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Alerts and Updates

Illinois Legislature Passes More Employee-Friendly Bills

July 18, 2023

Illinois Legislature Passes More Employee-Friendly Bills

July 18, 2023

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Governor Pritzker has until mid-August to sign each of the bills or they will become effective automatically.

The Illinois Legislature passed another string of employee-friendly bills before adjourning for the summer. Governor J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign the bills that will impose new obligations for Illinois employers. First, following the leads of New York, California, Colorado and other like-minded legislatures, the Illinois Legislature passed a pay transparency bill that requires all employers with 15 or more employees to satisfy pay transparency requirements for recruitment-related job postings beginning in January 2025. The Illinois Legislature also added protections and leave of absence benefits for employees who are victims of domestic, sexual, gender or criminal violence (or who have a family member who is such victim), organ donors or who suffer the loss of a child through suicide or homicide. Governor Pritzker has until mid-August to sign each of the bills or they will become effective automatically.

Illinois Takes Cue from Other States, Passes Job Pay Transparency Bill

Under the proposed Job Pay Transparency Law, Illinois businesses with at least 15 employees will be required to provide pay scale and benefits information in all job postings for positions that are physically located in Illinois or that report to a supervisor or office located in the state. Required pay scale information includes an employer’s “good faith” expectation of the wage or salary for the position or an acceptable range dictated by a number of factors, which may include the actual range of compensation for employees currently or formerly holding the position, as well as any budgeted amount for the position. An employer’s disclosure obligations also extend to a general description of any available benefits, which includes typical employee benefit plans, as well as bonuses, stock options and other incentive-based compensation. Additionally, businesses who engage third-party recruitment agencies or vendors to publicize their openings will also be responsible for equipping any third party with the necessary pay scale information to accompany their postings. Illinois businesses may satisfy their transparency obligations by providing a hyperlink to a publicly viewable webpage for all pay scale and benefits information. Finally, a covered employer must advertise all opportunities for promotion internally to their existing workforce within 14 calendar days of any external job posting, with limited exceptions.

The bill provides aggrieved individuals the right to bring complaints to the Illinois Department of Labor within one year of the alleged violation. At its discretion, the department may issue a notice of violation to any covered employer, which will prompt a 14-day window for the business to cure the alleged violation. Failure to do so will result in a $500 penalty for any first time offense. A subsequent violation notice will initiate a seven-day cure period followed by a $2,500 fine, and a third offense will result in a $10,000 fine with no opportunity for cure.

Once signed into law, the Job Pay Transparency Law will take effect on January 1, 2025.

Illinois Legislature Approves Additional Protections for Grieving Employees

Following new leave requirements implemented under the Family Bereavement Leave Act (FBLA) last year, the Illinois Legislature has provided additional time off benefits to allow workers to grieve the loss of a child under challenging circumstances. The Child Extended Bereavement Leave Act (CEBLA) requires employers with at least 50 employees to provide between six weeks (employers with 50-249 full-time employees) or 12 weeks (employers with 250 or more employees) of unpaid protected leave to employees who have lost a child due to suicide or homicide. Employees will be entitled to take leave continuously or intermittently in increments of at least four hours to grieve or for circumstances related to the loss, so long as the duration of the leave is completed within one year of the employee notifying their employer of the loss. Employees taking leave under the CEBLA will not be entitled to take additional leave under the FBLA, which has required employers to provide unpaid bereavement for the loss of a child under any circumstance since 2016.

The CEBLA will be effective immediately upon Governor Pritzker’s signature, which is expected by August 16, 2023.

Illinois Legislature Extends Leave Available Under VESSA

Illinois lawmakers also amended the Victims’ Economic Safety and Security Act (VESSA), broadening the list of circumstances for which employees may take leave to include those related to an employee with a family or household member who was killed as a victim of violent crime. Following the amendment, employees may use up to two weeks of additional unpaid leave to make arrangements, attend the funeral or mourn the death of a family or household member killed in a crime of violence. This leave must be completed within 60 days after the date the employee learns of the victim’s death, and cannot be combined with leave available under the FBLA. Under prior recent amendments, VESSA provides unpaid protected leave to employees for purposes related to the employee or their family member being a victim of sexual, gender or violent crime, in addition to the original circumstances of being a victim of domestic violence or abuse. The VESSA leave time permitted for nondeath-related reasons remains unchanged: 12 weeks of unpaid leave for employees of an employer with at least 50 employees; eight weeks for businesses employing between 15-49 employees; and four weeks for businesses employing 1-14 employees.

The additional leave time available under VESSA will be effective immediately upon Governor Pritzker’s signature, which is expected by August 16, 2023.

Organ Donors Entitled to Paid Leave

The newly retitled Employee Blood Donation and Organ Donation Leave Act provides that any Illinois employees who serves as an organ donor will be entitled to 10 days of paid leave in any 12-month period. The new organ donation leave requirement is in addition to employees’ long-existing rights to take one hour of paid leave every 56 days for the purpose of donating blood. This legislation also will be effective immediately upon Governor Pritzker’s signature, which is expected by August 16, 2023.

Reminder: New Equivalent Compensation and Other Requirements for Staffing Agency Employers Will Also Impact Client Companies

The Illinois Legislature made significant changes to the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act (DTLSA), which will be effective immediately upon Governor Pritzker’s signature or by August 15, 2023, unless vetoed. The many new changes to the DTLSA include an equivalent compensation and benefits requirement for all day and temporary laborers that are assigned to a client company by a staffing agency for more than 90 days, as well as new labor dispute, safety and job hazard notice and disclosure obligations and new training requirements. The amendment also provides increased staffing agency registration fees and significantly increased enforcement penalties for violations (up to $18,000 for each first violation) that may be imposed against both staffing agencies and client companies. Our recent Duane Morris Class Action Defense Blog post provides full details on the new requirements.

What This Means for Employers

Because many of these new obligations will become effective immediately upon signature by Governor Pritzker in the coming weeks, Illinois employers are encouraged to consult with counsel now to review existing bereavement leave policies to ensure compliance. Employers will also want to proactively prepare to comply with new compensation and benefits transparency notice and posting requirements and other new obligations imposed on the recruitment process for all Illinois-based positions.

For More Information

If you have any questions about this Alert or have specific questions and concerns related to your operations, please contact Daniel O. Canales, Jennifer Long, any of the attorneys in our Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.