New Year, New Laws: Legal Changes on the Horizon in Illinois

New Year, New Laws: Legal Changes on the Horizon in Illinois

With the new year upon us, so too are many new laws in the State of Illinois. Below is a summary of the new laws slated to go into effect January 1, 2023. Both employers and employees will want to ensure they are familiar with these new changes.

Minimum wage

The minimum wage in Illinois is scheduled to increase to $13 per hour and $7.80 for tipped employees on January 1, 2023.  

In Cook County, the minimum wage will be $13.35 (which was effective as of July 1, 2022) and $7.80 for tipped workers. More information on Cook County’s wage regulations can be found here.

In the City of Chicago, the minimum wage is $15.40 per hour for employers who have 21 or more employees and $9.24 per hour for tipped employees (which was effective as of July 1, 2022). For employers with more than 3 but fewer than 21 employees, and for domestic workers, the minimum wage is $14.50 per hour, and $8.70 per hour for tipped employees, such as restaurant servers. More information on Chicago’s wage regulations can be found here.

The Family Bereavement Leave Act

The Family Bereavement Leave Act (“FBLA”) increases the availability of unpaid bereavement leave for employees of employers with 50 or more employees. The FBLA provides for bereavement leave for the death of a “covered family member,” which now includes an employee’s child, stepchild, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or step-parent. 

The FBLA also provides that employees are entitled to this leave due to (i) a miscarriage; (ii) an unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination or of an assisted reproductive technology procedure (such as in vitro fertilization); (iii) a failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it is contested by another party; (iv) a failed surrogacy agreement; (v) a diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility; or (vi) a stillbirth. 

Illinois employees are entitled to use a maximum of two weeks (10 work days) of unpaid bereavement leave under this Act. 

The CROWN Act

The Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act, also known as the CROWN Act, is an amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act which expands the definition of “race” to include traits associated with race, including but not limited to hair texture and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists. This law effectively bans discrimination on the basis of someone’s hair texture or hairstyle. Read more about it here

New IDOL Reporting Requirements

Private businesses with 100 or more employees in Illinois that are required to file an EEO-1 report with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) must also file a report with the Illinois Department of Labor (“IDOL”). The report must contain information regarding employee payroll and diversity, including new pay data reporting and certification requirements.

New Illinois Secretary of State Reporting 

Covered Illinois employers will need to include gender, race, and ethnicity employment data in their annual corporate reports filed with the Illinois Secretary of State. This data is similar to the information contained in Section D of the EEO-1 document filed with the EEOC (see above).

The Secretary of State will publish the data of each corporation’s employees on its official website within 90 days of receipt of a properly filed annual report.

One Day Rest in Seven Act (ODRISA)

Illinois employers must provide at least one meal break of 20 minutes within the first 5 hours of employment for an employee schedule to work 7 ½ continuous hours. Under recent amendments to the One Day Rest in Seven Act (the “ODRISA”), employers must now also provide an additional 20-minute meal break for every additional 4 ½ continuous hours worked.

Further, the legislature clarified that employees must receive 24 hours of rest in a consecutive seven-day period, versus the prior requirement which was 24 hours of rest in a calendar week. 

The ODRISA amendment also imposes greater penalties upon non-complying employers. Beginning in January, non-compliant employers will be subject to a civil penalty of up to $500 per offense. You can read more about ODRISA modifications here.

Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program

Illinois employers who do not offer their own retirements programs, such as a Section 401(k) or 403(b) program, must enroll in the state’s Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program. Employers with 25 or more employees were required to register by November 1, 2021. Under the new rules, employers with 16-24 employees had until November 1, 2022 to register and enroll their employees, and employers with 5-15 employees have until November 1, 2023. Employers who fail to take these steps could face fines of $250 to $500 per employee.

Given the number of changes, employers would be wise to review their employment handbooks and policies to ensure compliance. If you have questions or require assistance in reviewing your policies, please contact The Prinz Law Firm.  

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