Jay Shattuck | Executive Director, Employment Law Council | 217-544-6590


The mission of the Employment Law Council is to effectively represent Illinois employers on employment law issues such as workers compensation, unemployment insurance, employment discrimination, workplace mandates and other management/employee issues. We advocate public policy actions that advance the interests and viewpoints of employers, and to assist in creating a political climate conducive to improving Illinois' ability to create and retain jobs.
The Council accomplishes its mission with the involvement of hundreds of employers who participate in our three committees: Workers' Compensation; Employment Law & Litigation; and Unemployment Insurance.  Through the efforts of these committees we develop policies and strategies that are implemented by the Council and Illinois Chamber staff.
Employment Law & Litigation Committee to Meet with IDHR

This Wednesday, September 18th our Employment Law & Litigation Committee will be meeting with Director Jim Bennet and staff of the Illinois Department of Human Rights to discuss implementation of SB 75/ PA 101-221 and other Illinois employment discrimination procedural issues. Three general new changes in the law that all employers need to be aware of and comply with:

1. Employee policy regarding arbitration, sexual harassment and sexual discrimination... beginning January 1, 2020 no employer may require as a condition of employment: A) an employee or prospective employee from making truthful statements or disclosures about alleged unlawful employment practices; B) that an employee or prospective employee waive, arbitrate, or otherwise diminish any existing or future claim, right, or benefit related to an unlawful employment practice (employment discrimination/sexual harassment).

2. All employees must annually receive sexual harassment training...regardless of size of the employer. The Illinois Department of Human Rights will provide an online training program for employers to use. Current or alternative training that an employer provides is acceptable as long as it meets the minimum criteria required of the training.

3. Employers must annually report final adverse decisions filed against it by Illinois employees for employment discrimination and sexual harassment.

Additional training and written employment policies requirements are included for restaurants & bars. Hotels and casinos have additional safety devices and anti-sexual harassment policy requirements.
The meeting agenda includes a briefing on new employment law legislation signed by the Governor and what we expect to see in veto session and the 2020 session, such as paid leave and "fair scheduling".

Please RSVP to Jay Shattuck if you plan to attend this meeting.

IDOL Director Kleinik Meets with ELC Members

Illinois Department of Labor Director Michael Kleinikmet with Employment Law Council members on August 22nd providing attendees information about personnel changes at the Department and what new initiatives is IDOL undertaking. We discussed issues such as the employee expense reimbursement law, changes to the Equal Pay Act, and prevailing wage law.

Illinois Department of Labor Director Michael Kleinikmet with Employment Law Council members on August 22nd providing attendees information about personnel changes at the Department and what new initiatives is IDOL undertaking. We discussed issues such as the employee expense reimbursement law, changes to the Equal Pay Act, and prevailing wage law.

Kleinik was named director of the Department of Labor by Gov. Pritzker in January. Michael has served in numerous roles in both the public and private sectors over the past 30 years, including executive director of the Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois, executive director of the Chicago Laborers' District Council's labor management cooperation committee and with the Conciliation & Mediation Division at the Department. Kleinik also served two terms as Fayette County sheriff.

Wage History Limits Go into Effect September 29, 2019
On July 31st, Governor Pritzker signed HB 834 into law as PA 101-177 , effective September 29, 2019. This legislation is similar to legislation vetoed by former Governor Rauner.
With Governor Pritzker's signature of HB 834 into law, all Illinois employers face more regulation and greater risk of lawsuits with much higher financial awards. The Illinois Chamber opposed HB 834 as it diminished employer defenses and dramatically increased the value of litigation. 
The Illinois Chamber urges employers to review their pay systems to assure compliance. The Illinois Chamber provides resources that can assist employers in complying with this new law and other new regulation recently enacted into law. For a more detailed summary of this new law contact Jay Shattuck.
Panel on Marijuana Law Changes Updates Council Members
Governor Pritzker also signed two significant changes into law which impact employer policies regarding marijuana, recreational marijuana ( PA 101-27 ) and medicinal marijuana ( PA 101-363 ).
The Illinois Chamber's Healthcare Council and Employment Law Council hosted on September 6th a panel briefing on how the new Illinois recreational and medicinal marijuana law changes will impact the workplace. Attendees heard from the legislative sponsors, Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago and Rep. Bob Morgan (D-Highland), and from Employment Council member, Epstein Becker Green, on the details of the workplace protections that were negotiated between the sponsors and the Illinois Chamber.
Sen. Steans updated us on the implementation of the recreational marijuana law. She also confirmed her legislative intent that the amendments to the Workplace Privacy in the Workplace Act as to cannabis as a legal product under the Act, included protections for employers with zero tolerance, drug-free workplace and drug testing policies from interference with employer implementation of their policy.
Rep. Morgan explained that the Illinois' medical cannabis program is now permanent. He provided some of the reasons as to why the law adds eleven new conditions for eligibility purposes and expands the range of medical professionals who can certify eligibility of applicants to the program.
James Oh and Kathleen Barrett of Epstein Becker Green provided an entertaining explanation of how the state and federal laws apply and provided insight as to how employers can comply.

Employment Law Legislation Signed by Gov. Pritzker
Effective date : July 1, 2020
Primary Sponsor : Representative Will Guzzardi (D)/Senator Cristina Castro (D)
Summary : Defines "employer" to include any person employing one (instead of 15) or more employees within Illinois during 20 or more calendar weeks within the calendar year of or preceding the alleged violation. Provides that "employer" does not include any place of worship with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by the place of worship of its activities. 
Effective date : September 29, 2019
Primary Sponsor : Representative Anna Moeller (D)/ Senator Cristina Castro (D)
Summary : Amends the Equal Pay Act of 2003 prohibiting an employer from: (i) screening job applicants based on their wage or salary history, (ii) requiring that an applicant's prior wages satisfy minimum or maximum criteria, and (iii) requesting or requiring as a condition of being interviewed or as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment that an applicant disclose prior wages or salary. Prohibits an employer from seeking the salary, including benefits or other compensation or salary history, of a job applicant from any current or former employer, with some exceptions. Eliminates key defenses and significantly increases civil remedies and administrative penalties. A Senate amendment to clarify that a wage differential factor that is not based on sex or a factor that would constitute unlawful discrimination under the Illinois Human Rights Act must account for the differential (instead of "the entire differential") was added.
Effective date: June 25, 2019...sale & possession effective January 1, 2020
Primary Sponsor: Sen. Heather Steans (D)/Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D)
Summary: Legalizes marijuana for adult use. The legislative sponsors negotiated with the Illinois Chamber to provide the strongest workplace protections for employers in the country. The goal to protect employers with zero tolerance, drug free workplace and drug testing policies was met. Employers will be able to continue to provide for safe workplaces through their reasonable, non-discriminatory employment policies.
Effective date: August 1, 2020
Primary Sponsors: Representative Anne Stava-Murray (D)/Senator Tom Cullerton (D)
Summary : Amends the School Visitation Rights Act to clarify that employees may use school visitation privileges for purposes of academic and behavioral meetings in addition to school conferences. Adds that an employee may not be terminated for the use of school visitation privileges.

Effective date : January 1, 2020
Primary Sponsor : Representative Deb Conroy (D)/Senator Julie Morrison (D)
Summary : Amends the Organ Donor Leave Act prohibiting an employer from retaliating against an employee for requesting or obtaining a leave of absence to donate blood, an organ, or bone marrow. Amends the Illinois Anatomical Gift Act requiring the Secretary of State to create a database consisting of all individuals who have consented to having their names included in the First-Person Consent organ and tissue donor registry. Allows an organ procurement organization that has executed a data access agreement with the Secretary of State to have online access to the database to determine whether a potential organ and tissue donor is included in the First-Person Consent organ and tissue donor registry. Requires the organ procurement organization to hold harmless the State, its officials, and employees for certain costs arising out of the organ procurement organization's use of the database.
Effective date: February 19, 2019
Primary Sponsor: Senator Kim Lightford (D)/Representative Will Guzzardi (D)
Summary:  Increases the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 and $13 for those under 18 by 2025. Teen wage is determined as under the age of 18 and working less than 650 hours per calendar year.
Date of Change
Minimum Wage
Teen Wage
Includes a complex payroll deduction tax credit for employers of 50 or fewer employees. Also increases penalties and fines for violation of the Minimum Wage Act. An employee may recover TREBLE damages of any underpayment along with costs, attorney's fees and damages of 5% per month (previously 2%) of the amount of each underpayment following the date of payment such underpayments remain unpaid. In addition, if the employer's conduct is proven by a preponderance of the evidence to be willful, repeated, or with reckless disregard, the employer is liable to the Department of Labor a penalty of $1,500 payable to its Wage Theft Enforcement Fund. The measure also allows the Department to conduct random audits of employers to determine compliance.
Effective date : May 17, 2019
Primary Sponsor : Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D)/Representative Jay Hoffman (D)
Summary : Amends the Worker's Compensation Act and the Workers' Occupational Diseases Act. Provides that specified Sections limiting recovery do not apply to injuries or death resulting from an occupational disease as to which the recovery of compensation benefits under the Act would be precluded due to the operation of any period of repose or repose provision. Provides that, as to any such injury occupational disease, the employee, the employee's heirs, and any person having the standing under law to bring a civil action at law has the nonwaivable right to bring such an action against any employer or employers. Effective immediately.
Effective date: January 1, 2020
Primary Sponsor: Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago)/Rep. Curtis Tarver (D-Chicago)
Summary:  Amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to define "arrest record" as (1) an arrest not leading to a conviction; (2) a juvenile record; or (3) criminal history record information ordered expunged, sealed, or impounded under Section 5.2 of the Criminal Identification Act. It amends Section 2-103 of the Act to provide that it is a civil rights violation for any employer, employment agency or labor organization to inquire into or to use (removes "the fact of") an arrest record as a basis to refuse to hire, to segregate, or to act with respect to recruitment, hiring, promotion, renewal of employment, selection for training or apprenticeship, discharge, discipline, tenure or terms, privileges or conditions of employment.

Illinois Chamber's 100th Anniversary Annual Meeting
Join us at this year's Annual Luncheon to celebrate the IL Chamber's 100th birthday. Keynote speaker is Michelle Peluso, SVP Digital Sales & Chief Marketing Officer of IBM, along with a special guest speaker, George McCaskey, Chairman of the Chicago Bears. September 26, 2019 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago from 10:30 am - 1:30 pm. Register here. 

Key Legislation
Upcoming Events

October 8, 2019 - Illinois Chamber Workers' Compensation Annual Conference, Sheraton Hotel, Lisle. 

December 4, 2019 - Illinois Chamber - ILSHRM Annual Employment Laws Update - more details will be forthcoming.

December 9, 2019 - Workers' Compensation Committee Meeting, 3:30 pm to 5:00 PM, Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, Chicago. 

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Not a member and want to learn more about the Illinois Chamber click here to contact Jeanette Anderson