Labor & Employment Law Legislative Update: New Laws in Effect in 2023
Happy New Year! Several employment laws became effective January 1, 2023, and our team at Franczek P.C. has compiled them in its new Labor & Employment Law Legislative Update, focused on new laws in effect in 2023. The new laws that apply to most Illinois employers are summarized below.
For our education clients, additional new labor and employment laws that apply specifically to schools can be found in our School Law Legislative Update.
Workers’ Rights Amendment
In the most recent election, Illinois voters approved Illinois Constitution Amendment 1, which amends the Illinois Constitution to protect collective bargaining rights. Stay tuned for a more comprehensive analysis as to how this Constitutional Amendment may impact Illinois public and private sector employers.
This public act created the Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act (“CROWN Act”), which extends the prohibition on hairstyle discrimination to covered situations under the Illinois Human Rights Act, including employment. Specifically, the CROWN Act expands and clarifies the definition of “race” to include traits associated with race, including but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.
One Day Rest in Seven Act Amendment
This public act amends the One Day Rest in Seven Act (“ODRISA”). The amendment requires employers to provide most employees with at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every consecutive seven-day period. In addition, it requires employers to provide an additional 20-minute meal period for every 4.5 continuous hours worked over an initial 7.5 hours. This is in addition to the previously required 20-minute meal break for employees working 7.5 hours. The public act also requires employers to post a notice summarizing the requirements of ODRISA. Finally, the public act increases the civil penalties for failure to comply with ODRISA. Previously, employers violating ODRISA were guilty of a petty offense and could be fined between $25 and $100. Now, employers violating certain provisions of ODRISA are guilty of a civil offense and will be subject to civil penalties depending on the number of employees. For employers with less than 25 employees, the employer may be subject to a penalty up to $250 per offense to the Department of Labor and damages up to $250 per offense to the employee(s) affected. For employers with more than 25 employees, the employer may be subject to a penalty up to $500 per offense to the Department of Labor and up to $500 per offense to the employee(s) affected.
Minimum Wage Increase
As described in a previous alert, Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1 into law on February 19, 2019, which increases the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 per hour by 2025. Under the law, minimum wage increases occur incrementally until 2025. One of the wage increases went into effect on January 1, 2023, raising the minimum wage from $12 an hour to $13 an hour.
Family Bereavement Leave
This public act amends the Child Bereavement Leave Act, now called the Family Bereavement Leave Act, to extend unpaid bereavement leave to employees experiencing pregnancy loss, ineffective fertility treatment, a diagnosis negatively affecting pregnancy or fertility, as well as unsuccessful adoption or surrogacy plans. Specifically, employers must now provide unpaid leave for several circumstances surrounding loss of a child including a miscarriage, an unsuccessful reproductive assistance procedure, a failed adoption match or contested adoption, a failed surrogacy arrangement, diagnoses negatively impacting pregnancy or fertility, and a stillbirth. The amendment also expands bereavement leave coverage under the Act to now include bereavement of “covered family members,” including an employee’s child, stepchild, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent.
Employee Sick Leave Act Amendment
This public act amends the Employee Sick Leave Act (“ESLA”) to state that the rights afforded under the ESLA are the minimum standard in a collective bargaining agreement. Generally, the ESLA requires that employers allow employees to use their sick leave time for absences due to injury, illness, medical appointments, or personal care for a covered family member.
Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act Amendment
This public act amends the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (“ANCRA”) to extend the list of mandated reporters to include physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and athletic trainers. Accordingly, employers employing these individuals must retain a signed statement from the employee (on a form prescribed by the Department of Child and Family Services) that he or she has knowledge and understanding requirements of ANCRA. The signed statement must be provided to the employer prior to commencement of employment and the employer is responsible for the cost of printing, distributing, and filing the signed statement. Further, such employees are required to report completion of required mandated reporter training to his or her employer.