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The Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act, currently titled HB2557, is one of three pending bills aimed at taming the risks posed by big data in the workplace. When Governor Pritzker signs the bill into law, Illinois will be one of the first states to regulate the use of workplace data analytics. HB2557 focuses strictly on the use of facial recognition technology in job interviews and passed both houses on May 29, 2019. Two other bills, HB 2991 and HB 3415, would prohibit the use of predictive analytics to consider information correlating with race and zip codes when making hiring decisions,…
Last-Minute Negotiations Result In Expanded Worker Protections. While media coverage of the closing moments of the Spring legislative session focused on recreational marijuana, taxes and infrastructure, Illinois lawmakers quietly were leveraging the momentum created by the #MeToo movement to pass the Workplace Transparency Act. Since we last reported on the bill here, lawmakers have expanded its scope to impose new obligations on employers. The new bill, SB0075, which passed both houses just before the legislature recessed and can be found here would: Mandate that employers conduct annual sexual harassment training and prescribe the content for the training, with special…
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…
Appeals Court raises the stakes significantly for employers who tolerate, neglect or ignore workplace harassment complaints. Last week, while many of us were packing our bags for the long Memorial Day holiday weekend, an Illinois Court of Appeals ruled, for the first time, that a legal entity, such as a corporation, can be sued under the Illinois Gender Violence Act (IGVA or Act), for sex discrimination. By doing so, the court dramatically increased the possible liability a business could face when it mishandles employee complaints of harassment if the target of those complaints later sexually assaults a coworker. The…
Law aims to close legal loopholes that hide harassment concerns from public view. In the past few weeks, Illinois Legislators have been working feverishly to advance SB1829, the Workplace Transparency Act. In an already busy legislative session filled with worker-friendly initiatives, the bill has already passed the Senate and is advancing rapidly through the House, picking up scores of sponsors along the way. The bill would: Mandate annual sexual harassment training and prescribe the content for such training. Extend the IHRA’s protections against harassment to independent contractors. Grant victims of sexual harassment up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for…
Law aims to close legal loopholes that hide harassment concerns from public view. In the past few weeks, Illinois Legislators have been working feverishly to advance SB1829, the Workplace Transparency Act. In an already busy legislative session filled with worker-friendly initiatives, the bill has already passed the Senate and is advancing rapidly through the House, picking up scores of sponsors along the way. The bill would: Mandate annual sexual harassment training and prescribe the content for such training. Extend the IHRA’s protections against harassment to independent contractors. Grant victims of sexual harassment up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for…
Bill Would Expand Law To Cover Virtually All Illinois Employers By the end of this week, there’s a very good chance that the Illinois Legislature will place on Governor Pritzker’s desk for his signature HB0252 – a bill that would eliminate the minimum employee threshold for anti-discrimination prohibitions in the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA). This will make virtually any employer with as few as one employee subject to all anti-discrimination prohibitions in the IHRA. Currently, companies with less than fifteen employees are subject only to anti-discrimination prohibitions covering sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and disability discrimination. But, if a company…
Last week, the Illinois Senate approved SB0471 calling for mandatory paid family leave benefits to workers in Illinois. The bill now advances to the Illinois House. Dubbed the “Healthy Workplace Act,” the proposed law provides that an employee who works in the State who is absent from work for specified reasons is entitled to earn and use a minimum of 40 hours of paid sick time during a 12-month period or a pro rata number of hours of paid sick time. If passed, the law would extend to the rest of Illinois many of the paid leave rights already afforded…
Federal Court Judge accepts EEOC’s proposal to make employers submit 2018 pay data, and a second year of pay data chosen by EEOC. As reported here in March, a U.S. District Court Judge reinstated EEOC data collection rules, adopted during the Obama Administration, aimed at identifying discriminatory pay gaps. The rule applies to employers who are subject to the EEOC’s longstanding EEO-1 annual reporting requirements (mainly, employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees). The Trump Administration froze the rule, but several workers’ rights advocacy groups successfully sued to unfreeze the rule. Under the…
Earlier this month, Chicago City Council’s Workforce Development Committee advanced the cause for predictable scheduling by introducing the “Fair Workweek Ordinance”. The proposed ordinance would require certain Chicago employers to give workers advance notice of work schedules and pay for last minute changes. While the City Council’s proposed measure has not moved forward, it mirrors a similar proposed State law titled the “Fair Scheduling Act” that the Illinois House tabled earlier this year pending Governor Pritzker’s inauguration. A recent University of Illinois survey, summarized in the Chicago Tribune, reports that 70 percent of Chicagoans feel that unpredictable work schedules…
It’s been a productive first quarter at Savine Employment Law, Ltd. Here’s what we’ve been up to: In January, we welcomed the arrival of our newest Legal Assistant, Elise Kline. Elise comes to us after having worked for several years at another Chicago-area employment law firm and brings deep experience handling investigations and litigation of workplace matters. Elise’s strong suit is her strong client-relations skills. We expect Elise to be instrumental in our continued growth. In April, Gary was appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) Illinois chapter. Also in April, Gary attended the…
Equal Pay Day Reminds Employers to Take Steps Now to Ensure Pay Equity On April 2, workers’ rights groups held rallies in major cities across the country to mark Equal Pay Day, which serves to remind us how much longer into the year women would have to work in order to earn as much as men. Chicago was no exception. Hundreds of political leaders and activists gathered to raise awareness and put added pressure on policy makers and employers to do something about the pay gap. As previously reported here Illinois and federal lawmakers are listening, as they’ve kicked…
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a series of amendments, dubbed the “Paycheck Fairness Act”, that will change the Equal Pay Act. This legislation mirrors efforts in many states, including Illinois, to attack the persistent national gender pay gap. According to the International Monetary Fund, women make, on average, 82 percent of what men make – a disparity that would require women to work an extra 47 days to earn as much as men do. The proposed changes to the Equal Pay Act would strengthen the current federal law that outlaws paying men and women differently for the…
Last week, the Illinois House Labor & Commerce Committee approved an amendment to the Employment Contract Act to provide that an employer may not require employees and applicants to “waive, arbitrate, or otherwise diminish any future claim, right, or benefit to which the person would otherwise be entitled under State or federal law.” By its language, the new law would make it unlawful for employers to condition a hiring or continued employment on many types of agreements that have become increasingly common, particularly in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2018 holding in Epic Systems v. Lewis upholding employment class…
Women’s Advocacy Groups Successfully Unfreeze Wage And Hour Data, But Will Employers Need To Comply? Last week, a D.C. District Court Judge in National Women’s Law Center v. OMBlifted the Trump Administration’s freeze on a 2016 EEOC rule that revises the annual EEO-1 report to require employers to include W-2 wages and hours worked for all employees within 12 pay bands for each of the 10 EEO-1 job categories. The EEOC has long required employers with more than 50 employees to file annual EEO-1 reports, but historically these reports have been limited to requiring disclosure of only the number…
Proposed changes to overtime regulations are set to take effect in January 2020, pending public comment. Here’s what’s new right now: This month, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed modifying the overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in several important respects, specifically: It would reset the salary level necessary to qualify for certain exemptions from overtime to $35,308.00 (or $679 per week) – up significantly from the current level of $455 per week. But, employers would be allowed to apply non-discretionary bonuses and certain incentive payments to satisfy up to 10 percent of the salary level…