On Tuesday, March 23, 2021, Governor Pritzker signed SB 1480, making some major changes to the Illinois Human Rights, the Illinois Equal Pay Act, and the Illinois Business Corporation Act. Here is a short summary of these changes:
CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS OF CANDIDATES AND EMPLOYEES
Effective immediately, it is a violation of the Human Rights Act to refuse to hire, or to make other employment decisions with respect to recruitment, promotion, re-hiring, selection for training, discharge or discipline, on the basis of a criminal conviction record. The only circumstances in which employers may make decisions on the basis of convictions are when (1) there is a substantial relationship between the criminal offenses and the job sought, or (2) hiring or continuing employment would create an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of other individuals or the general public.
To show a “substantial relationship” between a hiring decision or other employment decision and a criminal conviction, the employer must consider six factors: (1) the length of time that has passed since the conviction, (2) the number of convictions, (3) the nature and severity of the convictions, (4) the circumstances involved in the convictions, (5) the age of the candidate/employee at the time of the offense, and (6) evidence of rehabilitation efforts.
In addition, if an employer makes a preliminary decision not to hire (or to take another employment action) because of a conviction, the employer must provide a written notice to the candidate/employee explaining the employer’s reasoning for making the tentative decision, with a copy of the conviction history report and with an explanation of the candidate’s/employee’s right to respond within at least five business days. If the employer decides to make the hiring/employment decision final, another written notice must be provided to the candidate/employee, citing the convictions that are the basis for the final decision, and alerting the candidate/employee to any internal grievance procedures and to the right to file a charge of discrimination with the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
NEW REQUIREMENT TO PROVIDE EEO-1 REPORTS TO THE ILLINOIS SECRETARY OF STATE
Starting in 2023, businesses that have to file EEO-1 reports with the EEOC will have to file similar reports with the Illinois Secretary of State, at the time that the business files its annual report. EEO-1 reports contain information about the total number of employees, a breakdown of the type of position held, and data on gender, race and ethnicity.
NEW REQUIREMENT TO OBTAIN EQUAL PAY CERTIFICATES FROM THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Starting in 2024, private employers with more than 100 employees in the State of Illinois will have to apply in writing to the IDOL for equal pay registration certificates, through statements signed by corporate officers, legal counsel, or other authorized agents. The applications must contain representations by the employers that the business is in compliance with federal and state anti-discrimination laws, that compensation paid to female and minority employees is not below the average compensation paid to male and non-minority employees, that the business does not restrict employees of one sex to certain job classifications, how often the business evaluates compensation to ensure compliance with equal pay requirements, and that the business takes steps to correct any deficiencies found in such evaluations. Companies that fail to obtain such certificates will be subject to fines equal to 1% of the business’s gross profits. IDOL will conduct equal pay audits, and employees will be protected by whistleblower retaliation prohibitions enabling successful employees to obtain double the amount of lost wages and other relief.
Davis & Campbell L.L.C. is posting additional information on all of these important changes to Illinois law on its website, www.dcamplaw.com. The information will be made available under the “Firm News” link on the website, and in the “Illinois Legislative Changes” section.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me or any of the other employment attorneys at Davis & Campbell L.L.C.
David G. Lubben | Davis & Campbell L.L.C.
401 Main Street, Suite 1600 | Peoria, IL 61602
(309) 673-1681 | Fax: (309) 673-1690