Skip to main content

Recent laws impacting workplaces in IL

Equal Pay Act:

  • Date: Effective January 1, 2022.
  • Summary: amends the state Equal Pay Act to specify that the act does not prevent employers and applicants from discussing unvested equity or deferred compensation that the applicant would forfeit due to resigning from their current employment.
  • Application: Though employers should generally refrain from asking applicants about their compensation, employers may discuss unvested equity and deferred compensation if an applicant voluntarily discloses.

Illinois Freedom to Work Act:

  • Date: Effective January 1, 2022.
    • Note: This new law applies only to agreements (or amendments or renewals) containing restrictive covenants that are entered into after January 1, 2022.
  • Summary:  amends the Illinois Freedom to Work Act by expanding limitations in restrictive covenants employers require of their employees, such as covenants not to compete and covenants not to solicit (which are defined by the bill). See March 2022 Ask Jade.

Personnel Record Review Act:

  • Date: Effective January 1, 2022.
  • Summary: amends the Personnel Record Review Act. An employee may file a complaint alleging that a disciplinary action was disclosed without their knowledge, and they have 3 years from the date of the disclosure.
  • Application: Employers should remain cognizant to not disclose disciplinary records of an employee to a third party without prior written notice.

Prohibition Against Disability Association Discrimination:

  • Date: Effective January 1, 2022.
  • Summary: amends fair employment practices law to specify that discrimination based on disability includes discrimination against an individual because of their association with a person with a disability.
  • Application: Employers should update their EEO trainings and policies to make clear that they do not tolerate discrimination on the basis of association with a person with a disability.


  • Date: Effective January 1, 2022.
  • Summary: revises the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (“VESSA”)

-expands the definition of “family or household members” to include any “individual whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship as determined by the employee

-extends the law’s coverage to victims of any crime of violence, and revises the certification and confidentiality requirements.

  • Application: This bill greatly expands the class of persons protected by VESSA, and employers should update their policies and ensure that their managers are trained accordingly.

Retirement Savings Program:

  • Date: Effective January 1, 2022.
  • Summary: revised the state’s requirements for retirement savings programs to apply to small employers that do not offer a qualified retirement plan.

The law now requires employers to participate if they had at least five employees in the state during every quarter of the previous calendar year. Previously employers with fewer than 25 employees were exempted.

The law also removes the requirement that employees be older than 18 to participate.

  • Application: Employers with fewer than 25 employees and more than 15 employees will have until Sept. 1, 2022, to enroll employees, and employers with at least five employees but not more than 15 employees will have until Sept. 1, 2023. 

Prohibition Against Work Authorization Status Discrimination:

  • Date: Effective August 2, 2021.
  • Summary:  establishes that it is a civil rights violation for employers to discriminate on the basis of work authorization status.
  • Application: Employers should avoid gathering information about individuals’ specific work authorization status beyond what is needed to establish whether the individual has federal employment authorization.

Equal Pay Compliance Reporting Requirements: 

  • Date: Effective June 25, 2021.
  • Summary: requires employers with over 100 employees to obtain an equal pay certificate from the Illinois Department of Labor to certify that they are in compliance with state and federal equal pay laws.

Increased Penalties Under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA): 

  • Date: Effective July 9, 2021.
  • Summary: employees are entitled to recover damages of 5% of the amount of any underpayment of wages for each month after the date when the wages were due but remain unpaid. Previously, underpaid employees were entitled to recover damages of 2% of the underpaid amount.
  • Application: employers to ensure that employees are timely and accurately paid.

Expanded Use of Personal Sick Leave Benefits:

  • Date: Effective April 27, 2021.
  • Summary: allows employees to use personal sick leave benefits, if provided by their employer, to provide personal care to family members.

Prohibition of Conviction Record Discrimination:

  • Date: Effective March 23, 2021.
  • Summary: amends the state fair employment practices law to add further provisions on employee conviction records.
  • Application: Employers are prohibited from using employees’ and applicants’ conviction records as a basis for an adverse employment action, such as refusing to hire, promote, or renew employment, unless there is a substantial relationship between the criminal offense and the employment, or if hiring or continuing employment would involve an unreasonable safety or welfare risk.
Schedule a FREE Consultation

The materials available at or within this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.