There is a lot of confusion among employers about what is legally required in Illinois regarding vacation pay for company employees. The following are some commonly asked questions:
An employee handbook provides communication between employer and employee. It sets forth the requirements for employees and notifies them what they can expect from your Company as to legal obligations along with employee rights. Also, a written Equal Employment Opportunity statement gives protection to employers.
The Department of Labor recently issued a final rule providing that, as of September 1, 2018, more employers will be able to participate in Association Health Plans ("AHPs"), meaning a group health plan established by multiple employers that come together to purchase a plan. Prior to issuance of the final rule, employers could only come together if they had a narrowly-defined "commonality of interest"; the new rule provides several additional ways this "commonality of interest" can be met:
To the concern of many employers, on July 1, 2017 two new ordinances went into effect in the City of Chicago and Cook County. Employers are upset to learn that they are now required to give employees paid sick days. These ordinances can be confusing; below is a synopsis of the requirements of these two new laws to guide your Company.
In 2016, both Minneapolis and St. Paul passed city ordinances requiring private employers to provide their employees with paid sick time / safe time. These ordinances, despite opposition in the courts and in the legislature, go into effect on July 1, 2017. Many employers already provide their employees with paid time off; however, it is wrong to assume that more generous leave policys automatically satisfy these ordinances. Unfortunately, the majority of existing leave policies require modifications to fully comply with these new laws. Some of the more common areas that we have been addressing with clients, include:
Minnesota statutes section 181.9413 permits employees to use "personal sick leave benefits" provided by their employers, for absences due to their child's illness or injury. In essence, then, state law "rewrites" employer sick leave benefits which, not surprisingly, typically require that the employee must be sick to use the benefit. The statute permits employees to receive paid sick leave when the employee is not sick, but is absent from work to care for a sick or injured child. As a result, Minnesota law allows employees to use sick leave for purposes not intended by their employers when providing such benefits. However, when the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) attempted to apply this statute to unlimited sick leave benefits provided for in a collective bargaining agreement between AT&T and a union representing some of its employees - the Communication Workers of America (CWA) - a federal judge ruled that Section 181.9413 is preempted by federal labor law. Holding that the Labor Management Relations Act preempted state law in this instance, the court permanently enjoined DOLI from bringing, or even investigating, claims against AT&T under Minnesota's sick leave statute on behalf of employees covered by the union contract.
Today, many employees face the dilemma of how to take time off from work to care for an ill family member and still be paid. Before this law, employees had to say they were sick (when they were not) in order to be off work to care for their family and still be paid. Or, the employee would have to rely on a compassionate employer who would allow the employee to use their personal sick days in this situation. Now, it will be mandated by law that paid personal sick days of the employee can be used for the illness of a family member. In August, 2016, Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Employee Sick Leave Act, effective January 1, 2017.