Illinois employers are going through one of the most sweeping sets of legal changes in state history. With over 250 new laws taking effect this week, as well as hundreds of other extensive amendments to existing laws, Illinois employers need to take immediate action to remain in compliance with Illinois laws. The penalties for legal violations have increased per violation and can at times amount to $10,000 or more per violation.
Employers operating in Chicago or Cook County at large have special additional legal needs that must be addressed.
In the process of reviewing the legislative changes, we identified at least 56 separate items that are either mandatory or strongly recommended for all Illinois limited liability companies, corporations, partnerships and other business entities engaging employees in order to comply with the laws, regulations, and ordinances. Some are mandatory and apply to all businesses, others are optional but expose each company to risk if unaddressed. Some examples include:
Federal, State, County, and City Postings and Signs
Employers must update their required workplace signs, postings, and employee notices as required under federal law, Illinois law, and local ordinances. Many (if not most) of the signs and notices required as of 2019 are out of date and legally non-compliant;
Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act
Employers need to understand the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, review existing drug testing and use policies, revise or implement new policies to comply with the new law, and implement a compliant “reasonable suspicion” testing program as required;
Review and amend existing discipline policies to comply with new legal mandate, develop new policies if not already in place, create a discipline checklist to document the reasonable suspicion as required by law, add a required employee contest process, and satisfy various other employer mandates under the law;
Review internal training procedures and processes, incorporating federal checklists when applicable, develop internal employee reporting practice, modify hiring and termination practices as required by law, and send out special notices to employees;