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2019 Year End Employment Law Review – Illinois

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

Christina Davis, LMC People

Welcome to 2020 . . . the year of 20/20 vision for your company!

Illinois business owners know how challenging it can be to stay in compliance with the ever-changing employment laws! LMC People has created a review of the changes Illinois made in 2019 that may affect businesses in 2020.

Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

The Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) expanded its definition of “employer” from those with 15 employees to those with one or more employees. They have also expanded the definition of protected class to include “perceived” protected classes. The final change is that the rights of non-employees in the workplace (contractors, consultants, vendors, etc.) will be protected under the IHRA.

ALL Illinois employers are required to provide sexual harassment training for all employees once a year.

Effective July 1, 2020, Illinois employers will be required to self-report to the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) the number of adverse judgements or administrative rulings related to sexual harassment or discrimination. This information is being gathered to produce an annual report; however, employer information will be treated as confidential and no employer’s individual information will be shared.

Effective January 1, 2020, the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA) is in effect. This act is intended to help prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace by prohibiting employers from creating agreements or policies that restrict an employee from reporting such conduct to government officials or testifying about such conduct.

Policy Changes Post-Legalization of Recreational Cannabis

Although the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (ICRTA) allows for the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, employers are still within their rights to ban the use or storage of the substance in the workplace. However, an employer cannot discipline an employee for use while not at work, provided it does not impair his/her work. For those employers with federal contractors and those regulated by the DOT, it’s important to know that the use of cannabis still prohibited under federal law.

Wage and Hour Laws

In previous years, the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL) did not impose penalties for employers who failed to maintain payroll records. In 2020, employers who do not maintain payroll records (employee name, address, hours worked per week, pay rate, deductions, etc.) will be required to pay $100 for each infraction. Further, keeping track of weekly hours worked is not sufficient. Employers must maintain records that include the number of hours worked in each day and week by each employee with no exception for exempt-level employees. The Illinois DOL is enforcing this new change through random audits.

For more information or to schedule sexual harassment training in person or via webinar or video, please contact Christina Davis at

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