Illinois Rolls Out Multiple New Employment Law Requirements

Author: Robert S. Teachout, XpertHR Legal Editor

August 19, 2019

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has signed broad legislation that will significantly impact employment practices in the Land of Lincoln. The measure rolled together several bills that had been proposed separately during the legislative session covering nondisclosure agreements, sexual harassment training, leave for domestic violence victims and workplace safety, among other topics.

  • Workplace Transparency Act"] (effective January 1, 2020)
    • Prohibits nondisclosure and/or non-disparagement clauses that cover claims of sexual harassment or discrimination;
    • Limits arbitration agreements that include sexual harassment and/or discrimination claims;
    • Extends the Illinois Human Rights Act protection from harassment to nonemployees (such as contractors, vendors and consultants);
    • Requires the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) to create a model sexual harassment prevention training program;
    • Requires annual sexual harassment prevention training for all employees that meets or exceeds the standards of the IDHR model; and
    • Mandates that parties to a public contract report annually to the IDHR any settlements, adverse judgments or administrative rulings against them involving harassment or discrimination (beginning July 1, 2020).
  • Sexual Harassment Victim Representation Act (effective January 1, 2020)
    • Prohibits a union from assigning the same representative to the victim and alleged perpetrator of sexual harassment in any disciplinary proceeding.
  • Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act (effective July 1, 2020)
    • Requires employees who work in isolated spaces be provided panic buttons to use if they are sexually harassed or assaulted;
    • Requires hotels and casinos to develop and follow a written policy to protect employees against sexual harassment and sexual assault by guests; and
    • Bans employer retaliation for an employee disclosing, reporting or testifying about sexual harassment and sexual assault.

The law also amended the Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) that provides leave and reasonable accommodations to victims of domestic or sexual violence to include victims of gender violence.

Other Laws

Another new employment law applies to employers that conduct video job interviews. If the employer uses artificial intelligence to analyze applicant-submitted videos, the Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act (HB 2557) requires employers to notify each applicant in writing before the interview that AI analysis may be used in determining the applicant's fitness for the role.

Other new laws:

Earlier this month, the governor also signed amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act that prohibit private employers from asking job applicants about their current or past salary or benefits history.