Illinois Employment Law Update – August 2016

Illinois

Employee Sick Leave Act

On August 19, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Employee Sick Leave Act (H.B. 6162). The act provides that employees may use personal sick leave benefits provided by the employer for absences due to an illness, injury, or medical appointment of the employee’s child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent, for reasonable periods of time as the employee’s attendance may be necessary, on the same terms upon which the employee is able to use sick leave benefits for the employee’s own illness or injury.

Personal sick leave benefits means time accrued and available to an employee to be used as a result of absence from work due to personal illness, injury, or medical appointment, but does not include absences from work for which compensation is provided through an employer’s plan.

An employer may limit the use of personal sick leave benefits provided by the employer for absences due to an illness, injury, or medical appointment of the employee’s child, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent to an amount not less than the personal sick leave that would be accrued during six months at the employee’s then current rate of entitlement.

An employer who has a paid time off policy that would otherwise provide benefits as required above is not required to modify such policy.

The law goes into effect on January 1, 2017.

Read IL H.B. 6162

Freedom to Work Act

On August 19, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Freedom to Work Act (S.B. 3163). The bill prohibits private employers from entering into noncompete agreements with low-wage employees. Low-wage employee means an employee who earns the greater of the hourly rate equal to the minimum wage required by the applicable federal, state, or local minimum wage law, or $13 per hour.

The law goes into effect on January 1, 2017.

Read IL S.B. 3163

Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights

On August 12, 2016 Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights Act (H.B. 1288). The bill amends the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Minimum Wage Law, the Wages of Women and Minors Act, and the One Day Rest in Seven Act to include domestic workers.

The law goes into effect on January 1, 2017.

Read IL H.B. 1288

Wage Payment and Collection Act – Aggrieved Employees

On August 10, 2016 Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation (H.B. 3554) amending the state’s Wage Payment and Collection Act. The bill provides that, upon the recovery of unpaid wages, wage supplements, or final compensation from an employer that has violated the Wage Payment and Collection Act, the Department of Labor must conduct a good faith search to find the aggrieved employee. If, after conducting a good faith search, the department is unable to find the aggrieved employee, the department must deposit the amount recovered into the Department of Labor Special State Trust Fund.

An aggrieved employee may make a request to the department in order to recover unpaid wages, wage supplements, or final compensation that has been deposited into the Department of Labor Special State Trust Fund. The department may not require the employee to present a Social Security number or proof of United States citizenship. For the purpose of paying claims under this section from the Department of Labor Special State Trust Fund to aggrieved employees, the comptroller must assign a vendor payment number to the department. When an aggrieved employee makes a valid request for payment to the department, the department will use the vendor payment number to process payment on behalf of the aggrieved employee.

The law goes into effect on January 1, 2017.

Read IL H.B. 3554