The Illinois Legislature wrapped its Spring 2019 session by sending several bills poised to substantially alter the workplace to Governor J.B. Pritzker’s desk.
At the same time, lawmakers left on the table a handful of items that, combined with initiatives expected soon out of Chicago City Council under new Mayor Lori Lightfoot, should make for an equally busy fall legislative calendar.
The laws expected to be enacted include:
- A law amending the Equal Pay Act to ban employers from asking applicants to disclose their prior salary history. See our prior article about it here.
- A law that decriminalizes recreational marijuana use, at least at the state level (marijuana remains an unlawful controlled substance under federal law) – a move likely to pose special recruitment and disciplinary challenges for employers who, as a matter of policy, conduct drug testing or, as federal contractors, must conform to Drug Free Workplace Act requirements.
- A law amending the Illinois Human Rights Act to extend its anti-discrimination provisions to virtually all Illinois employers with as few as one worker. See our prior article about it here.
However, Springfield Lawmakers headed into summer recess without having completed work on several other workplace rights initiatives, including a paid family leave bill a #metoo-focused harassment transparency bill and a bill that would have banned class waivers and arbitration agreements in employment.
We will continue to track these efforts, as well as those coming out of the Chicago City Council, throughout the summer. With the Pritzker and Lightfoot administrations still in their early days, we can reasonably expect more action before year’s end.
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Gary Savine is an Illinois employment lawyer and founder of Savine Employment Law, Ltd. in Chicago. Gary regularly advises human resources professionals on recently enacted employment laws.