With the new year approaching, it is time for employers to complete their annual Anti-Harassment Prevention Training and to review their agreements, handbooks, and procedures to ensure ongoing compliance with recent and upcoming 2022 legal changes. The following checklist highlights some recommendations to help employers close out 2021 and prepare for these new changes in Illinois law.
- Anti-Harassment Training: Illinois law mandates that all employers provide annual sexual harassment prevention training to all employees within the state each year by December 31st. See 775 ILCS 5/2-109, 2-110. Employers must also train any employees who work physically outside of Illinois but work with employees located within the state. Illinois is not the only state that requires sexual harassment prevention training. Local municipalities, such as New York City, require similar anti-harassment training. If your Company operates outside of Illinois, it must ensure compliance with the laws of those other states and/or localities as well.
- Restrictive Covenant Agreements: Review the Company’s Illinois non-compete and non-solicitation agreements to ensure compliance with the new limitations on any such agreements entered into after January 1, 2022. The new amendments to the Illinois Freedom to Work Act prohibit entering into a non-compete agreement with an employee who earns $75,000 a year or less and prohibit entering into a non-solicitation agreement with an employee who earns $45,000 or less. The threshold compensation requirements increase every five years until the year 2037. See 820 ILCS 90/1 et seq.
- Severance Agreements: Review the Company’s Illinois severance agreements to ensure compliance with the Workplace Transparency Act, 820 ILCS 96/1-1 et seq.,particularly regarding allowing the appropriate amount of time for the former employee (or legal representative) to review the agreement before signing and confidentiality issues.
- Employee Handbook: Review the Company’s employee handbook to ensure compliance with various legal updates including transgender issues and other protected categories. Other policy considerations include revisions for compliance with the Illinois Workplace Transparency Act; amendments to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act; amendments to the Employee Sick Leave Act; amendments to the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (“VESSA”); pandemic related policies; drug testing policies (including issues surrounding recreational marijuana); City of Chicago and/or Cook County specific requirements; and various other state and federal law updates.
- Background Check Procedures: Review the Company’s background check procedures to ensure compliance with the new Illinois prohibitions on the use of conviction records in employment decisions and the requirements under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- Procedures: Review amendments to the Business Corporation Act, 805 ILCS 5/14.05, requiring businesses that file EEO-1 reports with the EEOC to include the same employment data in their annual report filed with the Illinois Secretary of State starting on January 1, 2023. Additionally, review amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act, which require employers with more than 100 employees to obtain an equal pay registration certificate between March 24, 2022, and March 23, 2024.
All Illinois employers should complete anti-harassment prevention training for 2021. In addition, employers should review their current agreements, policies, and procedures to ensure compliance with recent changes to Illinois law. Lastly, if the Company operates in states other than Illinois, now is also a good time to review any training requirements or legal updates for 2022 in those additional states (or localities) as well.
This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between K|D and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions.