Whereas employers had been busy determining adjust to the patchwork of legal guidelines stemming from the continuing pandemic, the state of Illinois handed various new and amended legal guidelines impacting Illinois workplaces. Because the yr involves a detailed, it’s vital for Illinois employers to grow to be well-versed in these new legal guidelines, in addition to guarantee their compliance with current annual necessities.
Modifications to Legal guidelines Surrounding the Use of Restrictive Covenant Agreements
On August 13, 2021, Governor Pritzker signed into regulation an modification to the Illinois Freedom to Work Act. Per the prolonged model of the Act, starting January 1, 2022, employers shall be prohibited from getting into into non-competition agreements with Illinois-based workers who earn lower than $75,000 a yr, with this wage threshold growing by $5,000 each 5 years. Moreover, employers shall be prohibited from getting into into non-solicitation covenants with Illinois-based workers who earn lower than $45,000 a yr, with this wage threshold set to extend by $2,500 each 5 years.
Moreover, the modification codified that to ensure that these restrictive covenant agreements to be enforceable, there have to be “satisfactory consideration,” which requires that: (i) the worker have labored for the employer for a minimum of two years, or (ii) the employer in any other case gives “satisfactory” consideration, separate from continued employment, to render a non-competition or non-solicitation settlement enforceable. Extra details about this modification might be present in our June 2021 client alert.
Restrictions on the Use of Synthetic Intelligence in Worker Interviews
As of January 1, 2020, the Synthetic Intelligence Video Interview Act has regulated the usage of synthetic intelligence (“AI”) in interviews for Illinois-based positions by requiring employers to: (i) notify candidates previous to their interview that AI could also be used to investigate their video interview and take into account their health for the place; (ii) present every applicant with data explaining how the relevant AI works and evaluates candidates; and (iii) receive consent from the applicant to be evaluated by the AI, previous to the interview. Nevertheless, starting January 1, 2022, the Act may also require some employers to gather and report demographic information to the Division of Commerce and Financial Alternative (“DCEO”) on an annual foundation. Extra particularly, if an employer depends solely on an AI evaluation to find out whether or not an applicant shall be chosen for an in-person interview, then the employer should gather: (i) the race and ethnicity of candidates who’re and usually are not given an in-person interview after the usage of AI evaluation; and (ii) the race and ethnicity of these candidates who’re finally employed. Starting as of December 31, 2022, and persevering with every calendar yr thereafter, coated employers should report this information, collected in the course of the 12-month interval ending on November 30th, to the DCEO.
Restrictions on the Use of Felony Conviction Information
On March 23, 2021, the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”) was amended to make it a civil rights violation for an employer to make use of a conviction document as a foundation to refuse to rent, or in any other case act with respect to recruitment, promotion, and affordance of different phrases, situations and privileges of employment except: (i) there’s a substantial relationship between the conviction and the place sought; or (ii) granting or persevering with employment would contain an unreasonable danger to property or the protection or welfare of particular people or most of the people. Whereas employers have needed to adjust to discover necessities set forth by the Honest Credit score Reporting Act previous to taking hostile motion primarily based on the outcomes of a background test, the amendments to the IHRA impose heightened obligations on Illinois employers.
Particularly, prior to creating a remaining employment determination, employers are required to conduct a multi-step evaluation of the person’s legal conviction historical past as weighed towards the job in query. In making this dedication, employers should take into account the next six elements: (1) the size of time for the reason that conviction; (2) the variety of convictions that seem on the conviction document; (3) the character and severity of the conviction and its relationship to the protection and safety of others; (4) the details or circumstances surrounding the conviction; (5) the age of the worker on the time of the conviction; and (6) proof of rehabilitation efforts.
If, after contemplating the above elements, the employer makes a preliminary determination that the person’s conviction document disqualifies them from the place, the employer should notify the worker of its preliminary determination, in writing, and supply the person with a minimum of 5 (5) enterprise days to reply earlier than making a remaining determination. In making its remaining determination, the employer should take into account any proof submitted by the worker and, if an hostile dedication is made, the employer should notify the person, in writing, of the next: the rationale underlying the choice, any current procedures the person has to problem the choice; and the suitable to file a cost of discrimination with the Illinois Division of Human Rights.
Demographic Info and Equal Pay Reporting Requirement
The Illinois Enterprise Company Act has been amended to require sure firms to report data regarding worker demographics to the State of Illinois. Particularly, starting January 1, 2023, Illinois firms that are also required to file an EEO-1 report with the Equal Employment Alternative Fee (i.e., employers with 100 or extra workers nationally and employers with 50 or extra workers nationally and a authorities contract value a minimum of $50,000) shall be required to incorporate of their annual Illinois report “data that’s considerably much like the employment information reported underneath Part D of the company’s EEO-1 in a format accepted by the Secretary of State.” The Secretary of State will then compile the knowledge submitted by employers and publish on its web site a report containing information on the gender, race, and ethnicity of every company’s workers, which shall be accessible to most of the people.
As well as, all employers with 100 or extra workers in Illinois shall be required to use for an “equal pay registration certificates” from the Illinois Division of Labor (“IDOL”) between March 24, 2022 and March 24, 2024. The precise deadline for every employer to file such an utility will fall inside this window and shall be assigned by the IDOL, at its discretion.
To use for this certificates, employers might want to present: (1) a $150 submitting payment; (2) a duplicate of the employer’s most lately filed EEO-1 report; (3) an inventory of the whole wages paid to every worker in the course of the earlier calendar yr, damaged down by workers’ gender, race, and ethnicity; (4) particulars concerning the county through which every worker works and the worker’s begin date; and (5) another data the Division deems mandatory to find out if pay fairness exists amongst workers. Moreover, employers shall be required to reveal the strategy the employer takes in figuring out the extent of wages and advantages paid to workers, and certify that the typical compensation paid to feminine and minority workers was not constantly beneath the typical compensation paid to male and non-minority workers in comparable positions. Inside 45 calendar days of receipt of this data, the Director of the IDOL will difficulty an equal pay registration certificates, or a press release explaining why the applying was rejected. If rejected, candidates could have 30 calendar days to remedy any deficiencies and resubmit their utility previous to incurring any penalties.
Annual Harassment Coaching Requirement
Lastly, pursuant to the Illinois Office Transparency Act, all Illinois employers should present annual coaching to workers in regards to the prevention of office sexual harassment, to be accomplished no later than December 31st of every calendar yr. As detailed within the Act, the coaching should, at a minimal, comprise the next components: (1) a proof of sexual harassment according to the definition offered by the Illinois Human Rights Act; (2) examples of conduct that constitutes illegal sexual harassment; (3) a abstract of related federal and State statutory provisions regarding sexual harassment, together with cures accessible to victims of sexual harassment; and (4) a abstract of employers’ duties to stop, examine, and take corrective measures towards sexual harassment within the office. Extra content material is required for employers within the restaurant and bar industries.
Employers should implement coaching and use coaching supplies assembly the necessities proscribed by the Illinois Division of Human Rights.
Illinois employers ought to instantly evaluate their current agreements and office insurance policies, and full annual harassment coaching to make sure compliance with relevant Illinois regulation.