On December 4, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law amendments to the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (Illinois Cannabis Act) that clarify employer rights to enforce reasonable workplace drug policies once recreational marijuana use becomes legal in Illinois on January 1, 2020. As originally drafted, the Illinois Cannabis Act created confusion for employers as to whether they could lawfully test and/or discriminate against applicants who tested positive for cannabis, based on pre-employment and off-duty use of the drug.
In his first year in office, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed several laws impacting California employers. A summary of some of the key new laws follows. The effective date of the particular new law is indicated in the heading of the Assembly Bill (AB) or Senate Bill (SB).1 The list below is in numerical order by AB or SB.
In most jurisdictions, it is standard practice to include a “no-rehire” clause when negotiating a settlement agreement in an employment dispute. “No-rehire” clauses bar the departing employee from seeking future employment with the employer or one of the employer’s related entities. If the former employee applies for a job with the employer or a related entity, the “no-rehire” clause allows the employer to reject the former employee’s application or require the former employee to withdraw the application for employment. In some instances, if the former employee is hired inadvertently, the “no-rehire” clause provides the employer a legitimate nondiscriminatory basis to rescind the offer. Although the use of “no-rehire” clauses is a common practice, California recently prohibited the practice and joined Vermont, which banned “no-rehire” provisions in 2018.
On September 24, 2019 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a revised Final Overtime Rule increasing the minimum salary threshold for overtime exemption to $35,568. The Final Overtime Rule takes effect on January 1, 2020.
The DOL’s Final Overtime Rule increases the weekly salary threshold for minimum wage and overtime exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) from $455 to $684 (an increase in the annual minimum salary from $23,600 to $35,568). The Final Overtime Rule also increases the minimum annual exemption salary threshold for highly compensated employees (HCEs) from $100,000 to $107,432.
If so, you should be on alert about California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), a bill based on the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex v. Superior Court.* If it becomes law, AB5 will have wide-ranging repercussions for companies that rely on independent contractors in California.
On July 23, 2019, the Chicago City Council passed the controversial Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance (the Ordinance). Once Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a vocal proponent of the Ordinance, signs it into law, the Ordinance is scheduled to take effect for the majority of covered employers on July 1, 2020.