For many of us, a new year means a new beginning, a fresh start. A starting point for chasing after a long-forgotten dream, making the changes in our lives we’ve been longing to see, or simply creating for ourselves a better life.
Fortunately, the more than 300 new Illinois laws that took effect in 2024 may help us all get a little closer to reaching our #NewYearGoals.
At Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, we believe that understanding one’s legal rights and protections is the greatest threat to injustice. Check out a few of the new laws that may impact you and your family’s lives.
From paid time off for an estimated 1.5 million more workers to police drones that may help improve safety in our communities, Illinois citizens go into the new year with more rights.
Young people are especially impacted by online harassment. This year, several laws go into effect that will offer additional protections for this type of harm.
DOXXING – Doxxing — a type of online harassment that involves sharing another person’s personally identifiable information with the intent to harm or harass that person — can now be brought to civil court.
Those who knowingly share another person’s information with reckless disregard that the action can cause harm such as stalking, bodily injury, or even death can be found civilly liable and may have to pay damages to the victim.
DEEPFAKE – A person who digitally alters another person’s image in a sexually explicit manner, also known as “deepfake porn,” can also be civilly liable for damages.
CYBERBULLYING – The cyberbullying law in Illinois now includes a definition of anxiety consistent with the DSM-5 in the Criminal Code of 2012.
BOOK BANNING IN PUBLIC LIBRARIES – Illinois has embraced the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, making it the inaugural state to legislate penalties for book bans in state-funded institutions.
ELECTRONIC RENT PAYMENTS – Landlords are now prohibited from requiring a tenant or prospective tenant to pay money owed to the landlord by means of electronic funds transfer. This includes paying for a lease, renewal, or extension agreement.
HEATING AND COOLING FOR 55 AND UP – A new law outlines the heating and cooling requirements for properties owned, rented, or occupied solely by people 55 or older.
UTILITY SERVICES – Once the temperature reaches 90 degrees, utility providers can no longer disconnect services for nonpayment.
EV-COMPATIBLE PARKING SPACE – With an eye to the future, at least one EV-compatible parking space must be made in any new single-family homes and residential constructions.
Public Health and Safety
BATHROOMS – Businesses can install multi-occupancy restrooms to be used by all genders at the same time.
GUN SAFETY – If you are an Illinois resident who, prior to last year’s gun legislation, owned high-powered guns that are now prohibited, a new law requires you to register your guns. Failing to do so will result in a misdemeanor for the first offense. Any subsequent offenses are now felonies.
OVERDOSE PROTECTIONS – High schools must teach students about the dangers of fentanyl. Supplies of Narcan or other medications used to reverse opioid overdoses must be maintained in all charter schools, public schools, and non-public schools.
POLICE DRONES – An eye in the sky. Law enforcement agencies can now use drones to surveil special or routed events. But don’t worry, these drones cannot use facial recognition technology and will not be equipped with weapons.
VAPING IN PUBLIC PLACES – Vaping or using e-cigs indoors or in any public place is now illegal. This means that, similar to cigarettes, you cannot vape within 15 feet of entrances.
OVER-THE-COUNTER FENTANYL TESTS – Illinois pharmacists and retailers are now permitted to sell fentanyl strips over the counter. The public can now test a controlled substance for the presence of fentanyl or a drug adulterant.
PRICE GOUGING OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – This Illinois new law is a major step towards more accessible healthcare for all. Manufacturers and wholesale distributors can no longer gouge prices of essential generic or off-patent drugs.
RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY FOR TRAUMA VICTIMS – Before this law, trauma victims who needed medically necessary reconstructive surgeries had to worry about whether or not their insurance would cover it. But now, HMOs, Medicaid, and individual and group policies must cover the procedure for patients whose physical appearance was damaged by trauma.
FERTILITY FRAUD -Introduces a legal recourse for fertility fraud against healthcare providers using the patient’s reproductive material without informed consent for assisted reproductive treatment.
NURSING HOMES – This new law forbids physical restraints and inappropriate use of psychotropic medications on nursing home residents, distinguishing between positioning devices and restraints. Allows residents or their representatives to request positioning devices.
Another law classifies financial exploitation of elderly or disabled individuals as a Class 1 felony if the victim is 70 years or older, and the property value exceeds $15,000.
TELEHEALTH – Medicaid will now cover telehealth visits for mental health.
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE – A measure Pritzker signed in 2019 incrementally raises the minimum wage for workers aged 18 and older, reaching $15 per hour by 2025. The initial increase is $1, up from $8.25 per hour in 2019. This year, the minimum wage for workers 18 and older goes up to $14 per hour.
TRANSIT PASS USING PRETAX DOLLARS – Permits Cook County full-time employees to use pre-tax dollars through payroll deduction for transit pass purchases.
BEREAVEMENT AND PAID LEAVE – Employees not currently eligible for paid time off will receive one hour of paid time off for every 40 hours worked, up to at least 40 hours per year. Any new local laws on paid time off will have to be at least as generous as the state law.
Employees who have lost a child to suicide or homicide receive extended bereavement leave. Additionally, employees who serve as organ donors receive up to 10 days of paid leave in any 12-month period.
DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR FIRST RESPONDERS – Mandates disability benefits for police officers, firefighters, and paramedics falling ill in the line of duty due to a community-covered disease during a declared emergency.
PICKET PROTECTIONS – Designates the placement of objects in public areas to obstruct pickets, demonstrations, or protests as a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $2,500 and imprisonment for less than one year. Additionally, employers can no longer be awarded monetary damages stemming from a labor dispute unless there is property damage that was the result of illegal activity.
REPRESENTATION FOR EMS WORKERS – Grants EMS workers facing investigations, interviews, and suspension hearings the right to have a recognized labor organization representative and a lawyer present at relevant meetings.
AIR FRESHENERS – Law enforcement cannot stop or search a vehicle solely for objects obstructing the driver’s view, like air fresheners. The legislation, initiated by Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias’ office, aims to address racially motivated traffic stops that may escalate into violent encounters between motorists and police.
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT – Solitary confinement for young detainees in detention centers is prohibited, except when necessary to prevent immediate physical harm.
DECEPTIVE TACTICS BY LAW ENFORCEMENT – The definition of “protected person” in Illinois laws against deceptive tactics by law enforcement during custodial interrogations now includes minors and individuals with severe or profound intellectual or developmental disabilities.
SEXUAL MISCONDUCT BY A TEACHER – Victims of sexual misconduct by a teacher under 18 are protected from being compelled to testify in the presence of the accused during disciplinary hearings.
ANIMAL SHELTERS – Mandates animal shelters and control facilities in Illinois to waive adoption fees for military veterans and allows them to limit the number of pets adopted.
KEEP AWAY FROM BEARS – It is now a misdemeanor for individuals, except for certain exemptions, to come into contact with a bear or non-human primate.
Representing the Rights of Illinois Citizens in 2024
In 2024, Attorney Larry Disparti and the team at Disparit Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers make the same promise we have for more than 30 years — we will always stand up for the hard-working citizens of Chicago and Illinois and work to level the playing field with big business.
Our attorneys care about each and every client that walks through our doors and are experts in several practice areas including:
- personal injuries
- car accidents
- employment and labor law
- medical malpractice
- workers’ compensation
- disability, and more.
For a FREE case review, contact us today at (312) 600-6000 and find out why thousands say… Larry wins!