Recent Amendments Place New Requirements Upon Illinois Employers

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Professionals

Recent amendments to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (“IWPCA”) and Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”) expanded employee rights and placed new requirements upon employers.

Under the IWPCA, employers are required to reimburse employees for all necessary costs incurred in connection with their employment or face potential liability.  Employers may craft written reimbursement policies that set forth limits on recoverable expenses and requirements employees must comply with in order to receive reimbursement.

Under the IHRA, first, employees now have up to 300 days (increased from 180 days) to file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR”).  This comports with the federal 300 day requirement within which to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Second, employees may now opt out of the IDHR’s investigative process and request a right to sue letter in order to proceed directly to court (bypassing the administrative process).

Third, the Act’s notice provision, requiring employers to post notices about the right to be free from discrimination, was updated to include mandatory posted notice about the right to be free from sexual harassment.  Further, the content of such notice must also be contained in an employer’s employee handbook (where one exists).

A new year is an opportune time to have a company employee handbook reviewed to make sure it is fully compliant, including necessary updates to reflect new laws, and to protect the company against potential liability exposure.  Please contact Rachel Yarch (312-840-7029, ryarch@burkelaw.com)  or Alex Marks (312-840-7022, amarks@burkelaw.com) for assistance.

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