New Illinois Laws in Effect

Below is a short summary of new Illinois laws that took effect on July 1, 2020.

Wage Increases:

Beginning July 1, 2020, the Illinois Minimum Wage increased to $10 per hour and will increase by $1 per hour on each January 1 date thereafter until the state minimum wage reaches $15 per hour on January 1, 2025. Additionally, the Chicago Minimum Wage increased to $14 per hour, and the Cook County Minimum Wage increased to $13 per hour—this does not apply to employees who work in a municipality that has opted out of the Cook County minimum wage ordinance. Two important notes: (1) the City minimum wage increase does not apply to County workers and state workers; and (2) the County minimum wage does not apply to State workers.

Fair Workweek Ordinance:

Chicago’s Fair Workweek Ordinance went into effect on July 1, and it requires covered employers to provide covered employees with notice of their work schedule at least ten days in advance. Schedule changes occurring after the ten-day period will require employers to provide “predictability pay” to the impacted employee, which is an extra hour at their regular pay rate. The Ordinance applies to the following industries: (1) building services; (2) health care; (3) hotels; (4) manufacturing; (5) restaurants; (6) retail; and (7) warehouse services. The Ordinance covers employers in the listed industries that have at least 100 employees globally, as long as the employer has at least 50 covered employees. These covered employees generally include: those who earn less than $26 per hour or $50,000 annually, perform the majority of their work in the City of Chicago, and perform most of their work in one of the listed covered industries.

Emergency Travel Order:

Mayor Lightfoot issued an Emergency Travel Order effective July 6, 2020.  The Order requires individuals entering or returning to Chicago from states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact with one of the enumerated states. Individuals traveling from the following states will be required to quarantine upon arrival in Chicago: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. The list of states will be reviewed and amended every Tuesday, beginning July 14, 2020. Individuals found in violation of the Order are subject to fines of $100-$500 per day, up to $7,000. The Order will be in effect until further notice.

Amended Definition of “Employer”:

An amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”) has expanded the definition of “employer” to include business with one or more employees. Previously, the IHRA defined “employer” as a business with at least 15 or more employees. The new definition of “employer” means that small businesses in Illinois may be subject to race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and age discrimination claims and other claims that previously could only be brought against employers with 15 or more employees. Additionally, larger, multi-state businesses that employ one or more Illinois workers are now also Illinois employers under the IHRA. The amended definition went into effect July 1, 2020.

Mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention Training:

Beginning in 2020, the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”) requires Illinois employers to provide annual sexual harassment prevention training to all employees by December 31, 2020 and annually thereafter. Employers may develop their own sexual harassment prevention training program that equals or exceeds the minimum standards for sexual harassment prevention training outlined in Section 2-109(B) and/or Section 2-110(C) of the IHRA. All employees who work or will work in Illinois must be given this training annually regardless of their status (e.g., full-time, part-time, intern, etc.).