SCOTUS Term Adds To Illinois Employers’ To-Do List

Age discrimination, Discrimination, Employment, Sex Discrimination

Savvy Illinois Employers Will Plan Ahead for Landmark Rulings

Today, the Supreme Court kicks off its new term with several employment cases, including cases on appeal from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals right here in Chicago. Illinois employers should keep tabs on these cases and anticipate how the Court’s rulings will add to a bevy of new compliance obligations going into effect in 2019-20, all discussed below.

Regardless of the Court’s handling of these cases, Illinois employers of all sizes should put in place policies and practices targeted at protecting LGBTQ workers. The Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) already prohibits discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation.” The IHRA defines “sexual orientation” broadly to include actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or gender-related identity, whether or not traditionally associated with the person’s designated sex at birth.

Come January 1, 2020, the IHRA will apply to all employers with as few as one employee.

In the Kleber case, the plaintiff, a 59-year old attorney, claimed the company engaged in unlawful age discrimination by disqualifying applicants for an in-house legal role who had more than seven years of experience. Mr. Kleber claimed that CareFusion’s experience cap was unlawful because it disproportionately disqualified older applicants, even though the experience qualifications appeared age-neutral on their face. The Seventh Circuit bounced Mr. Kleber’s claim on the grounds that the wording of the ADEA empowers only employees, and not applicants, to bring the type of “disparate impact” claim Mr. Kleber had raised.

2. Amendments to the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act (effective January 1, 2020), which change discrimination and drug testing laws to account for the decriminalization of recreational marijuana use. Details can be found here.

4. Chicago’s “Fair Workweek Ordinance” (effective July 1, 2020), a predictive scheduling ordinance which requires employers to give employees their schedules in advance and sets employee pay at a higher rate when changes are made to work schedules. More details are available here.

6. New Federal Overtime Rules (effective January 1, 2020) which increase the salary level for white collar exemptions, among other changes. Details can be found here.

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Gary Savine is an Illinois employment lawyer and founder of Savine Employment Law, Ltd. in Chicago. Gary regularly advises human resources professionals on recently enacted employment laws.

Photocredit: © Can Stock Photo / bodrumsurf

Gary Savine is the founder of Savine Employment Law, Ltd. in Chicago. For assistance with your employment matter, contact us today!

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