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Paul Zimmerman
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Employer Alert: Key 2017 Illinois Employment Law Updates

Recent federal, state, and municipal employment law developments will have a significant impact on employers in 2017. Employers must update their employee handbooks, employment agreements, arbitration agreements, confidentiality agreements, and related policies and procedures to ensure that they are compliant with these developments. This is Part IV of a four part series exploring key employment law updates for 2017. Part I reviewed important changes to United States federal law; Part II explored updates to California state law; and Part III addressed recent developments in New York state law.

We now address significant updates to Illinois state law:

Employee Sick Leave. This new law allows use of sick leave benefits for absences due to illness, injury, or medical appointment of the employee’s child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent, for reasonable periods of time and on the same terms as sick leave for the employee’s own illness or injury.

Freedom to Work. Employers are now prohibited from entering into non-compete agreements with low-wage employees, defined as those earning the greater of minimum wage or $13.00 per hour.

Right to Privacy. This law establishes a broad range of employee rights and protections regarding workplace privacy rights in personal online accounts, and prohibits employers from accessing such accounts, except in limited circumstances.

Secure Choice Savings Programs Act. Employers must either offer a private market savings plan or automatically enroll employees into Secure Choice. Employers with 25 or more employees, in business for two or more years, and not currently offering a qualified savings plan are covered.

Human Trafficking Posting. Notices regarding human trafficking must be posted in the public restrooms of motels and hotels in clear view of the public and employees where similar notices are customarily posted.

Wage Assignment. This law allows employees to revoke a wage assignment at any time by submitting written notice to the creditor.

Child Bereavement Leave. Employers covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act must provide up to two weeks of unpaid bereavement leave to attend the funeral of a child, make arrangements necessitated by the death of a child, or grieve the death of a child.

Above are just a few of the new employment laws taking effect in Illinois in 2017. Employers should familiarize themselves with these new rules, as well as changes to key federal laws, and begin updating their policies, practices and documents accordingly.

This blog post is not offered as, and should not be relied on as, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice in specific situations.