Important changes to your legal rights in the workplace

A number of significant changes are being instituted in the State of Illinois’ employment laws, most of which will empower employees.

Cramer Law offers the following overview of many legal changes with the hope that those who work in Illinois will be aware of their rights under state law and ensure they are treated fairly by their employers.

Amendment to the Illinois Equal Pay Act

Effective September 29, 2019

This amendment generally prohibits employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s compensation history. It imposes severe penalties for violating the amendment as well and requires employers in Illinois to remove all questions pertaining to salary or wage history from employment applications by September 29, 2019. Recruiters and others who interview job applicants should be aware of this amendment and not request salary history details.  The law also makes it illegal for employers to require employees to sign a contract or waiver that prohibits employees from discussing compensation.

Follow this link for more detailed information about the Amendment to the Illinois Equal Pay Act.

Victims Economic Security and Safety Act Expanded (VESSA)

Effective January 1, 2020

All employers in Illinois, regardless of size, are required to provide unpaid leave to employees who were victims of domestic or sexual violence if it occurred in their household. The law has been amended to provide unpaid leave for employees who have experienced gender violence as well.

The employer can still require certification of the requested leave, such as police records or other documentation from an attorney or clergy member.

Follow this link for more detailed information about the Amendment to VESSA.

Workplace Transparency Act

Effective January 1, 2020

This act has a broad reach and will impact nearly every employer in Illinois. Essentially, it applies to all types of contracts, agreements, clauses or waivers entered into, modified or extended on or after January 1, 2020, by employers with employees or non-employees, such as contractors and consultants.

In particular, this act limits the inclusion of non-disclosure and non-disparagement provisions in employment agreements, separation agreements and settlement agreements. In addition, it can restrict an employer’s ability to require mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment or other discrimination claims. Of significant note is this act’s mandating of sexual harassment training and its requirement that employers report settlements and adverse judgements to the Illinois Department of Human Rights, establishing new civil penalties for non-compliance.

Follow this link for more detailed information about the Workplace Transparency Act.

Amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA)

Effective July 1, 2020 The Illinois Human Rights Act has been amended, effective July 1, 2020, to apply to all employers in Illinois with one or more employees. The minimum number of employees was previously 15. Even large, multi-state businesses that employ one or more Illinois workers become Illinois employers covered by this law.

In addition, the IHRA amendment redefines “working environment” and “employee” providing harassment protection even for non-employees, such as contractors or consultants.

Follow this link for more detailed information about the Amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act.

Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act

Effective July 1,  2020

The Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act is requiring employers to take measures to ensure the protection of employees from sexual harassment or assault by hotel or casino guests.

Follow this link for more detailed information about the Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act.