Monday, January 13, 2020

More New Laws for 2020

Last week we identified new laws affecting employers, including public employers, for 2020. Below are additional new laws impacting the employment relationship effective January 1st:

Organ Donor Protections (PA 101-0179): Prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee for requesting or obtaining a leave of absence to donate blood, an organ, or bone marrow.

Use of Arrest Record (PA 101-0565): Amends the Human Rights Act. Clarifies the definition of arrest record to include an arrest not leading to a conviction; a juvenile record; or expunged, sealed or impounded criminal record history. Employers are prohibited by the Act to use an arrest record as the basis of a hiring decision for employment purposes.

Graduate Students (PA 101-0380): Amends the Illinois Education Labor Relations Act. Redefines graduate students as educational employees if their role includes performing pre-professional duties such as teaching assistants or research. This allows graduate students to collectively bargain under the IELRA.

Open Meetings Act Training (PA 101-0233): Amends the Act to allow officials to take an Open Meetings Act training course with an organization tasked with representing local governments (primarily the Illinois Municipal League). 

Illinois Police Training Act (PA 101-0215): Amends the Act to include mandatory mental health awareness and response course materials included as part of the minimum in-service training requirements for police officers. The curriculum should consist of materials on job-related stress management techniques, skills for recognizing signs and symptoms of work-related cumulative stress, recognition of other issues that may lead to officer suicide, solutions for intervention, and a presentation on available peer support resources.

Payment of Gratuity (PA 101-0509): Amends the Wage Payment and Collection Act to include all money considered gratuity and tips to be wholly owned by employees. An employer's retention of gratuities is an underpayment of wages in violation of the Act.

Workers' Compensation Coverage Enforcement Amendment (PA 101-0040): The amendment speeds up the enforcement process of workers' compensation violations. Applicable employers will face a penalty of $10,000 (originally $2,500) if an investigator determines the employer does not have adequate workers' compensation insurance.