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Kevin O'Flaherty

In this article, we address upcoming changes to Illinois business law for 2020. Our Illinois business lawyers will cover:

  • Reasons for changes to Illinois business law in 2020
  • Amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act
  • Amendments to Illinois Equal Pay Act
  • The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act

Reasons for changes to Illinois business law in 2020

The Illinois General Assembly recently passed several new laws that will impact both employers and employees throughout the state in 2020. Here are some of the most important to know.

Amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act

The Illinois Human Rights Act (the Act) prohibits employment (and public accommodations, financial credit, sexual harassment, and housing) discrimination in Illinois. The following amendments affect Illinois businesses and will go into effect January 1, 2020. This list is not exhaustive and Illinois businesses should review all additional amendments before the changes occur.

  • Coverage of the Act has been expanded to apply to Illinois employers who employ at least one employee for a minimum of 20 or more calendar weeks. This replaces the previous amendment that only required employers with 15 or more employees to comply with the Act.
  • Clarification of an employee’s work environment is an included change. Work environment will no longer be limited to an assigned physical location in regard to the prohibition of discrimination and harassment.
  • Sexual harassment training will be required for all employees at least once per calendar year. Training materials must be developed by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) or an equivalent body.

Amendments to Illinois Equal Pay Act

On July 31, 2019, Public Act 101-0177 was signed into law and amends the Illinois Equal Pay Act. Though these amendments went into effect September 29, 2019, it is suspected that not all Illinois businesses are complying. The amendments require employers to not:

  • Require or request a job applicant to share their wage or salary history as a condition for being offered employment
  • Screen job applicants based on their prior or current salary histories or wages
  • Request wage or salary history from a job applicant’s former employer as a condition of being considered for the position

The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act

The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (IWTA) is a new employment law aimed at prohibiting employers from preventing employees or prospective employees from disclosing alleged unlawful employment practices or criminal activity within an organization. The most important terms to know are as follows:

  • The IWTA applies to contracts with employees and non-employees, including contractors and consultants. Contracts or agreements cannot contain language that would discourage or prohibit employees from reporting unlawful conduct or prevent them from testifying in relation to a court order or subpoena.
  • Beginning in July of 2020, Illinois employers must provide the IDHR with an annual report disclosing the total number of unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment settlements for the year, the number of settlements entered into the prior year (broken down by categories of discrimination or harassment), and the total number of adverse judgement or administrative rulings against the employer. The names of victims are not required.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.


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