Written by: Mark McAndrew

There are changes to Illinois employment discrimination law summarized below. Three general new changes in the law that all employers need to be aware of and comply with:

      1. Employee policy regarding arbitration, sexual harassment and sexual discrimination… beginning January 1, 2020, no employer may require, as a condition of employment: A) an employee or prospective employee refrain from making truthful statements or disclosures about alleged unlawful employment practices; B) that an employee or prospective employee waive, arbitrate, or otherwise diminish any existing or future claim, right, or benefit related to an unlawful employment practice (employment discrimination/sexual harassment).

The purpose of this Act is to ensure that all parties to a contract for the performance of services understand and agree to the mutual promises and consideration therein, and to protect the interest of this State in ensuring all workplaces are free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. Prohibits any contract, agreement, clause, covenant, waiver, or other document from preventing or restricting an employee, prospective employee, or former employee from reporting any allegations of unlawful conduct to federal, State, or local officials for investigation, including, but not limited to, alleged criminal conduct or unlawful employment practices

2. All employees must annually receive sexual harassment training…regardless of size of the employer. The Illinois Department of Human Rights will provide an online training program for employers to use. Current or alternative training that an employer provides is acceptable if it meets the minimum criteria required of the training.

3. Employers must annually report charges filed against it by Illinois employees for employment discrimination and sexual harassment.

As with most legislation, there are exceptions and conditions. 

 Rathje Woodward advises clients on a broad range of employment and labor matters, including compliance, policies and procedures, internal investigations, administrative proceedings, collective bargaining negotiations and disputes, union avoidance policies and litigation defense.  If you have questions about FMLA, or how this recent Department of Labor opinion may impact your business, contact Mark J. McAndrew, Emily A. ShupeRaymond J. Sanguinetti or John R. Zemenak at 630-668-8500.

For more information regarding Rathje Woodward’s employment practice and its attorneys, please visit www.rathjelaw.com.