In a not-entirely surprising September 12, 2019 notice in the Federal Register, the EEOC announced that it plans on not renewing an Obama-era rule requiring employers to provide pay data as part of their annual employer information (EEO-1) report until after it assesses whether the two years’ worth of pay data a federal court ordered it to obtain under the rule is useful to its efforts to address gender pay gap.
With so many new major Illinois employment laws already enacted this year, even the most well-informed HR professionals would be forgiven if they felt unable to predict and plan for the next wave of workplace legislation likely to come down the pike before year’s end. Fortunately, Springfield lawmakers signaled their intentions on August 2, 2019 when Governor Pritzker signed into law the Illinois Donor Protection Act (IDPA).
Many Illinois employers returning from summer holiday are facing a rude awakening as they discover that they now have less than a month – until September 29, 2019, to be precise – to revamp longstanding hiring practices or face sizable liability.
On August 14, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in Cordúo Restaurants, Inc. that an employer could change its mandatory arbitration agreement to bar its workers from opting into a class action in response to being sued for wage and hour violations, and that a supervisor’s threatening statements to workers that they would be fired if they failed to sign the agreements did not violate Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This guidance may create more confusion and risk for HR
In an FMLA opinion letter addressed to an anonymous inquiry, the DOL said that the wife of the inquirer can take intermittent leave from her job under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to attend meetings related to their children’s individualized education programs (IEP). IEPs are plans for education and other services that are created for student with special needs and are mandated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
The heat of the summer doesn’t seem to be slowing down State and Federal lawmakers keen to advance workplace reforms before election season kicks into full swing. For instance, on Friday, August 9, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed into law the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA), a bill inspired by the #MeToo movement and imposes several new obligations on employers to combat harassment, including requirement to provide annual harassment training of workers, a prohibition on some confidentiality agreements when they bar disclosure of harassment, discrimination and retaliation concerns; and an expansion of protections against harassment to independent contractors and to locations outside the physical workplace, both under certain conditions. Also, earlier today, August 12, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) published the first of its promised series of proposed rules to change union election processes. The most significant piece of the proposed rule would seem to make it easier for workers to vote to decertify or “oust” unions as their bargaining representatives.
On July 31, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law HB834, amending the Illinois Equal Pay Act in ways that will fundamentally alter hiring practices across the Land of Lincoln. By doing so, Illinois became one of at least 13 states that now restrict employers’ ability to use pay history in hiring and compensation decisions, as part of the effort to chip away at the persistent national gender pay gap.
The Chicago City Council has passed the “Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance.” The Ordinance replaces a similar predictable scheduling ordinance that had been proposed and tabled earlier this year. It aims to curtail employers’ use of so-called “standby time” work scheduling practices that often result in wide, unpredictable fluctuations in workers’ work hours and income from week to week.