After a two and one-half year span of time covering two (2) administrations and pitting business interests against those of labor, the City of Chicago on July 24, 2019 passed the Fair Workweek Ordinance. This legislation will require companies in the covered industries to give all of their covered workers ten (10) calendar days of Notice of Work Schedules beginning July 1, 2020 and fourteen (14) calendar days as of July 1, 2022.
On May 31, 2019, the State of Illinois approved House Bill 1438 which created the "Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act". This Bill was signed, with a lot of "fanfare and publicity," by Governor Pritzker on June 24, 2019. The Act provides that, effective January 1, 2020, Illinois Residents who are 21 years of age or older may legally possess up to thirty (30) grams of cannabis flower; no more than 500 milligrams of THC contained in cannabis infused products and five (5) grams of cannabis concentrate. Non-Illinois residents will be able to legally possess fifteen (15) grams of cannabis flower; no more than 250 milligrams of THC and cannabis-infused products and 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate (i.e., one-half of that Illinois available residents). Any and all permitted cannabis purchases must be made from licensed cannabis dispensaries. Obviously, the House Bill also provided substantial tax incentives to be taken on the above purchases and, in the opinion of the author, that is the major or principal reason that this legislation has been passed.
It is time to put up two new posters in the workplace if you are an Illinois employer.
As of October 31, 2018, the Chicago City Council unanimously approved the formation of the Office for Labor Standards (OLS). The OLS has been created to provide more rigorous enforcement of the City of Chicago Employment Ordinances and to promote investigation into alleged violations. This Law will come into effect as of January 1, 2019.
The Illinois House of Representatives and Illinois Senate recently voted to override outgoing Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of proposed changes to the Illinois Equal Pay Act. This means that Employers in the State of Illinois, effective January 1, 2019, will be required to comply with a new set of Pay Equity obligations.
In 2001, specifically July 12, 2001, the State of Illinois put in place legislation dealing with Nursing Mothers in the Workplace (820 ILCS 260/1, et seq.). This legislation required Employers, who had six (6) or more employees, to allow nursing mothers "reasonable unpaid break time each day" to express breast milk for their infant children. The Law also required that to provide this opportunity for nursing mothers, the Employer had to make "reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where the employee could express her milk in privacy." (820 ILCS 260/15)
Some Illinois employers may have neutral absenteeism policies that "administratively terminate" any employee who has failed to return to work from a medical leave of absence after a stated period of time such as one year or some other period of time set by the company.
It Depends On What State You Are In!!
Over my rather lengthy career as a Management-Oriented Labor/Employment Lawyer (started November 6, 1972 with the Walgreen Company), I have seen a drastic and very unfortunate change in the Employer-Employee relationship. Over the last ten (10) years, there has been an over 500% increase in Employee Litigation. You do not need a Lawyer to tell you that Employment Litigation is expensive, both in the financial commitment and the time-productivity loss commitment. Here are a few of my suggestions for trying to eliminate or limit Employee Litigation:
"The importance of documentation" is an axiomatic, and almost trite, battle cry that human resource professionals constantly beat into the psyches of their supervisors - quite often to no avail. But what, really, is "documentation?" When do you do it? How do you do it? And, what, exactly, are you supposed to document? More importantly, have you ever conveyed this information to your supervisors?