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Total Articles: 25

New Illinois Law Poised to Ban Salary History Inquiries

On July 31, 2019, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a new law that prohibits Illinois employers from asking for or considering compensation history when making employment decisions or setting compensation. The law is aimed at reducing the wage gap between men and women performing similar jobs. In addition to banning salary history inquiries, the new law expands potential claims under the Illinois Equal Pay Act. The law will take effect on September 29, 2019.

Illinois Expands Equal Pay Act and Bans Inquiries about Job Applicants’ Wage Histories

An amendment to the Illinois Equal Pay Act expands the Act’s scope and prohibits employers in Illinois from requesting information about a job applicant’s prior compensation.

"Lifting Up Illinois Working Families Act" Increases Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour (And Penalties for Non-Compliance)

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Lifting Up Illinois Working Families Act into law on February 19, 2019. The Act gradually increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next six years. Illinois is now the fifth state (after California, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts) to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. While the Act is receiving a lot of press for the minimum wage increase, it makes other changes to Illinois law about which Illinois employers must also be aware.

Beyond the Headlines: Illinois Amends State Minimum Wage Law

The Lifting Up Illinois Working Families Act amends the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL) to raise the state minimum wage in stages until it reaches $15.00 per hour. While the amendments’ increases to the minimum wage have received significant coverage, some of the most important changes to the IMWL should not be overlooked by employers. The Act also raises the damages available to employees for violations of the IMWL and allows the state labor department to conduct random audits.

Illinois Governor Signs $15 Minimum Wage Law

As anticipated, today Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the “Lifting Up Illinois Working Families Act,” under which the state’s minimum wage will increase to $15.00 per hour over the next six years. Under the law, the hourly minimum wage will increase to $9.25 on January 1, 2020; to $10.00 on July 1, 2020; to $11.00 on January 1, 2021; and an additional $1.00 per hour each January 1st thereafter, until reaching $15.00 on January 1, 2025.

Illinois Enacts Minimum Wage Hike To $15

Illinois is set to drastically change its minimum wage in the near future, reaching $15 per hour over the course of the next six years. Following passage by the legislature on February 14, 2019, newly elected Governor J.B. Pritzker quickly signed the amendments to the Illinois Minimum Wage Law into law. You should be prepared for the gradual increases (and other changes) to start taking effect on January 1, 2020.

Illinois Next to Prohibit Salary History Inquiries?

The Illinois state legislature passed House Bill (HB) 2462 which would prevent employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s salary history and lower the burden on employees claiming equal pay violations. The Bill now awaits Governor Bruce Rauner’s signature.

Illinois Garnishments News: Wage Assignments No Longer Expire in 84 Days

Recently, Illinois revised its wage assignment law. This development is important for multistate employers because Illinois is the only state with a statute that clearly and unequivocally provides that employers must honor contracts employees make with third parties to assign wages. Under the Illinois Wage Assignment Act, 740 ILCS §§170/.01 et seq., there are detailed steps that a creditor must take with an employee for an assignment to be legal and then again with the employer for the assignment to be enforceable against the employer. A highlight of three key changes to the law follows:

Suburban Cook County Joins the City of Chicago in Raising the Minimum Wage for Non-Tipped Workers to $13 an Hour

As we previously reported, the City of Chicago is gradually moving to a minimum wage of $13 an hour by July 2019. On Wednesday, Cook County joined the City of Chicago in gradually increasing the minimum wage by approving a minimum wage increase for non-tipped workers to $13 an hour by July 2020.

Illinois Supreme Court Vacates 2% Wage Increase for State Employees

Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court vacated an arbitration award requiring the State to pay a 2% wage increase to certain state employees who are represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31 (“AFSCME”). The Court’s ruling is likely to have a major impact on the ongoing negotiations between AFSCME and the State regarding a successor collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”), and Illinois taxpayers more generally.

New Exception to the Illinois Minimum Wage Law

The Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL) generally provides that non-exempt employees must be paid one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. However, on July 10, 2015, Governor Rauner signed legislation amending the IMWL as it pertains to public employees who are members of a bargaining unit recognized by the Illinois Labor Relations Board.

Cook County's New Wage-Theft Ordinance

Cook County recently increased the stakes on wage and hour compliance for employers that transact business with or receive tax incentives from the County. After May 1, 2015, Cook County may refuse to allow businesses to operate or do business with the County for up to five years, if the business has been found in violation of state or federal wage-payment laws, regardless of whether the employees lived or worked in the County.

Legislation That Makes Minimum Manning for Firefighters a Mandatory Subject of Bargaining Awaits Governor’s Signature

Last week, the Illinois Senate passed House Bill 5485, and the bill now awaits action by Governor Quinn. If signed by Governor Quinn, the bill would immediately go into effect and amend the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act (“Act”) to make minimum manning a mandatory subject of bargaining for fire departments with unionized firefighters. Minimum manning will remain a permissive subject of bargaining for police departments.

Illinois Department of Labor Relaxes Rule Requiring Contemporaneous Authorization for Employee Wage Deductions

In a rare employer-friendly move, the Illinois Department of Labor recently amended the requirements imposed on employers when making deductions from employee wages. Specifically, the state agency amended the employee consent requirements to recognize that employers and employees may enter into an agreement, in advance of making deductions, permitting such deductions when they are to recur over a period of time. The new rule became effective on August 22, 2014.

Illinois Becomes Latest State to Crack Down on Pay Card Abuses

The use of “pay cards” like the one our reader described has skyrocketed in recent years, mostly as employers try to reduce the costs of payroll-related expenses. This trend has not escaped the attention of the media or lawmakers.

Illinois Permits Employer Use of Payroll Cards

On August 6, 2014, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed HB5622 into law, amending the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA) to permit employers to pay employees using payroll cards. Up until now, the IWPCA only permitted employers to pay their employees by check or direct deposit into a bank account. As of January 1, 2015, employers will be able to pay their employees’ wages, commissions, bonuses, and compensation for earned holidays and vacation time using payroll cards linked to employee specific payroll accounts.

Employer Obligations Under the New Payroll Card Law

On Wednesday, August 6, 2014, Governor Quinn signed House Bill 5622 amending the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA) and providing employers with the option of paying employees through a payroll card. While the new law provides an alternative to the traditional methods of payment by check or direct deposit, employers who elect this payment method must be aware of specific requirements imposed by the new legislation. Significantly, the law prohibits employers from requiring employees to receive wages on payroll cards as a condition of employment and, if an employer offers payroll cards as a payment option, it must still provide an alternative form of payment to its employees.

Illinois Department of Labor Issues Guidance on Applicability of Prevailing Wage Act to Landscaping Work

Determining whether the Prevailing Wage Act applies to certain components of a public works project often requires a fact-specific analysis. And, absent clear guidance from the Illinois Department of Labor, the answer may be uncertain. One of the more difficult issues in recent years has been whether prevailing wages must be paid for landscaping work. The Illinois Department of Revenue recently issued an FAQ clarifying this issue and providing public bodies with much needed guidance.

Employee Handbook May Create An Enforceable Obligation to Pay Overtime Under Illinois Law December 18, 2012

A federal court in the Northern District of Illinois recently ruled that language in an employee handbook providing that employees would be paid overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a week potentially created an enforceable “agreement” that obligated the employer to pay overtime under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA). In Wharton et al. v. Comcast Corp., the court held that a group of Comcast employees could proceed with their lawsuit against Comcast to recover overtime wages based on language in the employee handbook and other Comcast policies, even though the handbook contained standard disclaimer language under which Comcast reserved sole discretion to interpret its policies and resolve any conflict between or among policies, and reserved the right to change, delete, suspend, discontinue, or otherwise revise the handbook or any policies within it for any reason, with or without notice.

Education: New Salary Posting Requirement Takes Effect January 1, 2012

Illinois School Code provisions requiring the reporting and posting of administrator and teacher salaries have gone through multiple revisions recently.

Am I Obligated to Pay a Pro Rata Bonus to Employees No Longer With The Company?

As the end of the year rolls around, we inevitably are asked questions related to the payment of bonuses, particularly for those employees who are terminated before annual bonuses are paid out.

Amendments to Illinois’ Wage Payment Law.

The new year brings tougher penalties for Illinois employers facing employee claims for unpaid wages as amendments to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA) go into effect on January 1, 2011.

Illinois Governor Signs Wage Theft Enforcement Act

On July 30, Governor Quinn signed the Wage Theft Enforcement Act, S.B. 3568. The new law heightens criminal penalties for violations of the Wage Payment and Collection Act, making willful failure to pay wages due under the Act a class B misdemeanor for amounts of $5,000 or less, and a class A misdemeanor for larger amounts. Repeat offenses within two years of prior criminal conviction under the Act are now a class 4 felony.

Illinois Minimum Wage Rates Increase on July 1, 2010

The Illinois minimum wage rates increased on July 1, 2010. The minimum wage rate for adult employees increased to $8.25 per hour, although employers may pay new employees $7.75 per hour during their first 90 days of employment. The minimum wage rate for employees under 18 years of age increased to $7.75 per hour.

New Prompt Payment Act For Private Construction Projects.

Contractors and subcontractors in Illinois were recently equipped with a new legal tool to encourage timely payments from upstream parties. Earlier this year, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Contractor Prompt Payment Act, Public Act 95-0567, which became effective for contracts entered on or after August 31, 2007. The Contractor Prompt Payment Act (the “Act”) provides deadlines for approval and payment of pay applications for (1) contractors seeking payment from owners; and (2) subcontractors seeking payment from contractors and penalties for non-compliance.
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