Illinois Law Alert: School Visitation Rights Act
On August 23, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation (H.B. 2830) prohibiting employers from terminating an employee for an absence from work if it is due solely to their attendance at a school conference, behavioral meeting, or academic meeting. As amended, the state’s School Visitation Rights Act will require that employers grant employees up to a total of eight hours during any school year, and up to four hours of which may be taken on any given day, to attend school conferences, behavioral meetings, or academic meetings related to the employee’s child if the conference or meeting cannot be scheduled during nonwork hours. This leave entitlement only applied to school conferences or classroom activities before it was amended.
The law is effective August 1, 2020.
Read IL H.B. 2830
Human Rights Act Amended
On August 20, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation (H.B. 252) amending the state’s Human Rights Act to broaden employers that are covered by the act. Specifically, employers covered by the act will be those with one or more (formerly 15 or more) employees within Illinois during 20 or more calendar weeks within the calendar year of or preceding an alleged violation of the act. The law also clarifies that an employer will not include any place of worship.
The law is effective July 1, 2020.
Read IL H.B. 252
Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act
On August 9, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation (H.B. 2557) enacting the Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act to regulate an employer’s use of artificial intelligence when considering job applicants’ video interviews for positions based in Illinois. Under the act, before a video interview and use of artificial intelligence, an employer must:
Notify each applicant that artificial intelligence may be used to analyze their video interview and fitness for the position.
Provide each applicant with information explaining how the artificial intelligence works and what general types of characteristics it uses to evaluate applicants.
Obtain the applicant’s consent to be evaluated by the artificial intelligence program. Without consent employers may not use artificial intelligence to evaluate an applicant.
Employers may not share applicant videos, except with those whose expertise or technology are necessary to evaluate an applicant’s fitness for a position. Additionally, within 30 days of receiving an applicant’s request, an employer must delete the applicant’s interview(s) and instruct any other persons who received copies of them to do the same, including all electronically generated backup copies.
The law is effective January 1, 2020.
Read IL H.B. 2557
Omnibus Legislation Protects Against Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
On August 9, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed omnibus legislation (S.B. 75) enacting workplace protections against sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination. The omnibus legislation has three acts that strengthen protections for employees, responsibilities for employers and accountability for abusers at workplaces across the state, with additional terms for hotels and casinos, as follows:
Effective January 1, 2020, the Workplace Transparency Act provides that:
Employees are protected when reporting allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, or retaliation to federal, state, or local officials;
Harassment against contract employees is illegal;
The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) will adopt a model sexual harassment prevention training program that includes federal and state laws protecting victims and employers’ responsibilities in preventing, investigating, and taking corrective measures on sexual harassment;
Employers must use the IDHR sexual harassment prevention training program or establish a similar or more stringent training for employees;
Beginning July 1, 2020, employers must report to IDHR the number of adverse judgments or administrative rulings involving sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination on a yearly basis;
Employers are prohibited from releasing a victim’s name (of alleged sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination) in any of its disclosures; and
Every bar and restaurant must have sexual harassment policies and prevention training.
Effective January 1, 2020, the Sexual Harassment Victim Representation Act ensures a victim and accused perpetrator are not represented by the same union representative in proceedings.
Effective July 1, 2020, under the Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act:
Hotels and casinos are required to provide employees who work in isolated spaces with panic buttons to use if they are sexually harassed or assaulted;
Hotels and casinos are required to develop and follow written anti-sexual-harassment policy to protect employees against sexual harassment and sexual assault by guests; and
Employer retaliation for an employee disclosing, reporting, or testifying about sexual harassment and sexual assault is prohibited.
Read IL S.B. 75