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Kevin O'Flaherty

As we step into 2024, Illinois is on the brink of significant legal changes that will impact both residents and employers across the state. From  shifts in employment laws to enhanced protections for temporary workers and freelancers, these changes are designed to promote fairness, transparency, and equality in the workplace. This blog will navigate the new Illinois laws for 2024, shedding light on the  alterations in the employment landscape, such as job posting disclosure obligations, expanded leave benefits, pre-tax commuter benefits, and the introduction of the Freelance Worker Protection Act. Whether you're an employer bracing for compliance or a resident eager to understand how these laws affect you, this comprehensive overview aims to equip you with the knowledge to leverage these legal transformations effectively.

New Employment Laws in Illinois

New Illinois laws for 2024

The land of Lincoln is ushering in groundbreaking changes in its labor laws, setting a new course in its employment landscape. Of the numerous changes, three stand out: job posting disclosure obligations, expanded leave benefits, and pre-tax commuter benefits.

Employers must be ready for the new laws, including the Illinois child labor law, as soon as the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2024. Immediate steps should be taken for compliance as the new year begins.

The most striking change, the job posting disclosure obligations, mandates employers with 15 or more employees to include the pay scale and benefits for all job positions in their job postings. This is a giant leap toward equitable pay for temporary workers and adherence to the Illinois Equal Pay Act.

Job Posting Disclosure Obligations

Envision a job market where pay scale and benefits are clearly indicated in every job posting. This becomes a reality in Illinois effective January 1, 2025, thanks to the Illinois minimum wage law. This new law is a beacon of transparency, illuminating the path for fair pay across Cook County and throughout the Prairie State.

However, this new law comes with its own set of rules. While employers must disclose pay and benefits, they are not mandated to make a job posting nor are they forbidden from inquiring about an applicant’s wage or salary. But, non-compliance can be a pricey affair, with penalties ranging from $500 to $10,000 per violation for active job postings at the time of the violation.

Expanded Leave Benefits in Illinois

Think of having the freedom to take hours of paid leave for any reason or access to additional bereavement leave options - this becomes a reality for Illinois employees soon. The Child Extended Bereavement Leave Act (CEBL), for instance, provides unpaid, job-protected leave for employees who have experienced the loss of a child by suicide or homicide.

As of March 31, 2024, or 90 days following the commencement of employment, employees can begin earning paid time and start using their earned time off for any purpose without providing documentation to their employer. However, independent contractors are not covered by this new law. Employees can enjoy up to six weeks of earned time off.

Pre-Tax Commuter Benefits

The new changes will bring comfort to employees as they commute to work. Starting January 1, 2024, employers with 50 or more employees are required to offer pre-tax commuter benefits for public transit passes.

This pre-tax benefit allows employees to have the monthly cost of their commute deducted from their pay before taxes, resulting in increased take-home pay. This legislation, aimed at reducing transit costs and promoting energy-efficient travel, adds another feather to the cap of Illinois’ employee-friendly laws.

Protections for Temporary Workers and Freelancers

The challenges faced by temporary workers and freelancers have been a main concern of labor laws in numerous states. Illinois is no exception, with the state implementing key protections for these workers.

The newly minted Temporary Labor Services Act, also known as the Workers Act, offers day and temporary workers, as well as freelancers:

  • Comparable pay
  • Advance notice of labor disputes
  • Safety training
  • Expanded penalties

In fact, the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights (DTLS) has increased available penalties and allowed any “interested party”, who has exhausted their claims through administrative channels with the Illinois Department of Labor, to take legal action against temporary labor service agencies and third-party clients.

Essentially, these laws prevent temporary workers from being overlooked. They are brought into the fold of fair pay, advanced notice of labor disputes, and safety training, thus ensuring that they too benefit from the state’s progressive labor laws.

Comparable Pay and Advance Notice for Temporary Workers

Consider being a temporary worker with the assurance that your pay matches that of your permanent employee peers. This is what the new Illinois law promises. From January 1, 2024, temporary workers can expect comparable pay and benefits after 90 days of service, in accordance with the Illinois wage payment regulations. Furthermore, they must be notified in advance of any labor disputes.

Failure to comply with these regulations can have costly consequences for employers, with civil penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation. This creates a powerful incentive for employers to ensure fair treatment of temporary workers.

Safety Training and Expanded Penalties

In addition to fair pay, temporary workers in Illinois are also entitled to safety training. Temporary labor service agencies must train temporary workers through their temporary labor services, ensuring safety training is provided. Third-party clients are also obligated to disclose any worksite hazards.

Safety training is not just about ticking a compliance checklist. It’s about ensuring that every temporary worker is equipped to navigate potential risks and hazards in their workplace. It’s about creating a safe and secure work environment for everyone, regardless of their employment status.

Freelance Worker Protection Act

Freelancers have frequently been the unnoticed workforce in the background. The Freelance Worker Protection Act, effective July 1, 2024, brings them to the forefront. The act mandates written contracts and timely payment for freelance workers in Illinois.

Violating the Freelance Worker Protection Act can be a costly mistake, with the following penalties:

  • Civil penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation
  • Civil penalties of up to $10,000 for each repeat violation within a 5-year period
  • Freelance workers may also be entitled to double the underpaid amount, along with attorney’s fees and costs

This, indeed, is a powerful testament to Illinois’ commitment to protecting the rights of its freelance workers.

Changes to Personnel Records and Electronic Distribution of Employee Notices

Digital transformation is affecting every facet of our lives, including the area of personnel records and employee notices. Illinois employers are now required to provide digital versions of personnel records and distribute mandatory employee notices electronically.

This move toward digitalization ensures that records are not only easily accessible but also more efficiently managed. From performance evaluations to handbook receipts, employers are now obligated to provide digital copies of various personnel records.

Mandatory employee notices also join the digital wave. Notices related to remote work and labor law posters for certain employees will now be distributed electronically. This ensures that crucial information reaches employees promptly and conveniently, regardless of their location.

Extension of Liability Under the Gender Violence Act

Gender-related violence in the workplace is a serious issue that demands maximum attention. The Illinois Gender Violence Act holds employers liable for such incidents committed by their agents or employees in the workplace.

The extension of liability under this act sends a strong message. It not only holds the perpetrators accountable but also ensures that employers foster a safe and violence-free environment. Employers can now be held liable if they fail to act reasonably, neglect to supervise or train employees appropriately, or fail to investigate and rectify previous reports of similar misconduct.

Limitations on Damages Against Striking Workers and New Penalties for Interfering with Labor Disputes

Striking workers frequently encounter numerous hurdles, and financial difficulty should not be one of these. The new Illinois law limits the amount of monetary damages an employer can seek from striking workers and introduces new penalties for interfering with labor disputes.

Interfering with labor disputes is now a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. This includes limiting the amount an employer can recover for damages caused by a strike and outlining protections under the Illinois Labor Dispute Act. This ensures that workers can exercise their right to strike without fear of overwhelming financial repercussions.

What Residents and Employers Need to Know

Grasping these new laws goes beyond just adhering to legal requirements. It’s about fostering a workspace that is fair and equitable. Employers can take proactive measures such as:

  • educating HR personnel
  • conducting training
  • revising employment policies
  • ensuring fair pay
  • staying informed about new laws

Non-compliance can be expensive, with fines ranging from $250 to $10,000, depending on the severity of the violation and the number of employees. Furthermore, employers may be liable for damages up to $500.

The conclusion is clear - comprehending and adhering to these new laws is not only a legal requirement but also a business necessity.


Navigating the labyrinth of new employment laws in Illinois can be challenging. But with a clear understanding of the changes - from new employment laws to protections for temporary workers and freelancers, changes to personnel records, extension of liability under the Gender Violence Act, and limitations on damages against striking workers - employers and residents can ensure compliance and leverage the benefits these laws offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the new employment laws in Illinois 2024?

Starting March 31, 2024, all workers in Illinois will be mandated to receive up to 40 hours of paid leave per 12-month period for any reason. Additionally, they can begin using their time off 90 days after they begin their employment.

What is the law in Chicago for January 2024?

From January 1, 2024, Illinois' minimum wage will be $14 an hour with tipped workers earning $8.40 per hour, and overtime must be paid to certain employees working more than 40 hours a week.

What are the new driving laws in Illinois 2024?

Beginning January 1st, 2024, drivers in Illinois will need to abide by HB2431 which prohibits the use of videoconferencing while driving. Failure to do so will result in citations.

What is the new law for 2024 in Illinois?

Starting January 1, 2024, the minimum wage in Illinois will increase to $14 an hour with tipped workers receiving a minimum of $8.40 an hour. Overtime must also be paid to certain employees working more than 40 hours per week.

We hope you found this article helpful. Please feel free to browse our articles on other areas of law, among others, family law and criminal law. We welcome you to fill contact our Illinois attorneys for any of your legal matters.

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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