Minimum Wage Requirements.
Employers must be cognizant of new increases to local, county, and state minimum wage requirements.
On February 19, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed a bill into law to raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. The state’s minimum wage is currently $8.25 per hour, and it will increase to $9.25 per hour effective January 1, 2020, and $10 per hour effective July 1, 2020. Thereafter, the minimum wage will increase by $1 per hour each January 1 until 2025.
Effective July 1, 2019, minimum wage for employers in the City of Chicago will increase to $13 per hour for non-tipped employees. Minimum wage for tipped employees will be adjusted for inflation.
Effective July 1, 2019, minimum wage for employers in Cook County will increase to $12 per hour for non-tipped employees. Minimum wage for tipped employees will be adjusted for inflation.
Equal Pay Protections for African-American Employees
On November 28, 2018, the Illinois Senate voted to override Governor Rauner’s veto of an amendment to the Illinois Equal Pay Act. The amendment expands the Act to cover pay discrimination between African-Americans and non-African-Americans, and it prohibits employers from paying African-Americans less for the “same or substantially similar work.”
This law took effect January 1, 2019. Illinois Equal Pay Act of 2003, 820 ILCS 112/1, et seq.
Changes to the Illinois Human Rights Act
In 2018, a number of changes to the Illinois Human Rights Act took effect. First, the time to file a charge of with the Illinois Department of Human Rights has been increased to 300 days (from 180 days). Second, employees may opt to forgo filing a charge with the IDHR and instead file a lawsuit. Third, employers are now required to include notice of employees’ rights under the Illinois Human Rights Act in their employee handbooks.
These provisions became effective on June 8, 2018 and August 24, 2018. Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/7A-102(A), 102(B), 102(K).
Employee Reimbursements. On August 26, 2018, Governor Rauner signed Senate Bill 2999, amending the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. The new law requires employers (including units of local government) to reimburse an employee for all “necessary expenditures and losses” incurred by the employee within the scope of the employment and that are directly related to services performed for the employer.
Employers may establish a written expense reimbursement policy setting forth specifications and guidelines for “necessary expenditures.” Employees must comply with such written policy and provide supporting documentation of expenditures within 30 calendar days to be eligible for reimbursement.
This law takes effect January 1, 2019. Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, 820 ILCS 115/9.5.
Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights. On August 26, 2018, Governor Rauner signed into law the Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (ISERRA). ISERRA incorporates certain sections of the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) that protect service members from discrimination and retaliation, provide reemployment rights, and protect health insurance and other benefits. ISERRA expands upon USERRA and provides additional job-related protections for military service members, including special treatment for job performance reviews, an expanded definition of “military service,” and a private right of action under the statute.
ISERRA repeals the Military Leave of Absence Act, the Public Employee Armed Services Act, the Municipal Employees Military Active Duty Act, and the Local Government Employees Benefits Continuation Act, effective January 1, 2019. However, ISERRA does not impact the Illinois Family Military Leave Act, which provides certain leave benefits to family members of covered service members.
Employers are urged to review their policies and procedures for compliance, and should note that ISERRA requires workplace postings: Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act Poster.
This law takes effect January 1, 2019. Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, 330 ILCS 61/1, et seq.
Paid Lactation Breaks. On August 21, 2018, Governor Rauner signed House Bill 1595, amending the Illinois Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act. The amendment, which became effective immediately, requires that Illinois employers to provide reasonable paid break times to nursing mothers for the purpose of expressing milk during the work day. However, an employer may require that such break times run concurrently with other breaks (both paid and unpaid) offered by the employer. Thus, if an employer offers an unpaid meal break of 30 minutes, it can require that the employee use that time for the expression of milk. However, if the employee requires additional, reasonable breaks, the employer “may not reduce an employee’s compensation” for that time.
This law took effect on August 21, 2018. Illinois Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act, 820 ILCS 260/10.
New Illinois Requirements for Workplace Postings. With the arrival of 2019, employers should verify that they have displayed all of the required Illinois postings in the workplace, and that they have updated those postings accordingly. In addition to the required federal postings, the following postings are required of designated Illinois employers:
- NEW Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Poster (Required to be posted by ALL ILLINOIS EMPLOYERS as of September 2018). In addition, employers should review the notice to employers, which provides that employers must post the required poster and include certain statements in its employee handbook.
- NEW Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act Poster (Required to be posted by ALL ILLINOIS EMPLOYERS).
- Pregnancy Notice (Required to be posted by ALL ILLINOIS EMPLOYERS)
- Know Your Rights Poster (Required to be posted by ALL ILLINOIS EMPLOYERS)
- Workers Compensation (Required to be posted by ALL ILLINOIS EMPLOYERS)
- Unemployment Insurance Benefits Notice (Required to be posted by ALL ILLINOIS EMPLOYERS)
- Emergency Choking Notice (Required to be posted by ALL ILLINOIS EMPLOYERS)
- Smoke Free Illinois Act Notice (Required to be posted by ALL ILLINOIS EMPLOYERS)
- Sexual Harassment in Higher Education Act Poster (Required for those entities who are a public university, a public community college, or an independent, not-for-profit or for-profit higher education institution located in Illinois)
- Employee Classification Act of 2008 Poster (Required to be posted by ALL ILLINOIS CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS that have one or more individuals that are not classified as employees)
- Illinois Occupational Safety & Health Act Poster (Required to be posted by ALL ILLINOIS PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYERS)
- Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act (Required to be posted by ALL ILLINOIS TEMPORARY LABOR AGENCIES)
Employers within Cook County and the City of Chicago should ensure that they have posted the required sick leave and minimum wage posters. Additional federal, state, and local posting requirements may be applicable to certain employers.
Rathje Woodward advises clients on a broad range of employment and labor matters, including compliance, policies and procedures, internal investigations, administrative proceedings, collective bargaining negotiations and disputes, union avoidance policies and litigation defense. If you have questions about how these new laws may impact your business, contact Emily A. Shupe, Raymond J. Sanguinetti, Mark J. McAndrew, or John R. Zemenak at 630-668-8500.
For more information regarding Rathje Woodward’s employment practice and its attorneys, please visit www.rathjewoodward.com.