The Honorable J.B. Pritzker has been very busy in enacting sweeping changes to the Employment Law Landscape through the passage of various pieces of legislation in the State of Illinois. These legislative changes have modified the Illinois Human Rights Act and the Illinois Victim Economic Security and Safety Act and created the new Workplace Transparency Act, which has imposed new reporting, training and contracting requirements as well as expanding the potential legal liability of employers. As well, Amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act have raised issues with regard to the hiring process and the Organ Donor and School Activity Leave has added to the Changing Landscape.
The Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") is the agency that administers the Illinois Human Rights Act ("IHRA"), the state law that outlaws discrimination, harassment and retaliation by most employers in Illinois. The IDHR's federal counterpart is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), which administers the federal laws preventing the same type of violations.
On June 8, 2018 and August 24, 2018 respectively, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law a number of amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act which in the State of Illinois regulates discrimination claims due to a protected category, disability or sexual harassment claims.
It is time to put up two new posters in the workplace if you are an Illinois employer.
Good news for Illinois employers!
While the liability of employers in the State of Illinois has been expanded substantially by recent amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act and the recent decision of the US District Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in the Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (Case No. 15-1720), which was a landmark decision holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, there have been few, if any, cases in which Illinois employers have had to bear the responsibility for the criminal conduct of their employees. Unfortunately, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently issued a decision (March 24, 2017) in the Case of Sherry Anicich v. Home Depot USA, Inc.; Grand Service, LLC and Grand Flower Growers, Inc. (Case No. 16-1693). The Federal Court, acting and applying Illinois law, found that the joint employers were liable for the criminal acts of a supervisor (Brian Cooper - Regional Manager) in his rape and murder of Alisha Bromfield.
On August 26, 2014, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law House Bill 8 (HB8) that amends the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) by placing "new obligations on employers" with regard to their pregnant employees. While the law will not take effect until January 1, 2015, employers should be cognizant of the new obligations imposed upon them.