Naperville Business Law Attorney Discusses Important Employment Law Changes Taking Effect in 2020

new laws, Naperville business law attorneysAs the old saying goes, “nothing is constant except change.” There are more than 250 Illinois law changes and new laws that will take effect on January 1, 2020. Several of these changes will directly affect business owners and employers so it is important to make sure you are up to speed and ready to implement any changes necessary to avoid violating these laws. As a business law attorney, I am prepared to help you learn about the legislative changes taking effect in Illinois and how you can stay compliant with the new laws.

Workplace Transparency Act

The Workplace Transparency Act applies to employees, contractors, consultants, and other individuals performing services for an employer. According to this measure, an employer cannot unilaterally require arbitration of a claim resulting from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laws or the Illinois Department of Human Rights. This includes claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Equal Pay Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers are prohibited from requiring employees to abide by an agreement that prevents them from making factual statements or disclosures about EEOC laws violations. For example, employers may not use a confidentiality clause to prohibit employees from reporting EEOC violations. Agreements regarding mutual conditions of employment and certain employee termination agreements are allowed but must meet the required criteria.

Changes to the Illinois Human Rights Act

Starting in 2020, the Illinois Human Rights Act will:

  • Protect against harassment or discrimination of the basis of an individual’s perceived status
  • Protect non-employees, such as contractors
  • Apply to remote or online work environments
  • Require Illinois employers to establish once-a-year training for an anti-sexual harassment program

The intention of this update is to ensure that more workers are protected and to keep workers safer while on the job.

The Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act

Casino and hospitality industry employers will be required to make several changes in order to help keep these vulnerable workers safe. These include equipping employees with devices they can use to get help if they are a victim of a crime, experiencing sexual harassment, or are witness to these events. Employers must also explicitly inform employees about the laws protecting them against sexual harassment and discrimination located in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act. Finally, employers must make certain accommodations for employees who have been sexually harassed by a guest. This includes separating the guest from the employee, allowing the employee paid time off to attend legal proceedings, and offering the employee an alternative temporary work assignment.

Contact a Naperville Employment Law Attorney

Illinois employers should make sure to update arbitration and employment agreements, separation agreements, and employee handbooks and trainings so that they are in compliance with the new laws. For help maintaining compliance with these and other employment laws, contact the Gierach Law Firm. Call us at 630-756-1160 to set up a confidential consultation with a highly experienced DuPage County business law attorney today.


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