Illinois Employment Law Alerts: August 2019

Illinois was subject to two employment law changes in August 2019. The first law change is in regards to the Equal Pay Act and includes the Salary History Ban, mirroring New York’s law change a few days prior. 

The second law alert is in regards to Healthcare Workers Background Check Act Work Force Intermediaries and Organizations providing pro bono legal services..

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IL Employment Law Alert 1: Equal Pay Act & Salary History Ban

On July 31, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation amending the state’s Equal Pay Act (IL H.B. 834) where a wage differential is permitted based on any factor other than one that would be unlawful discrimination under the Illinois Human Rights Act

However, this factor:

  • May not be based on or derived from a differential in compensation based on sex or another protected characteristic;
  • Must be job-related with respect to the position and consistent with a business necessity; and
  • Must account for the differential.

The law also makes it unlawful for employers to:

  • Require that employees sign a contract or waiver prohibiting discussion or disclosure of their wages, including information about their salary, benefits, or other compensation. Employers may prohibit certain employees from disclosing information about other employees without prior written consent from the employee whose information is sought or requested.
  • Screen applicants based on their current or prior wages or salary histories, including benefits or other compensation, by requiring that the wage or salary history of an applicant satisfy minimum or maximum criteria.
  • Request or require a wage or salary history as a condition of being considered for employment, as a condition of being interviewed, as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment, or as a condition of an offer of employment or an offer of compensation.
  • Request or require that an applicant disclose wage or salary history as a condition of employment.
  • Seek the wage or salary history, including benefits or other compensation, of an applicant from any current or former employer, unless:
    • The applicant’s wage or salary history is a matter of public record; or
    • The applicant is a current employee and is applying for a position with the current employer.

The law permits employers to provide information about the wages, benefits, compensation, or salary offered in relation to a position and engage in discussions with an applicant about wage or salary, benefits, and other compensation expectations. Additionally, an employer is not in violation of the law and its protections if an applicant voluntarily and without prompting discloses his or her current or prior wage or salary history, including benefits or other compensation, on the condition that the employer does not consider or rely on the voluntary disclosure as a factor in determining whether to extend a job offer, in making a compensation offer, or in determining future wages, salary, benefits, or other compensation.

The law is effective August 29, 2019.

Read IL H.B. 834

IL Employment Law Alert 2: Healthcare Worker Background Check Act and Workforce Intermediaries

On July 31, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation (S.B. 1965) permitting workforce intermediaries and organizations providing pro bono legal services to initiate a fingerprint-based criminal history record check if a conditional offer of employment has not been made and a background check has not been previously conducted for an individual who has a disqualifying conviction and is receiving services from such organizations.

Workforce Intermediaries are organizations that function to provide job training and employment services and include institutions of higher education, faith-based and community organizations, and workforce investment boards. 

Organizations providing pro bono legal services are those providing legal services at no cost or at a significantly reduced cost to the recipient. These services are designed to help individuals overcome statutory barriers that would prevent them from entering positions in the healthcare industry.

The law took effect July 31, 2019.

Read IL S.B. 1965

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