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New state laws that Illinois employers should know about

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UrlSPRINGFIELD – Several laws affecting employers will go into affect January 1, 2016, the state of Illinois reminded with notices posted Thursday:

Public Act 99-0418 (HB3619) – Equal Pay Cover All Employers

Summary: Expands the Equal Pay Act to cover all employers, currently more than 3.   The Act currently makes it illegal for employers of 4 or more employees to discriminate based on gender when it comes to wages paid for substantially similar work.  It outlined certain exceptions that include seniority, merit system or a system that measures quality or quantity.

Changes the penalties and creates tiers based on employer size.  An employer with fewer than 4 employees: first offense, a fine not to exceed $500; second offense, a fine not to exceed $2,500; third offense, a fine not to exceed $5,000. An employer with 4 or more employees: first offense, a fine not to exceed $2,500; second offense, a fine not to exceed $3,000; third offense, a fine not to exceed $5,000.

Public Act 99-0336 (SB1683) – OSHA-Employment-Federal Change

Summary: The Director of Labor shall adopt such rules as he or she may deem necessary to implement the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, including, but not limited to, rules dealing with the inspection of an employer's establishment.

In making his or her inspection and investigations under this Act, the Director of Labor has the power to require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence under oath.

Public Act 99-0422 (SB1859) – Employment Act-Violations-Private Employment Agency Act

Summary: In provisions concerning employer violations of the Private Employment Agency Act, this measure reorganizes the provisions and provides that, for a first violation by an employer, the Department of Labor shall provide notice of the violation. Provides that, for a second violation by an employer, or if the first violation is not remedied within 10 days of notice of the first violation, the Director of Labor may impose a civil penalty of up to $500 for each referral of an individual for employment accepted from an employment agency not licensed under the Act.

Provides that, for violations after the second violation, the Director may impose a civil penalty of up to $1,500 for each referral of an individual for employment accepted from an employment agency not licensed under the Act. Provides that, if the first violation is not remedied within 30 days of notice by the Department, the Director may impose an additional civil penalty of up to $1,500 for every 30 days that passes thereafter. Deposits all moneys received as fees and penalties under the Act into the Child Labor and Day and Temporary Labor Services Enforcement Fund (rather than the Wage Theft Enforcement Fund).

Public Act 99-0017 (SB38) – Min Wage – Alternate Shift

Summary: Amends the Minimum Wage Act.  Provides that overtime compensation provisions of the Law do not apply to any employee who is a member of a bargaining unit recognized by the Illinois Labor Relations Board and whose union has contractually agreed to an alternate shift schedule as allowed by specified provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.​

Public Act 99-0303 (SB993) – Employee Classification Deadline

Summary: Delays the deadline for filing reports to the State from January 31 to April 30 for any contractor for which either an individual, sole proprietor, or partnership is performing construction services not classified as an employee. 

Public Act 99-0099 (HB2556) – Human Trafficking-Notices

Summary: This bill creates the Human Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act to require liquor stores, adult entertainment facilities, airports, bus stations, rail stations, truck stops, emergency rooms, urgent care centers, farm labor contractors, and privately-operated job recruitment centers to post a notice with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline number in a conspicuous place. IDOT must place notices in rest areas.

The notice must be at least 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches in size, written in a 16-point font, with the following message:

"If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave, whether it is commercial sex, housework, farm work, construction, factory, retail, or restaurant work, or any other activity, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 to access help and services.

Victims of slavery and human trafficking are protected under United States and Illinois law. The hotline is:

  • Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Toll-free.
  • Operated by nonprofit nongovernmental organizations.
  • Anonymous and confidential.
  • Accessible in more than 160 languages.
  • Able to provide help, referral to services, training, and general information.

The notice must be printed in English, Spanish, and in one other language that is the most widely spoken language in the county where the establishment is located and for which translation is mandated by the federal Voting Rights Act.

Within 6 months of the effective date of this Act, the Department of Human Services must develop or adopt a model notice make the model notice available for download on the Department's website.

Businesses who are required to post the notice and fail to do so are liable for a civil penalty of $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

The Department of Labor is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance and must provide a business or establishment out of compliance with reasonable notice of noncompliance and give them 30 days from the date the notice is sent to correct the violation. If it is not corrected, the Attorney General may bring an action to impose a civil penalty.

Public Act 99-0116 (HB3359) – Amusement Ride Safety

Summary: Currently IDOL inspects dry slides that are greater than 20 feet and are operated at a carnival, amusement enterprise, or fair.  This bill removes the 20 foot height requirement and will allow IDOL to inspect all dry slides that are operated by our regulated community. 

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