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Illinois’ 2022 Employment Law Changes

March 1, 2022

by Julieta Kosiba

Several statutory changes affecting Illinois employers went into effect at the beginning of this year. These changes include these updates and amendments:

Illinois Equal Pay Act of 2003

As all Illinois employers should know by now, Illinois’ Equal Pay Act was amended in 2019 to prohibit employers from requesting applicants’ wage or salary histories or from otherwise requiring applicants to disclose such information. 820 ILCS 112/10(b-5). However, that prohibition does not prevent employers from giving applicants information about wages, benefits, compensation, or salary for a position. It also does not prohibit employers from discussing applicants’ compensation expectations. Id. § 112/10(b-15).

According to an amendment that went into effect this year, discussions about compensation expectations may include expectations regarding unvested equity or deferred compensation that applicants will lose if they resign. Id. If applicants voluntarily and without prompting disclose that they would lose unvested equity or deferred compensation upon resignation with their current employers, an employer may then request that the applicants verify the aggregate amount of such compensation. Id.

Additionally, in 2021, the Act was amended to require employers to obtain equal pay registration certificates from the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL). This requirement applies to employers that: (1) are required to file an Annual Employer Information Report EEO-1 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and (2) have more than 100 employees in Illinois.

Applications are scheduled to begin as early as March 24, 2022, for businesses authorized to transact business in Illinois as of March 23, 2021. Newer businesses must submit applications within three years of starting business operations (but not before January 1, 2024). All affected businesses are required to be recertified every two years. 820 ILCS 112/11.

In a recent press release, IDOL indicated it would communicate directly with affected businesses about when it’s time for them to register. It also stated that businesses would receive at least 120 days’ advance notice. Although IDOL has already begun sending notices to employers about registration, it warned that some businesses may not receive their assigned registration date for more than a year.

IDOL posted a registration certificate template on its website and stated it will also publish training on how to be compliant. Equal Pay Act of 2003, Ill. Dep’t of Labor (last visited Feb. 15, 2022); Michael D. Kleinik, Equal Pay Act Reporting Requirements Begins March 24th for Large Illinois Businesses, Ill. Dep’t of Labor News, Jan. 25, 2022.

Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act

This Act provides unpaid leave to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, or gender violence as well as to employees who have a family or household member who has been a victim of such violence. As of January 1, 2022, the Act also covers victims of crimes of violence identified in the Act. The recent amendment included several other notable changes.

  • The definition of a “family or household member” has been expanded to include parties to civil unions, persons related by a civil union, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and individuals whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship as determined by the employee. References to “son” or “daughter” have been changed to “child.”
  • “Sexual violence” has been defined as “sexual assault.”
  • A limitation has been added for the provision that allows employers to require certification that the employee or the employee’s family/household member is a victim and that the requested leave is for one of the purposes enumerated in the Act. The Act now specifies that the employee may choose which of the listed documents to submit for certification. In addition, under the amendment, an employer may not request or require more than one document be submitted during the same 12–month period of leave if the reason for the leave is related to the same incident(s) of violence or the same perpetrator(s).
  • A similar limitation has been added to the provision that allows employers to require certification for employees that claim they’re unable to return to work. The amendment states that the employee may choose which listed document to submit and that the employer may not request or require more than one document be submitted.
  • A provision was added for confidentiality relating to requests for accommodation.

820 ILCS 180/10, 20, 30.

Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act

Reporting requirements were added to the Act for employers that use video-recorded interviews. As of January 1, 2022, any employer that relies solely upon artificial intelligence analysis of a video interview to determine whether an applicant will be selected for an in-person interview must collect and report the race and ethnicity of both: (1) applicants denied an in-person interview after the use of such an analysis, and (2) those who were hired. 820 ILCS 42/20. This information must be collected for the 12-month period preceding the report and must be reported annually to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity by December 31. Id.

Lodging Services Human Trafficking Recognition Training Act

 This 2019 Act requires hotels and motels to train their employees on how to recognize and report human trafficking. An amendment, that became effective January 1, 2022, now requires restaurants and truck stops to also provide such training. 820 ILCS 95/10. The amendment defines restaurants as businesses that are “primarily engaged in the sale of ready-to-eat food for immediate consumption comprising at least 51% of the total sales, excluding the sale of liquor.” Id. § 95/5. It defines truck stops as establishments that provide services to the trucking industry, such as selling fuel and food, providing showers, offering repair services, or offering ample room where drivers of long-haul trucks can park and rest. Id.

Illinois Freedom to Work Act

This Act, which was amended in 2021, places limitations on the use of restrictive covenants. A separate blog post on these changes can be read here.

The attorneys in our Employment & Labor Law team can help you stay up to date with these and other employment and labor law issues.

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