Illinois Employer Updates for 2020

December 2019

The following changes to Illinois employment laws will take effect on January 1, 2020:

Minimum Wage Increase
Illinois’ minimum wage will increase to $9.25 per hour.

No Discrimination Against Lawful Off-Duty Marijuana Use
Illinois already protects lawful off-duty conduct, but that protection has been expanded to explicitly include “products that are legal under state law.” Employers do not have to allow use or impairment on the job. They should not, however, take adverse action against an employee or applicant because they use marijuana when off-duty—unless they do so in accordance with a reasonable and non-discriminatory workplace drug policy. This phrase has not been clearly defined, but we would recommend than an employer who wants to test and discipline for THC have a clear written policy to that effect, which is distributed to all employees upon hire and kept in the employee handbook, if one exists. If employers will be conducting pre-employment testing and disqualifying applicants because of a positive THC result, we would recommend that they make that practice clear in the job posting.

Tips Must be Paid Within 13 Days
Illinois amended its Wage Payment and Collection Act to explicitly state that tips are the property of the employee and may not be kept by the employer. This amendment is already federal law, so it should not impact employers. For instance, it does not affect an employer’s ability to take a lawful tip credit, nor does it prohibit proper tip pooling. The amendment does, however, specify that tips must be paid within 13 days of the end of the pay period during which they were earned.

Single-User Bathrooms Must Have Gender-Neutral Signage
Illinois now requires that every single-occupancy restroom in a place of public accommodation or a public building be identified with signage as a gender-neutral or all-gender restroom.

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements
Beginning in 2020, each employee in Illinois must complete, at least annually, a sexual harassment prevention training program. New employees must complete their initial training within 30 days of hire. The training must include, at a minimum, the following:

  1. Explanations of sexual harassment under Illinois law, including examples;
  2. A summary of applicable laws on sexual harassment and remedies available;
  3. A summary of employers’ obligations to prevent, investigate, and remediate incidents of workplace sexual harassment.

Restaurants and bars must include industry specific examples and an explanation of manager liability in their training, and make it available in both English and Spanish. Restaurants and bars also have a new policy requirement: employees must receive a copy of the company’s sexual harassment policy, both in English and Spanish, within their first week, and the policy should tell them how to report harassment to the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Illinois Human Rights Commission will create compliant trainings and policies and make them available to employers on their website; we don’t yet know when these will be available.

Source: Gusto

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