Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”)
Effective January 1, 2020, numerous changes will go into effect. Here are some of the key changes:
- Employers will be required to provide sexual harassment training each year, with restaurants and bars being subject to additional training and documentation requirements.
- The protections of the IHRA will be extended to contractors and consultants.
- There will be significant limitations on the use of confidentiality and arbitration provisions in employment agreements unless employers comply with certain contractual requirements.
- In addition, the use of confidentiality provisions in severance and settlement agreements will be restricted, and such agreements will be required to provide the employee 21 days to sign, and 7 days thereafter to revoke.
- Employers will be required to annually report to the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR”) all harassment and discrimination judgments against them.
- If requested by the IDHR, employers will be required to disclose up to five years’ worth of settlements of discrimination or harassment claims
Marijuana will be legalized effective January 1, 2020. Generally speaking, marijuana will be treated similar to alcohol: employees can’t possess, distribute, or use it at work, and they can’t be under the influence. However, there are some key limitations on employers:
- Employers can no longer refuse to hire an employee based solely on a positive test for marijuana.
- Employers can no longer terminate or discipline an employee based solely on a positive drug test. Rather, you need additional evidence of impairment in order take action.
The major exception to these new requirements is that employers will be permitted to take actions that might otherwise violate the new law if required to do so under federal law or per federal/state contracts.