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.
IDOL Director Kleinik to Meet with ELC Members
Illinois Department of LaborDirector Michael Kleinikwill be meeting with Employment Law Council members, next Thursday, August 22nd from 1 to 3 pm at the Illinois Chamber's 8th floor conference room, 300 S. Wacker Dr., Chicago. We will hear from him about changes at the Department and what new initiatives is IDOL undertaking. There also will be an opportunity for us to discuss issues such as the employee expense reimbursement law, changes to the Equal Pay Act, prevailing wage and much more.
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.
Please RSVP to Jay Shattuck by the end of business on Monday, August 19th, if you plan to attend this meeting.
Also, put on your calendarSeptember 18th as we will be meeting with the Director and staff of the Illinois Department of Human Rights to discuss implementation of SB 75/PA 101-221 (see more information below) and other Illinois employment discrimination procedural issues.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Omnibus Sexual Harassment
PA 101-221 puts in place a number of new changes to Illinois employment discrimination law. 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 charges 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.
 
Effective Dates:
August 9, 2019 for changes to the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act and Lobbyist Registration Act.
January 1, 2020 for all other provisions.
July 1, 2020 for changes to the Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act
 
For a more detailed summary of this new law contact Jay Shattuck

 
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.
 
Equal pay has been the law in Illinois since 2003. PayScale finds the pay disparity between men and women for the same job and qualifications is a 2-cent differential for every $1 earned by men. The Illinois Chamber supports efforts to eliminate the differential but argued that HB 834 was not a viable solution. 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. 
 
We supported SB 1707 that limited an employer's seeking and using prior pay history in a less intrusive and litigious manner. SB 1707 also provided an incentive to employers to review and address any pay deficiencies similar to Massachusetts law.
 
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.
 
Governor Makes Medicinal Marijuana Law Permanent
 
The governor also signed Senate Bill 2023 into law as PA 101-363, which expands and makes permanent Illinois' medical cannabis program. The law eliminates the sunset provision to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act, adds 11 new conditions for eligibility purposes and expands the range of medical professionals who can certify eligibility of applicants to the program.
 
Expansion of eligible conditions : Medical conditions that now qualify for the medical cannabis program include autism, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, osteoarthritis, anorexia nervosa, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Neuro-Behcet's Autoimmune Disease, neuropathy, polycystic kidney disease and superior canal dehiscence syndrome. The 11 new conditions join the existing 41 qualifying medical conditions under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act.
 
Expansion of medical professionals who certify patients : Instead of solely physicians, advance practice registered nurses and physician assistants can now join physicians in diagnosing and certifying an individual's eligibility for the medical cannabis program. Both advance practice registered nurses and physician assistants are currently authorized to prescribe opioids to patients where appropriate.
 
Other changes : The law requires IDFPR to award remaining dispensary licenses using a competitive application review system similar to that proposed in the adult-use legislation, including awarding points for participants who qualify as social equity applicants. It also prevents patient referrals to other health care professionals solely for the purposes of certification, prohibits the use and sale of smokable cannabis to persons under age 21 to align the program with the recently passed Tobacco 21 legislation and repeals location restrictions for medical cannabis dispensaries beginning July 1, 2019. Every county, instead of just Cook County, will now have the ability to establish a 3% tax on the gross receipts of sales.
 
Effective date: August 9, 2019.
 
Other Employment Law Legislation Signed by Gov. Pritzker
 
Workers' Compensation
 
  HB 269 WORKERS' COMPENSATION-NO INSURANCE PROCESS (Neutral)
Last Action : PA 101-40 , effective January 1, 2020
Primary Sponsor : Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville)/Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora)
Summary : Allows a Commissioner, rather than the Commission, to issue an emergency work-stop order prior to a hearing. Requires the Commission to issue a notice of emergency work-stop hearing when and emergency work-stop order has been issued. Employers with 2 or more violations are prohibited from self-insuring for a period of one year. Moneys in the Self-Insurers Security Fund and in the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission Operations Fund may be expended for salaries and benefits of the Self-Insurers Advisory Board employees and the operating costs of the Board.
 
Benefit Mandates
  
HB 2847 ORGAN DONOR PROTECTIONS (Neutral)
Last Action : PA 101-179 , effective January 1, 2020
Primary Sponsor : Rep. Deb Conroy (D-Villa Park)/Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield)
Summary : Amends the Organ Donor Leave Act. Provides that an employer shall not retaliate against an employee for requesting or obtaining a leave of absence to donate blood, an organ, or bone marrow. Amends the Illinois Insurance Act making it unlawful to refuse to insure, to refuse to continue to insure, to limit the amount, extent, or kind of coverage available for life insurance, disability insurance, or long-term care insurance to an individual, or to charge an individual a different rate for the same coverage, solely because of the individual's status as a living organ donor. With respect to all other conditions, as persons who are living organ donors shall be subject to the same standards of sound actuarial principles or actual or reasonably anticipated experience as are persons who are not organ donors. 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 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 1/1/ 2020.
 
Miscellaneous
  
HB 2233  SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES (Oppose)   
Last Action : PA 101-184 , effective August 2, 2019
Primary Sponsor : Representative André Thapedi (D-Chicago)/Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago)
Summary : Amends the Code of Civil Procedure providing that within the discretion of the court, the jury may be asked (rather than required by the court, and must be required on the request of any party) to find specially upon any material question or questions of fact submitted to the jury in writing. Any any party may request special interrogatories. Submitting or refusing to submit a question of fact to the jury may be reviewed on appeal to determine whether the trial court abused its discretion (rather than as a ruling on a question of law). When any special finding of fact is inconsistent with the general verdict, the court shall direct the jury to further consider its answers and verdicts, and if, in the discretion of the trial court, the jury is unable to render a general verdict consistent with any special finding, the trial court shall order a new trial (rather than the former controls the latter and the court may enter judgment accordingly). During closing arguments, the parties shall be allowed to explain to the jury what may result if the general verdict is inconsistent with any special findings. Changes apply only to trials commencing on or after January 1, 2020. Effective immediately.
 
HB 2557  VIDEO INTERVIEW ACT (Neutral)
Last Action : PA 101-260 , effective January 1, 2020
Primary Sponsor : Representative Jaime M. Andrade, Jr. (D-Chicago)/Senator Iris Martinez (D-Chicago)
Summary : Creates the Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act requiring an employer that asks applicants to record video interviews and uses an artificial intelligence (AI) analysis of applicant-submitted videos to: notify each applicant in writing before the interview that AI may be used to analyze the applicant's facial expressions and consider the applicant's fitness for the position; provide each applicant with an information sheet before the interview explaining how the AI works and what characteristics it uses to evaluate applicants; and obtain written consent from the applicant to be evaluated by the AI program. Prohibits an employer from: 1) using artificial intelligence to evaluate applicants who have not consented to the use of AI analysis; and 2) from sharing applicant videos, except with persons whose expertise is necessary in order to evaluate an applicant's fitness for a position. The Chamber was able to obtain a clarifying amendment.
  
SB 1965 HEALTH CARE WORKER BACKGROUND (Neutral)
Last Action : PA 101-176 , effective July 31, 2019
Primary Sponsor : Representative Justin Slaughter (D-Chicago)/Senator Elgie Sims (D-Chicago)
Summary: Amends the Health Care Worker Background Check Act providing that an individual otherwise qualified for and intending to apply for a direct care position who has a disqualifying conviction may initiate a fingerprint-based criminal history record check where a conditional offer of employment has not been made and such a background check has not been previously conducted, and allows those individuals to request a waiver of the prohibition of employment. Allows workforce intermediaries and organizations providing pro bono legal services to initiate a fingerprint-based criminal history record check if a conditional offer of employment has not been made and a background check has not been previously conducted for an individual who has a disqualifying conviction and is receiving services from a workforce, intermediary or an organization providing pro bono legal services. Defines "workforce intermediaries" and "pro bono legal service organizations". Effective immediately.

Annual Meeting Registration Now Open
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 1030 am - 130 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 

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