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Substantial Changes Ahead for Illinois Employers in 2020 Relating to Sexual Harassment Training, Mandatory Arbitration Agreements, and More

Seal of the State of IllinoisOn August 9, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed into law Public Act 101-0221 (the “Act”), which enhances protections against workplace sexual harassment and discrimination.  The Act creates new laws and amends several existing ones, including the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”), as summarized below: NEW LAWS The Workplace Transparency Act (“WTA”).  The Workplace Transparency Act will … Continue Reading

Illinois Enacts Workplace Transparency Act

On August 9, 2019, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed the Workplace Transparency Act (the “Act”) into law.  The Act will apply to all contracts, agreements, clauses, or waivers entered into, modified, or extended on or after January 1, 2020.  Here are the key features with respect to arbitration agreements, employment agreements and separation agreements that Illinois … Continue Reading

Toledo, Ohio Passes Ban on Salary History Inquiries

Toledo, Ohio is the latest jurisdiction (and the second city in Ohio) to enact a law that will prohibit employers from asking job applicants about salary history. The ordinance, which is scheduled to take effect on June 25, 2020, will apply to employers with fifteen or more employees in Toledo, and will prohibit such employers and their … Continue Reading

Kansas City, Missouri Passes Ban on Salary History Inquiries

Kansas City, Missouri is the latest jurisdiction (and the second Midwestern city in recent weeks) to enact a law that will prohibit employers from asking job applicants about salary history. The ordinance, which takes effect on October 31, 2019, will apply to employers in Kansas City with six or more employees, and will prohibit such … Continue Reading

Illinois Expands Workplace Protections for Breastfeeding Employees

Governor Bruce Rauner has signed into law a bill that expands protections for employees needing to express breast milk in the workplace.  The law amends the preexisting Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act (the “Act”) in several significant ways—most notably that break time provided for the expression of milk “may not reduce an employee’s compensation” … Continue Reading

Duluth, Minnesota Enacts Paid Sick Leave Law

Leave of absence formDuluth, Minnesota has become the latest jurisdiction to enact a law providing eligible employees with paid leave for their own medical needs, those of a family member, or other covered reasons.  The Ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2020. The Ordinance will apply to employers with five or more employees nationwide.  Covered workers in … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Holds Discrimination Based on Transgender Status is Prohibited Under Title VII

In a unanimous decision in EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc., a three-judge Sixth Circuit panel has held that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is “necessarily” discrimination on the basis of sex and therefore prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). Background The case … Continue Reading

Illinois Senate Fails to Override Governor’s Veto of Salary History Ban

Bucking the nationwide trend, Illinois was unable to pass a law prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. On November 9, 2017, the Illinois Senate failed to override Governor Rauner’s veto of a salary history ban. As we previously reported, on August 25, 2017, Governor Rauner vetoed a bill that would have … Continue Reading

District Court Dismisses Putative FCRA Class Action For Lack Of Standing

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California recently dismissed a putative class action alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), finding that the named plaintiff lacked standing to pursue her claims. Saltzbreg v. Home Depot, U.S.A., Inc., No. 17-cv-05798 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 18, 2017). The Complaint The plaintiff filed a … Continue Reading

Chicago Passes Ordinance Requiring Hotels to Provide “Panic Buttons” To Certain Employees

On October 11, 2017, the Chicago City Council passed the Hotel Workers Sexual Harassment Ordinance (the “Ordinance”), which requires Chicago hotels to develop anti-sexual harassment policies and provide employees who work alone in hotel rooms with panic buttons. Employers who fail to comply with these requirements or retaliate against employees for invoking the Ordinance’s protections … Continue Reading

7th Circuit Holds Long-Term Leave Is Not a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA

Leave of absence formIn a recent decision in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc. (Sept. 20, 2017), the Seventh Circuit affirmed a district court’s ruling that an employer did not violate the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide an employee with a long-term medical leave of absence.  Indeed, the court found that “a long-term leave of absence … Continue Reading

Illinois Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Prohibit Employer Inquiry Into Wage History

On August 25, 2017, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill that would prohibit employers from asking applicants about their wage histories. The bill, known as the Illinois No Salary History Law, previously had been passed by the Illinois House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support (91-24 in the House and 35-18 in the Senate).  The … Continue Reading

Illinois Passes Religious Garb Law Clarifying Religious Protections Under Illinois Human Rights Law

On August 11, 2017, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Public Act 100-100, known as the “Religious Garb Law.”  The law amends the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”) by clarifying the scope of protection for sincerely held religious beliefs. Specifically, the amendment makes clear that it is a violation of the IHRA for an … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Becomes First Federal Court of Appeals to Hold That Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is Prohibited Under Title VII

In an 8-3 en banc decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, the Seventh Circuit has held that discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII.  In so holding, the Seventh Circuit has become the first federal appellate court to extend the protections of Title VII … Continue Reading

Chicago Sees A Major Uptick in FLSA Litigation, Consistent With National Trends

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has emerged as one of the nation’s busiest federal district courts with respect to wage-and-hour litigation.  As reported by Crain’s Chicago Business, in 2015 alone, 542 Fair Labor Standards Act actions were filed in the Northern District of Illinois.  Between 2011 and 2015, wage-and-hour actions … Continue Reading

Cook County Suburbs Subject to Same Paid Sick Leave Obligations as Chicago

Leave of absence formEffective July 1, 2017, Cook County Ordinance 16-4229 (“Ordinance”) will allow employees who work in Cook County to accrue and use earned paid sick leave.  The Ordinance is nearly identical to Chicago’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance that passed the city’s council by a vote of 48-0 earlier this year.  Under both the Chicago law and … Continue Reading

Illinois Enacts Child Bereavement Leave Act

Leave of absence formOn July 29, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law the Illinois Child Bereavement Leave Act (the “Act”). The Act, which became effective upon signing, provides certain Illinois employees up to ten workdays of unpaid leave to grieve the death of a child.  Employees who have been employed for twelve months or longer and worked … Continue Reading

Illinois Prohibits Non-Compete Agreements with Low-Wage Employees

Effective January 1, 2017, the Illinois Freedom to Work Act (the “Act”) will prohibit private sector employers from entering into non-competition agreements with employees earning a “low wage.”  The Act defines low-wage employees as those who earn the greater of: (a) the federal ($7.25 per hour), state ($8.25 per hour), or local (currently, $10.50 per … Continue Reading

Illinois Passes Family Caregivers Leave Law

Leave of absence formEffective January 1, 2017, the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act (the “Act”) will allow employees to use employer-provided personal sick leave benefits to care for an ill or injured family member or attend a medical appointment with a family member.  The Act defines an eligible family member—i.e., an  individual the employee is taking leave to … Continue Reading

Illinois Domestic Workers Now Guaranteed Certain Employment Rights

On August 12, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights Act (House Bill 1288) (the “Act”) on behalf of domestic workers employed in private homes or residences into law. With the passage of the Act, Illinois joins several states, including New York, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Oregon, in extending … Continue Reading

Wisconsin Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Leave Law In Effect as of July 1, 2016

Leave of absence formEffective as of July 1, 2016, employers in Wisconsin who employ at least 50 individuals are required to provide eligible employees with up to six weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period to undergo and recover from bone marrow or organ donation procedures. Under the law, which borrows several provisions from the Wisconsin Family and … Continue Reading

Chicago Task Force Proposes 5 Days Of Paid Sick Leave For Employees

Poised to join the increasing number of cities that require paid sick leave, the Working Families Task Force (commissioned by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel) recently recommended that employees in Chicago be allowed to earn at least 5 paid sick days each year. The task force is comprised of 27 members, including business, government and worker … Continue Reading

Federal Court in Illinois Finds No Overtime Due to Police For Off-Duty Use of BlackBerrys

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled in the City of Chicago’s favor on December 10, 2015, denying police officers’ claims that they were owed overtime pay for their off-duty use of work-issued BlackBerrys.  In Allen v. Chicago, the officers had alleged that there was an unwritten policy not to pay them … Continue Reading
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