2017 Brings Labor & Employment Law Changes for Illinois Employers

2016 was a big year for those who follow labor and employment law (that’s us), and 2017 promises to be no different. Not sure what changes are coming? We have you covered; we have compiled all the Illinois laws going into effect as of January 1, 2017, straight from the IDOL website:

Public Act 99-00584 (SB3104) – State Construction Minority and Female Building Trades Act Penalty

Effective: January 1, 2017

Summary: Amends the State Construction Minority and Female Building Trades Act.  Adds penalties for Apprenticeship Programs that are required to file a report with IDOL, but fail to do so.  The first offense receives a warning and 45 days to comply after 45 days the fine is $100 per day.  The second offense is $250 per day and the third violation is $500 per day.

Public Act 99-0610 (HB4999) – Work Privacy Social Media

Effective: January 1, 2017

Summary: Amends Section 10 of the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act by expanding the online accounts that employers and prospective employers are prohibited from accessing.   Prohibits not only an employer gaining access to these personal online accounts, but now prohibits the employer from:
1.  requesting, requiring or coercing any employee or prospective employee to authenticate or access an account while the employer is present
2.  require or coerce an employee to invite an employer to join a group affiliated with the personal online account
3.  require or coerce the employee to join an online account established by the employer or add the employer to the employee’s list of contacts in the employee’s personal account.

Adds retaliation provisions for an employer who attempts to discharge, discipline, fail to hire or otherwise retaliate against an employee who refuses access or participation in the above referenced prohibited activities.  Expands what employers are allowed to request from employees or applicants.  It provides employers with the ability to request or require an employee or applicant to share specific content that has been reported to the employer, without requesting or requiring an employee or applicant to provide a user name and password or other means of authentication that provides access to the personal online account.  An employer may only engage in this activity if ensuring compliance with applicable laws or regulatory requirements, investigating  an allegation of unauthorized transfer of an employer’s proprietary or confidential information to an employee or applicant’s personal account, investigating a violation of applicable laws or work-related employee misconduct, prohibiting an employee from using a personal account for business purposes or prohibiting an employee or applicant from accessing or operating a personal account during business hours, while on business property using an employer paid for network and resources.

Provides that any employer who inadvertently obtains access to a personal online account will not be liable unless and until the employer uses the information or fails to delete such information unless it is part of an ongoing investigation of computer, network or data security breach.

While the Act did allow an employer to access any accounts of the employer used for the business purposes of the employer, the amendment clarifies that language and reiterates that the employer can only access accounts which are employer paid for or accounts created at the direction of the employer in connection with that employee’s employment.

Public Act 99-0652 (HB3619) – Amends the Nurse Agency Licensing Act

Effective: January 1, 2017

Summary: Amends the Nurse Agency Licensing Act to change language that requires inquiries into the status of a certified nurse’s aide to be confirmed within 20 days by written verification from IDPH.  This is now done using the online Health Care Worker Registry.  Amends the Department of Employment Security Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois and the Department of Labor Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois. Transfers the “Women and Minorities in the Illinois Labor Force Report” to IDES from IDOL and changes it from an annual to biennial report due in even numbered years.

Public Act 99-0758 (HB1288) – Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights Act

Effective: January 1, 2017

Summary: Creates the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights Act.  Defines “domestic work” and “domestic workers”.  The legislation also amends the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Minimum Wage Act, the Wages of Women and Minors Act and the One Day Rest in Seven Act (ODRISA) in order to include Domestic Workers under the definition employee.

Public Act 99-0762 (HB3554) – Amends the Wage Payment and Collection Act

Effective: January 1, 2017

Summary: Amends the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. Provides that the Department of Labor shall conduct a good faith search to find aggrieved employees and remit to them amounts recovered as unpaid wages, wage supplements, or final compensation. When the Department is unable to find an aggrieved employee the amount owed is to be deposited into the Department of Labor Special State Trust Fund. Allows an aggrieved employee to file a request with IDOL to get money owed from the Trust Fund. Requires the Comptroller to assign IDOL a vendor number for the purposes of paying these claimants.  The Department would be unable to ask for a Social Security Number or proof of US citizenship in order to recover money from the Trust Fund.

Public Act 99-0765 (HB4036) – Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act Expansion

Effective: January 1, 2017

Summary: Amends the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act to increase the number of employers subject to this Act by decreasing the number of employees that an employer must employ from 15 to one employee.  Grants 4 weeks of unpaid leave under the Act to employees whose employer has 1-14 employees.  Current law allows for 12 weeks if the employer has 50+ employees and 8 weeks for employers with 15-49 employees.

Public Act 99-0841 (HB6162) – Employee Sick Leave Act

Effective: January 1, 2017

Summary: Creates the Employee Sick Leave Act.  Allows employees to use accrued time to be used for the illness, injury or medical appointment of the employee’s child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent.   IDOL is prohibited from adopting rules in contravention of this Act, but is not required to adopt rules to implement the Act. ​​



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