Monday Morning Minute
In This Issue
EEOC Proposes Deadline for Pay Data Under EEO-1 Report
Illinois Proposes Mandatory Harassment Training in Illinois for Restaurants
Proposed New Rule for Regular Rate of Pay
Illinois Proposes the Workplace Transparency Act
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                  April 8, 2019


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When the EEOC's online reporting portal opened on March 18, it was still unclear whether the new reporting requirements would be included for the 2018 report and if so, when this data would be due.  

As a reminder, the new reporting requirements center around submitting information about employee pay data so that trends concerning gender pay inequity can be spotted and addressed. As most employers should be aware, this has become a hot topic in employment law (gender pay equity issues) and many laws are either being proposed or passed to address this concern:  The House recently passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, numerous states have enacted equal pay and salary history laws, and the EEOC has included pay equity as a strategic enforcement priority since 2013.  

What the EEOC proposed on April 3rd is that employers have until September 30, 2019, to submit employee pay data as part of their annual 2018 EEO-1 report (otherwise known as Component 2 of the EEO-1 report).  The US District Court still needs to "bless" this with a court order, but it is looking as though the dates that employers should be aware for the 2018 EEO-1 report are as follows: 

The deadline for Component 1 of the EEO-1 report remains May 31, 2019.

The proposed deadline for Component 2 of the EEO-1 report is September 30, 2019 (pending court approval). 

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact a Spognardi Baiocchi attorney of your choice. 
Following the lead of New York and California, Illinois lawmakers are considering legislation that would require restaurants of all sizes to provide sexual harassment training to all employees.  

Entitled the Restaurant Anti-Harassment Act, the training would have to take place within 30 days of employment, and every two years.  The legislation would be enforced by the Illinois Department of Human Rights.  Violators would be subject to a fine of $500 for the first offense, and $1000 for subsequent offenses.
On March 28th, for the first time in more than 50 years, the Department of Labor (Department) announced a proposed rule to define regular rate of pay:  what forms of payment employers include and exclude in the "time and one-half" calculation when determining workers' overtime rates.

The proposed rule focuses primarily on clarifying whether certain kinds of perks, benefits, or other miscellaneous items must be included in the regular rate of pay and therefore a part of the overtime calculation. 

The Department proposes clarifications to confirm that employers may exclude the following from an employee's regular rate of pay:
  • the cost of providing wellness programs, onsite specialist treatment, gym access and fitness classes, and employee discounts on retail goods and services;
  • payments for unused paid leave, including paid sick leave;
  • reimbursed expenses, even if not incurred "solely" for the employer's benefit;
  • reimbursed travel expenses that do not exceed the maximum travel reimbursement under the Federal Travel Regulation System and that satisfy other regulatory requirements;
  • discretionary bonuses, by providing additional examples and clarifying that the label given a bonus does not determine whether it is discretionary;
  • benefit plans, including accident, unemployment, and legal services; and
  • tuition programs, such as reimbursement programs or repayment of educational debt.
The proposed rule also includes additional clarification about other forms of compensation, including payment for meal periods, "call back" pay, and others.

For more information on the proposed rules, click HERE.

Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments about the proposed rule electronically at , in the rulemaking docket RIN 1235-AA24. Comments must be submitted by 11:59 pm on May 28, 2019 in order to be considered.
Illinois law makers have come up with another bad idea which is sure to vex employers and judges, and is contrary to the federal policy encouraging private resolution of disputes through arbitration.

Entitled the Workplace Transparency Act ("WTA"), the proposed legislation has the laudable goal of preventing the victims of sexual misconduct, retaliation, or unlawful harassment from being silenced through non disclosure agreements.  However, the legislation has the clearly stated intent of preventing employers from having mandatory arbitration agreement to resolve claims of harassment and discrimination, and would make such agreement unenforceable.  Agreements entered into prior to the effective date of the act would be voidable if signed under duress.  This is not only a bad deal for employers; it also puts further strain on our crowed court system.  Wake up Springfield!

SPOGNARDI BAIOCCHI llp is a law firm dedicated to partnering with companies of all sizes to address the full spectrum of legal concerns for its business.  Our commitment is to find common sense solutions that fit each clients' unique situation to labor, employment, human resources and general business needs. 

With over 50 combined years of experience among its 2 founding partners in these areas, we can assist businesses in developing custom solutions to today's tough issues.  And as litigators, who combined have over thousands of trials  "under their belts" before state and federal courts as well as administrative agencies (such as the NLRB) you will find no better advocate and partner. 


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