

What does this mean for employers in these states?

Employers in the above-listed states should expect collaborative efforts between their state agencies and the Department of Labor during a investigation into potential employee misclassification as the state and the Department of Labor will share information. This could lead to simultaneous, multi-agency investigations into worker classification. It is recommended that companies have qualified legal counsel review any existing independent contractor arrangements. In addition, before entering into an independent contractor relationship, speak with an HR Professional or qualified legal counsel to verify that the worker truly is an independent contractor.