Total Articles: 161
Illinois is set to become the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana after both houses of the state legislature voted in favor of legalization. Gov. J.B. Pritzker is a legalization supporter, and has said he will sign the measure, which would be effective January 1, 2020.
Fisher Phillips • June 14, 2019
Illinois lawmakers recently approved House Bill 1438, referred to as the “Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act,” legalizing recreational marijuana. Governor Pritzker is expected to sign the bill into law, making Illinois the 11th state to legalize marijuana and the first state in which a legislature approved commercial sales.
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 12, 2019
This is our first in a series of alerts detailing key provisions of SB75, the anti-harassment legislation awaiting approval by Governor Pritzker. In this alert, we focus on Article I of SB75, which creates a new law entitled the Workplace Transparency Act. The Act imposes new limitations on contracts with prospective, current, and former employees, as detailed below.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 12, 2019
The Illinois General Assembly passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“the Act”) (HB 1438) on May 31, 2019, legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. Governor J.B. Pritzker has stated he will sign the bill and it will take effect on January 1, 2020. The Act will allow anyone over the age of 21 to possess, use, or buy marijuana. More significantly, marijuana will be considered a “lawful product” for purposes of the Illinois Right to Privacy Act, which bars discrimination against employees and applicants for using lawful products off-duty and off of the employer’s premises. For employers, the end of Illinois’ prohibition on recreational use invites a host of practical problems moving forward.
Ogletree Deakins • June 12, 2019
On May 29, 2019, the Illinois Senate passed Illinois House Bill (HB) 1438, which will legalize recreational marijuana in the state. This bill, known as the “Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act,” is expected to be signed into law by Illinois governor J. B. Pritzker, since he campaigned for office on a promise to legalize recreational marijuana.
Ogletree Deakins • June 12, 2019
After ending 2018 with a slew of new employment laws, Illinois continues to enact legislation impacting employers. Following the example set by California, Washington, and other states recently, the Illinois legislature passed four new bills targeting equity, transparency, and discrimination last week, and Governor J. B. Pritzker is expected to sign them into law. This gives Illinois companies the opportunity to reevaluate their policies and practices with regard to sexual harassment, equity, and discrimination.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 11, 2019
The Illinois General Assembly passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“the Act”) (HB 1438) on May 31, 2019. Governor J.B. Pritzker has stated he will sign the bill. The Act legalizes marijuana for recreational purposes. The Act, which takes effect on January 1, 2020, will allow anyone over the age of 21 to possess, use, or buy marijuana, which will be considered a “lawful product.” For employers, the end of Illinois’ prohibition on recreational use invites a host of practical problems moving forward.
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 06, 2019
Amid the flurry of activity late in the legislative term in Springfield, the General Assembly passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, making possession and consumption of cannabis legal in Illinois. Governor Pritzker is expected to sign the bill into law shortly. While the societal impact of this change in the law is yet to be seen, it is clear that the law will require some major changes in the way most Illinois employers address drug use by employees.
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 02, 2019
The City of Chicago has flirted with enacting a “Fair Workweek” ordinance, aimed at ensuring predictable work schedules for workers, for several years. While the ordinance failed to gain traction in its prior iterations, this time it has a powerful proponent in Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who has made passing the ordinance one of her priorities for her first 100 days in office.
Franczek Radelet P.C • May 30, 2019
Last night, an updated version of the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance was introduced in the Chicago City Council. Prior versions of this ordinance were proposed in 2017 and 2018, but failed to gain traction. Like its predecessors, the ordinance would require many Chicago employers to publish employees’ schedules and limit their ability to change employees’ schedules or impose mandatory overtime. If enacted in its current form, the ordinance would take effect on April 1, 2020. The City Council could vote on the ordinance as early as June 12.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • May 29, 2019
Since the new year, multiple bills targeted at workers’ compensation reform have been put forth by the Illinois legislature. One bill that gained attention, particularly in employer circles, is Senate Bill 1596, signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker on March 20, 2019. It is now codified as Section 1.2 of the Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA) and Section 1.1 of the Occupational Diseases Act (ODA).
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • May 01, 2019
On April 12, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) signed legislation effectively banning local governments from passing right-to-work ordinances. Public Act 101-0003, titled the “Collective Bargaining Freedom Act,” prohibits local governments from passing ordinances barring employers and labor organizations from entering into collective bargaining agreements that require workers to join unions or pay dues. The law took effect immediately.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 07, 2019
UPDATE: As discussed below, SB2134, as introduced, would have amended BIPA to delete the language that creates a private right of action and provide, instead, that violations resulting from the collection of biometric information by an employer for employment, human resources, fraud prevention, or security purposes would be subject to the enforcement authority of the Department of Labor.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 27, 2019
Many businesses currently are defending a wave of class action lawsuits filed under the Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act, popularly known as “BIPA” ). The floodgates to litigation were opened earlier this year when the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that individuals need not allege actual injury or adverse effect, beyond a violation of his/her rights under BIPA, in order to qualify as an “aggrieved” person and be entitled to seek liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, and injunctive relief under the Act.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 10, 2019
Once again, the Illinois Legislature is working to pass more aggressive equal pay laws. HB 834 includes not only a pay history ban, but also additional amendments to strengthen pay equity protections and pay transparency provisions.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 21, 2019
Illinois has joined the growing number of states proposing mandatory sexual harassment training with a bill that requires training for restaurant employees. If the Restaurant Anti-Harassment Act is enacted, restaurants must provide sexual harassment prevention training to all employees in Illinois.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • February 19, 2019
On February 19, 2019, Governor JB Pritzker signed into law the “Lifting Up Illinois Working Families Act,” which raises the state’s minimum wage, in increments, to $15 per hour by 2025.1 With the enactment of this bill, Illinois has become the fifth state to pass a statewide increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour, joining California, New Jersey,2 New York, and Massachusetts.3
Ogletree Deakins • February 18, 2019
On February 14, 2019, the Illinois legislature passed Senate Bill 0001 (SB0001), which amends the Illinois Minimum Wage Law and the Illinois Income Tax Act. Illinois’s minimum wage will increase from $8.25 per hour to $15.00 per hour over the next six years as follows:
Fisher Phillips • February 15, 2019
Illinois employers are collecting receipts and preparing payments to comply with new legislation that requires employers to reimburse employees for business expenses incurred by the employee during the scope of employment. Specifically, employers are required to reimburse employees for all necessary expenditures and those expenses directly related to services performed for the employer. The Act defines “necessary expenditures” as 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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 15, 2019
The Illinois legislature has now passed 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. Governor J.B. Pritzker has stated that he intends to sign the bill into law prior to his first budget speech on February 20th.
Fisher Phillips • February 06, 2019
On January 25, 2019, the Illinois State Supreme Court ruled that the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) only requires individuals to show violation of the law to bring suit. Businesses with a presence in Illinois that gather “biometric identifiers”, which include a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or scan of hand or face geometry, are now at a greater risk of liability if they do not follow legally required procedures for such data collected or stored in the state. BIPA’s applicability at the federal level remains to be seen, but similar laws are being considered throughout the states, raising potential liability for employers elsewhere.
XpertHR • February 05, 2019
The Illinois Supreme Court has given the green light for consumers to sue companies for collecting biometric data, such as fingerprints, without telling them how the information will be used or first getting their written consent. While the ruling arises out of the consumer context, it has clear implications for employers.
Ogletree Deakins • February 04, 2019
The Illinois Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling in Rosenbach and reversed the appellate court’s decision that technical violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA” or “Act”) without “some actual injury or harm” are not actionable:
Franczek Radelet P.C • January 28, 2019
Back in 2008, Illinois enacted what at the time must have seemed like a relatively obscure law to address privacy concerns associated with biometric information – the Biometric Information Privacy Act or “BIPA”. At the time, biometric devices existed, but they weren’t terribly common. Today, many of us carry a sophisticated fingerprint reader or face scanner in our pockets, and many businesses have adopted biometric security for everything from company phones and computers to timekeeping systems to door access. Unfortunately, many of those same businesses had never heard of BIPA. Cue the lawyers.
FordHarrison LLP • January 26, 2019
In a decision issued late last week, the Illinois Supreme Court allowed a private citizen to sue a company for failing to provide written notice and obtain a signed release before collecting his fingerprint data in violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act, even though he had no claim of actual injury or harm apart from the statutory violation itself. The decision has important implications for Illinois private companies that collect biometric data, including companies that work in and with public schools and other public entities.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 26, 2019
Earlier today, the Illinois Supreme Court handed down a significant decision concerning the ability of individuals to bring suit under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). In short, individuals need not allege actual injury or adverse effect, beyond a violation of his/her rights under BIPA, in order to qualify as an “aggrieved” person and be entitled to seek liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, and injunctive relief under the Act. Potential damages are substantial as the BIPA provides for statutory damages of $1,000 per negligent violation or $5,000 per intentional or reckless violation of the Act.
Fisher Phillips • January 26, 2019
The Illinois Supreme Court today made it far easier for workers to bring suit against their employers for technical violations of the state’s biometric information privacy statute, putting employers on notice that they must immediately improve their biometric practices in order to avoid the same fate. The long-awaited decision in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corporation means that any time an employer violates the technical aspects of the state statute—even if no specific injury or adverse effect results—their employees have standing to sue them for violations under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. Illinois employers that utilize biometric information must now be hyper-cautious with regard to the collection, maintenance, transmission, and destruction of this data.
Franczek Radelet P.C • January 23, 2019
J.B. Pritzker assumed the Illinois Governor’s Office on January 14, 2019. By January 15th, Governor Pritzker adopted several Executive Orders and signed into law legislation benefitting Illinois employees. Specifically, Governor Pritzker issued the following Executive Orders:
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 13, 2019
The Illinois legislature recently amended the state's Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA) to require that employers reimburse employees for all reasonable “necessary expenses” that are “directly related to services performed for [the] employer” and incurred primarily for the benefit of the employer. The governor signed the law, which took effect January 1, 2019.1 Illinois is now the ninth jurisdiction to impose expense reimbursement requirements on employers.2
Fisher Phillips • January 02, 2019
The new year brings new employee reimbursement obligations for Illinois employers. Effective January 1, 2019, the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act requires employers to reimburse employees for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred within the employee’s scope of employment and directly related to services performed for the employer. The Act defines “necessary expenditures” as 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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 31, 2018
The Illinois Health Care Violence Prevention Act mandates hospitals and other healthcare providers to comply with requirements aimed at protecting their workers from violence. Beginning January 1, 2019, healthcare providers in Illinois will need to implement specific violence-prevention policies outlined in the Act (Public Act 100-1051).
Ogletree Deakins • December 31, 2018
Overruling 35 years of precedent, the Illinois Supreme Court has held that buyers of newly constructed homes cannot sue subcontractors for breach of the implied warranty of habitability. Sienna Court Condominium Association v. Champion Aluminum Corporation, 2018 IL 122022 (December 28, 2018).
Ogletree Deakins • December 31, 2018
As we prepare to welcome 2019, Illinois employers must also prepare for new employment laws that afford greater rights and protections to employees. Below is a summary of new laws affecting the employment landscape in Illinois that employers may want to keep in mind as they head into the new year.
Franczek Radelet P.C • December 09, 2018
There’s nothing like a looming deadline to prompt action. Back in August, Governor Rauner signed into law an amendment to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act that, for the first time, requires Illinois employers to reimburse employees for reasonable expenditures or losses required in the course of their employment duties and that primarily benefit the employer. Because the new law takes effect January 1, 2019, we’ve been receiving quite a few questions from employers about what they should be doing to comply. Right now, there is very little guidance on how the statute will be interpreted by the Illinois DOL or the courts, so anything we can say at the moment is provisional. With that caveat, here are a few preliminary “dos” and “don’t’s”:
Ogletree Deakins • November 27, 2018
Effective January 1, 2019, the rights of Illinois employees serving in the military will be governed by the Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (ISERRA), Public Act 100-1101.
Ogletree Deakins • November 25, 2018
Recent amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) broaden employee rights and impose new, immediate notice requirements on employers.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 16, 2018
On November 20, 2018, the Illinois Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that has significant implications for Illinois employers, though it is not an employment-law case. Over the past two years, more than 100 class action lawsuits have been filed by employees claiming to be “aggrieved persons” under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”).
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 14, 2018
On October 31, 2018, the Chicago City Council unanimously approved the formation of the Office for Labor Standards (OLS).1 The new OLS was created to facilitate more rigorous enforcement of the city’s employment ordinances and to promote investigation into alleged violations. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2019.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • October 17, 2018
An amendment to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA) imposing an affirmative duty on employers to reimburse employees for certain expenses incurred during their employment will go into effect on January 1, 2019.
FordHarrison LLP • October 08, 2018
Effective August 21, 2018, Illinois amended its Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act (820 ILCS 260/10). The prior law, which went into effect in 2001, required employers who have more than five employees to provide unpaid break time to an employee who needed to express breast milk for her nursing infant child. The amendment now requires employers to pay for “reasonable” break time spent expressing breast milk, no matter how long it takes or how often it needs to occur. A limit of up to one year after the birth has now replaced a previously undefined period.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 30, 2018
Illinois is not yet on the salary history ban wagon. For the second time since 2017, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a law that would prohibit employers from seeking salary history information from prospective employees, among other fair pay provisions.
Franczek Radelet P.C • September 25, 2018
In late August, Governor Rauner signed into law an amendment to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act requiring employers to reimburse employees for “all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by [employees].” The law defines “necessary expenditures” as those “reasonable expenditures or losses required of the employee in the discharge of his or her employment duties and which [primarily] benefit the employer.”
Ogletree Deakins • September 18, 2018
On August 26, 2018, Illinois amended the Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA) to include the requirement that employers reimburse employees for all expenses within the scope of their employment that are “directly related to services performed for [their] employer[s].” Effective January 1, 2019, the new law (820 ILCS 115/9.5) requires the following:
Franczek Radelet P.C • August 30, 2018
Last Friday, August 21, 2018, Illinois governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill amending the Illinois Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act (the “Act”) to provide paid break time to nursing mothers “as needed” to express milk during work hours. The new requirement took effect immediately, and applies to all Illinois employers with more than five employees.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 29, 2018
For years, Illinois employment lawyers have had the frustrating experience of trying to explain the quirks of Illinois Human Rights Act1 (IHRA) practice before the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) and Illinois Human Rights Commission (IHRC) to out-of-state clients and colleagues. For instance, the IDHR required a verified response, styled like an answer, to be submitted within 60 days, and did not permit extensions. It also maintained a 180-day charge-filing deadline, despite the fact that most charges in Illinois are cross-filed with the EEOC, which has a 300-day deadline, resulting in confusion as to timeliness.
Ogletree Deakins • August 29, 2018
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 3052, commonly known as the retainage reform bill, on August 24, 2018. This bill was drafted and supported by the subcontractors lobby, was only lukewarmly embraced by the general contractors lobby, and was opposed by the private owners and developers lobby. It would have established a cap on retainage and mandated a retainage reduction midway through most private construction projects.
XpertHR • August 29, 2018
Illinois has amended its Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act in a way that appears to require covered employers to pay for any reasonable breastfeeding breaks, regardless of their length.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 23, 2018
On August 21, 2018, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 1595 (“HB 1595”) amending the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act1 (the “Act”). Effective since 2001, the Act applies to employers with more than five employees and grants reasonable break time each day to an employee needing to express breast milk for her infant child. HB 1595 makes several significant changes to the Act, including to the compensability of break time under the Act, and the scope of an employer’s ability to avoid providing the required break time to its employees.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 19, 2018
The future of the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (Secure Choice) is uncertain following Governor Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto that could make employer participation in the Secure Choice program optional.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 13, 2018
Employers in Illinois with at least 25 employees must comply with the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (Secure Choice) or offer employees an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Secure Choice is set to roll out in November 2018.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 13, 2018
Employers in Illinois with at least 25 employees must comply with the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (Secure Choice) or offer employees an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Secure Choice is set to roll out in November 2018.
Fisher Phillips • July 30, 2018
Many wage laws and jurisdictions give deference to employment agreements or even past employer practices when determining when commissions are "earned" by an employee and must be "paid" by an employer. As a recent decision illustrates, even in these states employers should not assume that complete deference will be given to the parties' terms without some consideration as to the work performed by the employee and its relationship to the employer's definition of commissions "earned".
Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 27, 2018
July 1, 2018 marked the one year anniversary of the effective dates of the Chicago and Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinances. A year later, more than 80% of the municipalities in Cook County have opted-out of the requirements of the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 18, 2018
The Chicago City Council currently has before it a proposed ordinance entitled the “Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance,” which, if passed, would severely limit Chicago employers’ ability to change employees’ posted schedules, and would otherwise encumber employers in employee scheduling.
Fisher Phillips • July 05, 2018
In a recent decision, the Northern District of Illinois continued its trend of invalidating employment agreements, this time in regard to a non-solicitation provision it determined to be overbroad. In Call One, Inc. v. Anzine, No. 18 C 124 (N.D. Ill. June 7, 2018), Call One brought suit against Lori Beth Anzine, a former sales representative, asserting a claim for misappropriation of trade secrets. Anzine filed a counterclaim seeking a declaratory judgment that the non-solicitation covenant she signed was unenforceable.
FordHarrison LLP • May 29, 2018
Executive Summary: As of July 1, 2018, the City of Chicago, as owner and operator of Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport (the “Airports”), will require that certain users of the Airports enter into a “labor peace agreement” with labor organizations as a condition of their license to provide services at the Airports. The requirement is the result of a recent amendment to Municipal Code Section 2-20-020 (the “2017 Ordinance”) which requires companies that provide baggage handling, passenger services, aircraft cleaning, and other similar services to airline carriers (“Service Providers”) to enter into these agreements in exchange for unions agreeing not to economically interfere with the Service Providers. While the stated purpose behind labor peace ordinances is to promote labor harmony and preclude actions that disrupt the provision of services to the public, they generally make it easier for unions to organize employees, which can have a significant impact on businesses subject to such ordinances.
Ogletree Deakins • May 28, 2018
Several amendments to the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act will become effective June 1, 2018. Staffing agencies (also known as “suppliers”) and user employers (“users”) are finding that some of the law’s requirements are not lessons in clarity. We took a handful of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the new Illinois law, looked into a crystal ball, and compiled likely answers to those questions below. (Please note that we cannot be sure of any answers until practice, the courts, and/or the state dictate them to us. In other words, please do not rely on any of this educated spit-balling.)
Ogletree Deakins • March 29, 2018
There are roughly 30,000 people with medical marijuana registry identification cards in Illinois, and marijuana dispensaries are becoming a more common sight. As the popularity of this treatment continues to grow, contractors are more likely to be faced with hiring and disciplinary decisions involving employees using marijuana. As such, contractors may want to take care to understand the legal landscape governing these decisions.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 09, 2018
Since mid-September 2017, more than 50 employers that use “biometric timeclocks” in Illinois have been targeted with class action lawsuits alleging violations of the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). A unanimous ruling issued on December 21, 2017, by the Illinois Appellate Court, could reduce the flood to a trickle. The case holds that to state a claim under BIPA, a plaintiff must allege more than a mere failure to comply with BIPA’s requirements to provide notice and obtain consent before collecting biometric data.1
Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 29, 2017
In a ruling that may have significant impact on the recent wave of biometric privacy suits, an Illinois state appeals court held that plaintiffs must claim actual harm to be considered an “aggrieved person” covered by Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), in a dispute arising from the alleged unlawful collection of fingerprints from a Six Flags season pass holder.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 12, 2017
It is axiomatic that a contract requires consideration to be binding. Ordinarily, courts only inquire into the existence, but not the “adequacy,” of consideration.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • October 30, 2017
To provide hospitality workers greater protections against sexual harassment and assault, the Chicago City Council passed the “Hands Off Pants On” Ordinance on October 11, 2017. The Ordinance requires all hotels in the City to adopt a panic button system and an anti-sexual harassment policy. The Ordinance was passed after months of lobbying efforts by local hospitality workers.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • October 30, 2017
As the 2017 legislative session closed in Illinois, Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed several measures relating to labor and employment issues. He rejected a statewide minimum wage increase, for example, as well as a ban on salary history inquiries. Illinois employers should be aware, however, that the governor’s veto is not the end of this legislative roller coaster.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • October 24, 2017
Alleging that mandatory daily biometric fingerprint scans violate employees’ privacy rights under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), employees of Paramount of Oak Park Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, LLC, have filed a putative class action against the nursing home.
Franczek Radelet P.C • October 15, 2017
On October 11, 2017, the Chicago City Council passed the so-called "Hands Off, Pants On" Ordinance requiring Chicago hotel employers to provide all housekeepers and restroom workers who work alone with mobile notification devises or “panic buttons” that summon hotel security or management to the employee’s location when he or she “reasonably believes that an ongoing crime, sexual harassment, sexual assault or other emergency is occurring in the employee's presence.” In passing the Ordinance, the City Council relied on, among other factors, a recent study that revealed nearly 50% of female housekeepers reported some form of sexual harassment from hotel guests. The Ordinance seeks to provide these employees with greater legal protection from sexual harassment by guests.
Franczek Radelet P.C • October 10, 2017
On September 29, 2017, a group of employees at Peacock Foods filed a class action lawsuit claiming that the company’s collection of employee fingerprints for time-tracking purposes violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.
Ogletree Deakins • October 03, 2017
Illinois’s Responsible Job Creation Act, which will become effective June 1, 2018, amends the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act with the goal of strengthening staffing industry regulation. There are around 800,000 temporary workers in Illinois who will be affected by the Act. Among other obligations discussed below, the Act imposes, on day and temporary labor service agencies, 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.”
Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 15, 2017
Although the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act has been the law in Illinois since 2008, in the past year, there have been at least 12 class actions filed against employers in Illinois state and federal courts seeking to redress alleged violations of the Act.
XpertHR • August 24, 2017
Illinois employers should take into account that several new developments have hit the Land of Lincoln that will have a significant impact on workplace policies, practices and procedures. What’s more, it’s not just the state of Illinois that has enacted laws affecting the workplace, but Chicago and Cook County as well.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 16, 2017
Paid-sick-leave ordinances (PSLOs) became effective in the City of Chicago and Cook County on July 1, 2017. The PSLOs require employers to grant paid sick leave to employees on terms more generous than what most employers have historically offered. (For example, see our article, Cook County, Illinois, Issues Final Paid Sick Leave Regulations.)
Franczek Radelet P.C • July 30, 2017
Over the past several months, state and federal courts in Illinois have issued several important decisions that will impact employers’ efforts to enforce post-employment restrictive covenants and protect their trade secrets. Illinois employers should carefully review these decisions when considering whether to pursue litigation to enforce a restrictive covenant agreement, such as a non-compete agreement, or hiring an employee who is subject to such an agreement.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 27, 2017
Capturing the time employees’ work can be a difficult business. In addition to the complexity involved with accurately tracking arrival times, lunch breaks, overtime, etc. across a range of federal and state laws (check out our Wage and Hour colleagues who keep up on all of these issues), many employers worry about “buddy punching” or other situations when time entered into their time management system is entered by a person other than the employee to whom the time relates.
Franczek Radelet P.C • July 02, 2017
As we have previously reported, the Cook County (the “County”) and Chicago paid sick leave ordinances will go into effect on July 1, 2017. As of this week, both entities have now issued final regulations, which provide clarification of some of the obligations under the respective ordinances. Here, we provide a brief reminder of the key requirements of the ordinances.
Ogletree Deakins • June 30, 2017
The City of Chicago has issued final rules for its Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. The Chicago Paid Sick Leave Ordinance was passed on June 22, 2016 and will take effect on July 1, 2017.
FordHarrison LLP • June 23, 2017
As most employers in the “Chicagoland” area are hopefully already aware, both Chicago and Cook County have enacted paid sick leave (PSL) ordinances that go into effect July 1, 2017.
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 23, 2017
Last month, the Cook County Commission on Human Rights issued final interpretive and procedural rules governing the Cook County Minimum Wage Ordinance, which becomes effective July 1, 2017.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 08, 2017
On July 1, 2017, the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance goes into effect. The Ordinance (at the time of this writing) provides certain employees in approximately 2/3 of the Cook County’s municipalities with paid sick time benefits.
Ogletree Deakins • June 02, 2017
The Cook County Commission on Human Rights has issued its final regulations for the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance. The final regulations, which contain substantial changes from the draft regulations, can be found on the Cook County government website. The Cook County ordinance was passed on October 5, 2016, and will take effect on July 1, 2017. A model posting can likewise be found at the link above.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 18, 2017
Draft regulations that will govern its interpretation and enforcement of the Cook County “Earned Sick Leave” Ordinance have been released by the Cook County Commission on Human Rights. The final regulations will be adopted by June 1, 2017, according to the Commission.
Franczek Radelet P.C • May 08, 2017
As we have previously reported, both Chicago and Cook County have passed paid sick leave laws that entitle covered employees to earn up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. Our previous alerts on these ordinances, which are linked here and here, provide background on the basic requirements of these ordinances.
Ogletree Deakins • April 17, 2017
On April 10, 2017, the Cook County Commission on Human Rights posted draft regulations for the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance. The Cook County ordinance was passed on October 5, 2016, and will take effect on July 1, 2017. The commission expects to adopt and publish final rules, a model posting, and required notices by June 1, 2017. The City of Chicago passed a virtually identical sick leave ordinance on June 22, 2016, and it too will take effect on July 1, 2017. To date, the City of Chicago has not published rules or regulations regarding the Chicago paid sick leave ordinance.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 17, 2017
The Village of Rosemont and the City of Oak Forest have become the latest suburban Cook County municipalities to join the Village of Barrington in opting out of the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance.
Franczek Radelet P.C • December 23, 2016
A number of new state or local laws are set to take effect in Illinois in 2017 which will require employers to update their employee handbooks, employment agreements, and other policies and procedures. We address the key changes briefly here, and include links to our previous, more detailed analyses of the various laws within the text
Ogletree Deakins • October 20, 2016
Three recently enacted laws expanding sick leave benefits within the state of Illinois will soon impact employers with operations in Illinois: the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act (effective in January of 2017); the Chicago Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (effective in July of 2017); and the Cook County Earned Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (effective in July of 2017). Below is a summary of each law.
Franczek Radelet P.C • October 14, 2016
This summer, we reported that the City of Chicago had passed an ordinance requiring employers located in the City to provide paid sick leave to their employees. Last week, Cook County followed suit, passing a virtually identical version of Chicago’s ordinance that will apply to all employers within the county.
FordHarrison LLP • October 12, 2016
Executive Summary: On October 5, 2016, the Cook County Board of Commissioners passed a new ordinance, which will take effect on July 1, 2017, requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to employees working in Cook County, Illinois. In doing so, Cook County joins nearly 30 other local jurisdictions (and counting) with similar paid sick leave laws.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • October 11, 2016
The Cook County “Earned Sick Leave” Ordinance mandates that employers in Cook County, Illinois, allow eligible employees to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave in each 12-month period of their employment. The Ordinance, passed on October 5, 2016, becomes effective on July 1, 2017.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • September 23, 2016
On August 21, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law the Illinois Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, amending four existing state employment laws so they will now apply to domestic workers. Effective January 1, 2017, the law is expected to affect approximately 35,000 employees. With an estimated two million domestic workers nationwide, the trend to extend employment rights to domestic workers will likely continue at both the state and federal levels.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • September 01, 2016
Just two months after Chicago became the second city in the Midwest to require employers to provide paid sick leave,1 Illinois has enacted three laws that entitle employees to additional protected leaves. The Child Bereavement Leave Act, the Employee Sick Leave Act, and an amendment to the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act are described below.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 27, 2016
Effective July 1, 2017, an amendment to the Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance (2-25-050) requires employers in the City of Chicago to provide eligible employees up to 40 hours of paid sick leave in each 12-month period of their employment. The Chicago City Council passed the amendment on June 22, 2016.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 26, 2016
On June 22, 2016, the Chicago City Council unanimously passed the Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (the “Ordinance”). Chicago is the second city in the Midwest this year to pass a law granting employees paid sick leave. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to sign the Ordinance into law. He emphasized his support for the Ordinance after its passage. The Ordinance will take effect on July 1, 2017, and will allow employees to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave in a 12-month period that is based on the date the employee begins to accrue sick leave.
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 21, 2016
This past week, my colleague, Lindsey Marcus, reported on new paid sick leave legislation that is about to become law in Chicago. It’s significant because it reflects a growing number of states and cities joining the mandated paid leave bandwagon.
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 20, 2016
Yesterday Chicago became poised to join a growing group of U.S. cities to mandate paid sick leave for employees when a Chicago City Council committee passed a bill that would provide employees with at least 40 hours per year of paid sick leave. With 38 cosponsors (out of a total of 50 aldermen) and the support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the so-called Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (Ordinance), which amends the Chicago Minimum Wage Ordinance, is almost certain to become law.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 08, 2016
Last month, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law a number of amendments to the State’s Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”) that expand the definition of protected personal information and increase certain data breach notification requirements. The amendments, highlighted below, take effect January 1, 2017.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed H.B. 1260 into law, which broadens the categories of protected information under the Illinois Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). The amendments also expand notice requirements in the event of a security breach.
Franczek Radelet P.C • May 16, 2016
On May 5th, nearly a full year after it heard oral arguments in the case, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its decision in Matthews v. Chicago Transit Authority, et al., addressing the interplay between a public sector collective bargaining agreement’s provision for retiree health care benefits and Article XIII, Section 5 of the Illinois Constitution, commonly referred to as the “pension protection clause.” The Court held that a class of employees, who had retired prior to a new CBA imposed significant health care cost increases on retirees, had an “enforceable, vested right” to the health care provisions contained in the predecessor CBA. Failure to honor that right constitutes not only a breach of contract but a violation of the pension protection clause.
Franczek Radelet P.C • March 29, 2016
Late last week, in Jones et al v. Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago et al (“Jones”), the Illinois Supreme Court struck down Public Act 98-641, which aimed to shore up two ailing Chicago pension funds. The decision is important for two reasons. First, citing precedent from its recent opinion overturning a prior attempt at Illinois pension reform in In re Pension Reform Litigation (“Heaton”), Jones reaffirms that the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago, and other public and municipal employers throughout the State of Illinois cannot address their pension funding problems by cutting benefits to current participants and active retirees in violation of the Illinois Supreme Court’s expansive reading of the pension protection clause under Article XIII, § 5 of the Illinois Constitution, even where the benefit cuts are part of a larger reform package aimed at bringing the pension funds back to solvency. Second, the decision appears to limit the ability of public employers to partner with union representatives to resolve pension funding problems when the negotiated reform package includes benefit cuts to current participants and active retirees.
Effective March 16, 2016, Chicago employers are prohibited from engaging in employment discrimination in hiring, promotions or wages based on military status. These protections build on federal and state laws that impose reemployment obligations on Illinois employers (including accrual of seniority and benefits), as well as existing municipal protections based on military discharge status.
XpertHR • February 11, 2016
A recent amendment to Illinois law and an Illinois Supreme Court ruling have clarified the meaning of "misconduct" that disqualifies a former employee from collecting unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. While both the new law and the ruling provide needed guidance, employers in the state may find it harder to fight a benefit claim on this basis if they do not have specific policies in place.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • February 08, 2016
A new Illinois state law requires certain employers to post notices informing employees and other members of the public of a helpline to assist any person who is subject to human trafficking.1 This law, effective January 1, 2016, and entitled the “the Human Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act,” largely tracks the requirements of a California law that became effective in April 2013.2
Franczek Radelet P.C • February 01, 2016
When the Chicago Board of Education refused to arbitrate grievances concerning its “do not hire” policy, it did not violate the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act according to the Illinois Supreme Court. This case arises out of a June 2010 policy in which the Board designated as ineligible for rehire any probationary appointed teacher (PAT) who was either nonrenewed twice or who had received an unsatisfactory performance rating. The Board implemented this policy by placing a “do not hire” designation in the PATs’ personnel files.
Franczek Radelet P.C • January 21, 2016
Last week, Governor Bruce Rauner broke off contract negotiations with AFSCME Council 31, the union that represents nearly 40,000 state workers, and will seek a declaration from the Illinois Labor Relations Board (“the Board”) that the parties reached an impasse in their negotiations. If the Board finds that an impasse exists, the State may be able to impose its last, best offer on state employees.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 09, 2015
A retail employer is liable under the Illinois Whistleblower Act (“IWA”) when it terminates an employee for violating its “shoplifting and no apprehension” policy prohibiting employees from calling law enforcement directly about suspected shoplifting, an Illinois federal court has found. Coffey v. DSW Shoe Warehouse, Inc. a/k/a DSW, Inc., No. 14 C 4365 (Oct. 29, 2015).
Franczek Radelet P.C • November 10, 2015
As we have previously reported, the U.S. Supreme Court held earlier this year in EEOC v. Mach Mining, 135 S.Ct. 1645 (2015) that courts have the authority to review whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has fulfilled its statutory duty to attempt to conciliate charges of discrimination prior to filing suit. At that time we explained that, while Mach Mining was a victory for employers, the true impact of the case would depend on whether lower courts interpret the decision as requiring a true change in how the EEOC participates in the conciliation process.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 26, 2015
Adding to the line of other states, Illinois now joins the ranks of jurisdictions that allows for employers to establish a voluntary veteran hiring preference. The Illinois state bill becomes effective January 1, 2016.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 17, 2015
On July 14, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided Instant Technology, LLC v. DeFazio.1 The decision was widely expected to address the current split in the Northern District of Illinois on whether two years or more of continued employment is required to enforce a restrictive covenant, absent additional consideration, as opined by the Illinois Appellate Court in Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services, Inc,2 However, the Seventh Circuit did not address this issue and instead ruled that the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding the restrictive covenants in controversy were unenforceable under the facts of that case.
Ogletree Deakins • July 14, 2015
Effective January 1, 2015, the City of Chicago increased the minimum wage within its city limits to $10.00 per hour worked for non-tipped employees and to $5.45 per hour worked for tipped employees. The previous minimum wage was $8.25 per hour and $4.95 per hour, respectively.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 02, 2015
On July 1, 2015, Chicago's Minimum Wage Ordinance goes into effect for all covered employers and employees. The Ordinance, which will raise the minimum wage for Chicago workers to $13 per hour by 2019, was passed on December 2, 2014, and contains gradual increases for covered employees.
Franczek Radelet P.C • May 12, 2015
On Friday, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that pension reform legislation passed in 2013, commonly referred to as Senate Bill 1, violates the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution. The Court upheld a previous circuit court ruling that invalidated the law in its entirety. The Court held that the State could not rely on its inherent “police powers” to diminish the benefits of membership in a pension system. Finding that Senate Bill 1 is “merely the latest assault in this ongoing political battle against public pension rights,” the Court held the pension reform legislation unconstitutional.
Franczek Radelet P.C • April 14, 2015
On Friday, a St. Clair County court issued an order requiring all State of Illinois agencies to immediately reinstate the payment of fair share fees, deducted from non-union member State employees’ paychecks, to labor unions representing State employees. The order is a procedural victory for unions, as they will receive all fees deducted since the Executive Order but held in escrow and never paid to unions. The order does not address the merits of the underlying dispute over the constitutionality of fair share fees.
Franczek Radelet P.C • April 07, 2015
Illinois legislators are considering a bill that would amend the Illinois Municipal Code to allow municipalities and other local government entities to file for bankruptcy. Representative Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) has called it a “measure of last resort” for municipalities with increasing debts, including police and firefighter pension obligations. Governor Rauner has indicated previously that he supports the concept, and local leaders are evaluating the need for such protection in light of dire fiscal projections.
Franczek Radelet P.C • March 31, 2015
Last week, three State of Illinois employees filed a motion to intervene in Governor Rauner’s lawsuit challenging fair share fees, which is currently pending in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois. Meanwhile, in the Southern District of Illinois, a federal judge denied the Governor’s request to remove to federal court a state court lawsuit filed by labor unions representing various groups of state employees. The unions’ state court lawsuit challenges Executive Order 15-13, which instructs all state agencies to suspend immediately the withholding of fair share fees from state employees’ paychecks.
Franczek Radelet P.C • March 17, 2015
Over the past several weeks, Illinois’ largest labor unions and Attorney General Lisa Madigan took steps to defend “fair share” fees against Governor Rauner’s Executive Order suspending the collection of those fees, and his federal lawsuit attacking them as unconstitutional. On March 5, 2015 the Illinois AFL-CIO and 26 labor unions filed suit in state court to block Governor Rauner’s Order. On March 9, Attorney General Lisa Madigan intervened against Governor Rauner in the federal lawsuit he filed, and moved to dismiss the suit.
Ogletree Deakins • March 04, 2015
Two recent rulings in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division and the Central District of Illinois, Peoria Division, have further blurred the “bright line” two-year consideration rule established by the Illinois First District Court of Appeals in Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services, 2013 IL App (1st) 120327 (cert. denied).
Franczek Radelet P.C • February 11, 2015
Yesterday, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Executive Order 15-13 eliminating “fair share” fees paid by state employees who choose not to join a union. At the same time, Rauner filed a complaint in federal court seeking a declaration that fair share provisions in collective bargaining agreements to which the State of Illinois is a party violate the First Amendment by forcing State employees to engage in political speech. The Order and simultaneous lawsuit signal Rauner’s intent to battle labor unions and eliminate what he refers to as the “corrupt bargain” inherent in public sector labor unions engaging in political activities.
Franczek Radelet P.C • February 05, 2015
In recent months, we have reported on some significant amendments to Illinois employment laws on the horizon for 2015. Now that 2015—and these new requirements—are in full swing, we thought a brief recap and reminder of two key changes might prove helpful to Illinois employers.
Fisher Phillips • January 09, 2015
Illinois has become the first state in the nation to enact a law requiring businesses to offer their employees a retirement savings plan. Signed into law recently by Gov. Pat Quinn, the new law, entitled “Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program,” is intended to encourage more retirement savings among workers who do not otherwise have access to retirement accounts through their employer. Although several other states have similar legislation pending, Illinois is the first state to pass such a provision.
Ogletree Deakins • January 09, 2015
Effective January 1, 2015, the City of Chicago expanded the coverage of Illinois’s “ban the box” law within city limits. The amended Human Rights Ordinance, Section 2-160-010 of the Municipal Code of Chicago, effectively makes Illinois’s Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act applicable to private employers that are licensed in Chicago and/or maintain a business facility within city limits and that have fewer than 15 employees and to a number of City “agencies” including the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Park District, Chicago Transit Authority, City Colleges of Chicago, the Chicago Housing Authority, and the Public Building Commission of Chicago.
Ogletree Deakins • January 09, 2015
On December 30, 2014, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed Senate Bill 1342 into law, amending the Eavesdropping Article of the Illinois Criminal Code (720 ILCS 5/14) that was struck down by the Illinois Supreme Court last year as unconstitutional. (Our April 2014 blog post, “Illinois Supreme Court Strikes Down Eavesdropping Statute as Overly Broad,” covers the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in detail.) The revised eavesdropping statute, which is effective immediately, criminalizes the recording of private conversations without the consent of all parties to the conversation. The revised law provides employers with a safeguard against employees’ covertly recording coworkers in the workplace, but employers should still adopt policies banning nonconsensual recordings of private workplace conversations. Additionally, employers should be wary of taping interviews, telephone conversations, and the like—even for legitimate business reasons.
Ogletree Deakins • January 06, 2015
Is Illinois the precursor to mandatory retirement savings programs across the country the way that Massachusetts was for mandatory health care? Illinois has become the first state to require that private-sector employers offer their employees retirement benefits. The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (S.B. 2758), signed into law by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on January 4, 2015, requires employers to offer their employees a state-run automatic enrollment payroll deduction Individual Retirement Account (IRA) program (a Roth IRA) known as the “Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Fund.” The Act’s stated purpose is to promote greater retirement savings for private-sector employees in a convenient, low-cost, and portable manner. Penalties for noncompliance may be assessed on employers by the Illinois Department of Revenue at $250 per employee per year, or $500 per employee for subsequent years.
Franczek Radelet P.C • December 17, 2014
Along with decorations, holiday feasts, and other merriment, employers in Illinois get to celebrate the close of another year by updating their policies and practices to comply with several recently enacted laws that will take effect with the New Year. These include the following.
Ogletree Deakins • December 16, 2014
As 2014 comes to a close, we would like to take this opportunity to remind our clients with Illinois operations about the recent legislative changes with which Illinois employers must be familiar. A number of the laws are currently in effect, while others will become effective on January 1, 2015. Below is a summary of these laws.
Franczek Radelet P.C • December 03, 2014
Today, in a special meeting called by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago City Council approved an ordinance to raise the minimum wage to $10.00 per hour by next summer with incremental increases to $13.00 per hour by July 1, 2019.
Franczek Radelet P.C • August 29, 2014
House Bill 8, now Public Act 098-1050, was recently signed by Governor Pat Quinn. As we reported in June of this year, the resulting amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act expand upon the anti-discrimination protections afforded expectant mothers in the workplace.
Ogletree Deakins • August 28, 2014
On Monday, August 25, 2014, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law new pregnancy discrimination and accommodation amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), which will afford expectant mothers specific workplace protections during their pregnancy and childbirth. Affirmatively adding pregnancy as a protected characteristic under the IHRA, the amendments define pregnancy to include “pregnancy, childbirth, or medical or common conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.” The effective date of the amendments is January 1, 2015. Following are the key items that Illinois employers need to know:
Franczek Radelet P.C • August 25, 2014
An Illinois Appellate Court recently held that an employer must defend against a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that it was negligent in failing to investigate death threats that its employee had emailed to his family from his work computer, and not subsequently protecting the family from the husband’s threatened harm, which resulted in their death. Regions Bank v. Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. 2014 IL App. (5th) 130193
Franczek Radelet P.C • August 21, 2014
Across the country, at the local, state, and federal levels, elected officials have considered increasing the minimum wage. Illinois and Chicago have been no different. Over the past year, the General Assembly and the Chicago City Council have raised the issue, studied the potential impact, and introduced legislation. At times, the process has been difficult to follow. This update will explain the pending legislation, and what employers can expect in the near future.
Franczek Radelet P.C • July 11, 2014
In a 6-1 decision that may have significant ramifications, the Illinois Supreme Court held in Kanerva v. Weems that state-subsidized retiree medical premiums for certain public sector retirees are a protected benefit under the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution. This decision is important because it may significantly restrain the state’s ability to address escalating retiree medical costs by reducing the subsidies that it provides to active retirees.
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 09, 2014
As the legislative session drew to a close at the end of May, the Illinois General Assembly approved several new laws that will affect Illinois employers beginning January 1, 2015. The laws are now awaiting approval by Governor Pat Quinn, who is expected to sign them.
Franczek Radelet P.C • April 17, 2014
Last week, the Illinois House of Representatives approved a bill to strengthen protections for pregnant employees in the workplace. HB 8, introduced by Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago) and supported by Governor Pat Quinn, would amend the Illinois Human Rights Act to require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees for conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. The bill would cover all working women, including full-time, part-time, and probationary employees.
Franczek Radelet P.C • March 27, 2014
Employers, schools, and other entities have long relied on the Illinois Eavesdropping Act to prohibit individuals from recording conversations, meetings, classes, and other activities without the consent of all participants. Originally, this more-than-50-year-old law prohibited only surreptitious recording of private communications. However, in 1994, the law was expanded also to prohibit, with limited exceptions, the recording of any communication, regardless of whether it was intended to be private, without the consent of all participants. It also prohibited the publication of such communications. Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the law as unconstitutional, and directed the Legislature to craft a narrower law focused on truly private communications. At this point in time, Illinois law does not prohibit eavesdropping of any kind, although employers and schools likely can continue to prohibit it as a matter of policy or practice, pending action by the Legislature.
Ogletree Deakins • January 16, 2014
The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners recently confirmed that in March of 2014 some Chicago residents will vote on a nonbinding ballot referendum on the following question: “Shall the city of Chicago require a minimum wage of $15 per hour for employees of companies that perform work within the city of Chicago where the employing company had annual gross revenues in excess of $50 million in the last tax year?” The question will appear on ballots as a minimum wage referendum in 102 precincts in 20 wards within the city limits. This represents approximately 5 percent of Chicago’s precincts.
FordHarrison LLP • December 13, 2013
Executive Summary: Illinois employers beware, if you want to prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms on your property, you must post a sign stating that the carrying of firearms is prohibited, according to a law that became effective earlier this year. The signage must contain specific language, and even then, employers should know it has some limitations.
Franczek Radelet P.C • December 06, 2013
Both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly adopted the Conference Committee Report to Senate Bill 1 on December 3, 2013. The bill provides comprehensive pension reform for four state retirement systems – the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), the State Universities Retirement System (SURS), the State Employees Retirement System (SERS) and the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS). Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign the bill.
Franczek Radelet P.C • October 29, 2013
Earlier this summer, we reported that Illinois enacted the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, which allows individuals with a special permit to carry a concealed firearm in public. The law provides, however, a long list of locations where concealed carry is prohibited. For example, the Concealed Carry law prohibits concealed firearms in many locations including: schools; public or private colleges and universities; public parks and playgrounds; hospitals; stadiums and arenas, establishments that earn more than 50 percent of gross receipts from the sale of alcohol; and buildings controlled by local units of government. In addition, private property owners may elect to prohibit concealed carry on or into property under their control.
Ogletree Deakins • October 23, 2013
As we reported over the summer, under a new Illinois law, employers seeking to prohibit individuals from bringing concealed weapons onto their private property are now required to post a sign to that effect at building entrances. In response, the Illinois State Police recently released information about the sign that property owners must post to prevent individuals from carrying concealed handguns on or into their property. Although applications for a Concealed Carry permit will not be available until January 5, 2014, and the first licenses will not likely be issued until 90 days after that, employers that own property and want to ban concealed handguns can now start posting these new signs.
Franczek Radelet P.C • September 26, 2013
Last month, Illinois became the 21st state to adopt a medical marijuana law. The law, which is tabbed as a four-year pilot program legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, becomes effective on January 1, 2014 and allows users registered through the Illinois Department of Public Health to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every 14 days from a state licensed dispensary. Despite legislators’ remarks that the law does not impact employers’ application of their drug-free workplace policies, in the absence of regulatory guidance, the Act leaves Illinois employers with a host of questions to answer, most notably: What happens when an employee or applicant with a prescription for medical marijuana fails a drug test?
Ogletree Deakins • September 12, 2013
On January 1, 2014, a new section of the Civil Practice Law, “Settlement of claims; payment” (735 ILCS § 5/2-2301), will take effect. The Illinois legislature passed the law in an effort to expedite the payment process in personal-injury and property-damage claims and to prevent defendants in certain civil suits from delaying payment after agreeing to settle a claim.
Ogletree Deakins • September 11, 2013
A new Illinois law aimed at preventing defendants from delaying payment after agreeing to settle a claim will impact Illinois employers that settle certain tort claims. The new section of the Civil Practice Law, “Settlement of claims; payment” (735 ILCS § 5/2-2301), will take effect on January 1, 2014. The new law will require non-governmental defendants in certain civil cases to deliver a release within 14 days after written confirmation of an agreement to settle and pay sums due under the agreement within 30 days after a plaintiff returns the executed release.
Ogletree Deakins • August 27, 2013
On August 1, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, a four-year pilot program legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Illinois is the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana.
Ogletree Deakins • July 22, 2013
With the enactment of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act (PA 098-0063), private licensed citizens in Illinois will be permitted to carry concealed firearms. The Act is the byproduct of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling last year in Moore v. Madigan, 702 F.3d 933 (7th Cir. 2012), in which the court struck down Illinois’s concealed firearm carry ban as unconstitutional. Although similar laws exist in every other state, the Act marks a drastic shift from Illinois’s long-standing ban on concealed firearms and directly impacts employers.
Franczek Radelet P.C • July 17, 2013
The Illinois Supreme Court recently held that the Cook County Commission On Human Relations (the “Commission”) acted beyond the scope of its authority when it awarded punitive damages to a prevailing complainant in connection with a sexual harassment charge.
Franczek Radelet P.C • November 08, 2012
In Lawlor v. North American Corporation of Illinois, the Illinois Supreme Court formally recognized “intrusion upon seclusion,” a form of invasion of privacy, as a valid claim under state common law. The court also ruled that an employer can be subject to liability under this theory for the actions of outside consultants acting as the employer’s agent. The decision raises questions and concerns about employer liability arising from independent investigations of current and former employee conduct and communications, including communications that occur in traditional channels as well as through social media.
Franczek Radelet P.C • October 16, 2012
ISBE released a Fall 2012 Guidance Document on criminal history records information (CHRI) checks, including direction on two topics that often generate confusion: background checks for student teachers and background checks for contractors that may have “direct daily contact” with students.
Brody and Associates, LLC • September 17, 2012
In an effort to safeguard privacy rights in the “social media age,” Illinois joined Maryland in passing a law prohibiting employers from either requesting or requiring the passwords of current and prospective employees.
FordHarrison LLP • August 03, 2012
Executive Summary: Illinois has joined a growing trend to protect workers from employers who want access to their Facebook or other social networking accounts. On August 1, 2012, Governor Quinn signed into law an amendment to the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act.
Franczek Radelet P.C • August 03, 2012
Earlier this spring, the Illinois General Assembly amended the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, making it unlawful for an employer to ask a current or prospective employee to provide login information to their social media accounts or profiles.
Ogletree Deakins • August 03, 2012
On August 1, 2012, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law that will make it unlawful for employers to ask job applicants and current employees to provide passwords or log-in information for their social networking websites. Under the law, employers will be prohibited from obtaining any information about a prospective or current employee that is not in the public domain.
Fisher Phillips • August 02, 2012
On March 22, 2012, Illinois legislature passed an amendment to the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act. This bill was signed on August 1, 2012, by Gov. Pat Quinn, and takes effect January 1, 2013. This makes Illinois only the second state (Maryland was the first) to ban employers from requiring access to employee and applicant social networking sites.
Franczek Radelet P.C • March 06, 2012
On February 29, 2012, the Illinois House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 3887, which would amend the Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA) to require university and college employees to report suspected child abuse or neglect. Such an amendment would formally enact the position announced by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) as we reported in November of 2011 that ANCRAâ€™s reporting obligations apply to all employees of higher education institutions. If enacted into law as expected, HB 3887 would expressly make all â€œpersonnel of institutions of higher educationâ€ mandated reporters, thus requiring such individuals to report to DCFS if they have reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be abused or neglected.
Franczek Radelet P.C • October 14, 2011
Public sector employers need to be aware of changes to the Open Meetings Act (OMA) brought about by Public Act 97-0609 (formerly Senate Bill 1831). The Act, which became effective on August 26, 2011, contains changes in addition to providing new accelerated payments for certain salary increases provided to members of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). It also amends the OMA to require an employer participating in IMRF to post on its website the total compensation package for each employee that has a total compensation package that exceeds $75,000 per year. Additionally, the new law also requires an employer participating in the IMRF to post on its website, at least six days prior to approval, any employee compensation package in excess of $150,000.
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 13, 2011
On May 31, the Illinois legislature passed a bill that would impose a penalty on employers that contribute to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) for certain end-of-career salary increases for IMRF-covered employees. Specifically, this new rule imposes a penalty on employers for any salary increases in excess of 6% (or 1.5 times CPI, if higher) in any of the four one-year periods used to calculate an employeeâ€™s final rate of earnings (typically, the employeeâ€™s final four years of service).
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 07, 2011
On June 1, 2011, Illinois began recognizing civil unions in accordance with the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act (the â€œActâ€). The Actâ€™s purpose is to allow same-sex and heterosexual couples to enter into civil unions and provide them with the same legal obligations, responsibilities, benefits and protections as are afforded or recognized under Illinois law to married spouses (e.g., the ability to make emergency medical decisions for partners, adoption and parental rights, spousal testimonial privilege and state spousal benefits, including workersâ€™ compensation and spousal pension coverage). A notable caveat (and continuing sore point for some who seek full federal recognition of same-sex unions) is that the Act does not label these civil unions as a â€œmarriage.â€ Nonetheless, all rules governing annulment, divorce and property division that currently apply to couples in marriages will apply to couples in civil unions.
Franczek Radelet P.C • February 01, 2011
In a ceremony to be held later today at the Chicago Cultural Center, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will sign a law allowing same and opposite-sex couples to enter into civil unions.
Franczek Radelet P.C • December 03, 2010
The Illinois Senate voted yesterday to join the House of Representatives in overriding Governor Quinn’s amendatory veto of House Bill 5154. The bill, effective immediately upon becoming law, amends the Personnel Record Review Act, 820 ILCS 40/11, to prohibit disclosure of performance evaluations under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Franczek Radelet P.C • August 13, 2010
The Illinois Family Military Leave Act allows eligible employees who are the spouse or parent of a person called to military service to take unpaid leave during the family member's military service. Under the law, employees who work for an employer with more than 50 employees may take up to 30 days of leave. Employees working for employers with 15 to 50 employees can take up to 15 days of family military leave. Presently, this leave is in addition to the family military leave leave available under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
Franczek Radelet P.C • July 23, 2010
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently raised the bar for proving retaliatory discharge claims under Illinois common law in federal court, holding that a plaintiff cannot prevail based solely on evidence that the employer’s stated reason for the discharge was false. Rather, the plaintiff must prove that his protected action was the cause of his termination.
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 08, 2010
As we informed you last fall, July 1, 2010 is the first deadline for school boards to report administrator and teacher salary and benefits to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) under Public Act 096-0266, which added Sections 10-20.46 and 34-18.37 to the School Code. ISBE has issued guidance regarding the specific data required and how to submit the report through the IWAS system by midnight on July 1.
Ogletree Deakins • September 08, 2008
Employers that offer insured health benefits to Illinois employees will need to offer that coverage to unmarried dependents up to age 26 – without regard to student status – and up to age 30 for veterans residing in Illinois, under a new state insurance law set to take effect for policies issued or renewed after June 1, 2009. The Illinois House and Senate accepted Governor Rod Blagojevich’s amendatory veto of House Bill 5285 which created the new dependent coverage provisions.
Ogletree Deakins • December 11, 2007
Illinois employers be aware: amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act now allow employees to commence civil actions in a circuit court. In May 2007, the Illinois Senate and House passed House Bill 1509, and Governor Rod Blagojevich signed the bill into law on August 17, 2007. The amendments will go into effect on January 1, 2008.
Fisher Phillips • December 06, 2007
Last August, Gov. Blagojevich signed an amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act that made significant changes to the State's employment law landscape. The changes go into effect on January 1, 2008, and will have considerable implications for Illinois employers.