Illinois Federal Court Temporarily Enjoins Key Amendment to the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act

In August 2023, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed sweeping amendments to the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act (DTLSA) that imposed new obligations on both the day and temporary labor service agencies employing covered laborers and the clients to whom those agencies contract for temporary labor. Recently, one of those amendments (indeed the key amendment) was temporarily enjoined by an Illinois federal court, calling into question the future impact such amendments will have on the temporary labor market.

As way of background, the 2023 amendments to the DTLSA included, most significantly, a requirement that laborers assigned to a client for more than 90 calendar days (in any 12-month period, whether consecutively or intermittently) must be paid, by the temporary agency, at least the rate of pay and equivalent benefits as the lowest-paid directly hired employee of the client with the same level of seniority at the client and performing the same or substantially similar work. Agencies may alternatively pay “the hourly cash equivalent of the actual cost benefits” in lieu of providing equivalent benefits.  The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) defined benefits as including health care, vision, dental, life insurance, retirement, leave, other similar employee benefits, and other employee benefits as required by State and federal law.  The pay and equivalent benefits obligation was one of several obligations placed on covered agencies and the clients with whom they contract. These amendments were due to take effect immediately and the IDOL passed emergency rules to provide guidance to employers on compliance.  However, in September 2023 the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) objected to those rules. And then in November 2023, Governor Pritzker signed a new amendment to the DTLSA to delay the effective date of these new obligations until April 1, 2024.

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U.S. Supreme Court to Clarify Whistleblower Statutes Regarding Employee’s Burden of Proof

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide in Murray v. UBS Securities, LLC whether a whistleblower must prove that an employer acted with “retaliatory intent” to be protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Court’s decision will settle a split between the circuit courts, which will impact how employers defend against Sarbanes-Oxley Act retaliation claims.

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Is a Lateral Job Transfer With No Change in Pay or Benefits an Adverse Employment Action Under Title VII? The Supreme Court has Decided to Weigh In

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Muldrow v. City of St. Louis, Mo., No. 22-193, to address a split in the circuit courts over whether a forced lateral transfer, with no change in pay or benefits, is an adverse employment action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Such a finding would further expand the type of conduct that can give rise to a cause of action under Title VII.

To view the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

Non-Competes Will Continue to Be Under Attack in 2023

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would dramatically change the playing field for employers who have post-employment non-compete agreements with employees or have a practice of requiring such agreements as a condition of employment. The FTC’s proposed rule is open for public comment until March 20, 2023. Whether the FTC’s proposed rule (once finalized) will survive legal challenges is a hotly debated topic among members of the legal community, many of whom believe that Congress did not clearly empower the FTC with the authority to enact such a broad rule, and therefore the rule will not survive given the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in West Virginia v. EPA.

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Paid Leave for Any Reason is Coming to Illinois

On January 10, 2023, the Illinois legislature passed a bill, SB0208, which would require most Illinois employers to provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave for any reason on an annual basis. The bill, entitled the “Paid Leave for All Workers Act,” if signed by the Governor (who has already expressed his support) would take effect on January 1, 2024. The bill is expansive in that it would require nearly all employers with one or more employees working in Illinois to provide paid leave. Leave would begin to accrue on January 1, 2024 or upon commencement of employment, whichever is later, but covered employers could impose a 90-day waiting period before leave may be used. With limited exceptions, all employees would be eligible to accrue leave, at a rate of one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours per 12-month period (e.g., calendar year). Exempt employees are assumed to have worked a 40-hour week unless their regular workweek is less than 40 hours.

Notably, the bill specifically provides that employers who already provide “any type of paid leave policy that satisfies the minimum amount of leave required by subsection (a) of Section 15” (i.e., 40 hours or a pro rata amount based on hours worked) are not required to modify the policy if employees are given the option, at their discretion, to take paid leave for any reason. Given this provision, employers may choose to modify their existing vacation, paid time off, or sick leave policies to satisfy this new leave requirement, rather than create a new leave bank for employees.

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IDOL’s Proposed Rules for the Illinois Equal Pay Registration Certificate Provide Additional Insight for Covered Employers

In June 2021, the Illinois Equal Pay Act (IEPA) was amended to add a requirement for certain Illinois businesses to obtain an equal pay registration certificate (EPRC). The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) issued its long awaited proposed rules regarding the EPRC requirements on May 20, 2022. The proposed rules are subject to a 45-day comment period, which has now passed, followed by an internal review, and a public hearing on August 9, which may result in additional changes before they become final.

However, some Illinois employers have already received notice of a deadline to file their Application for Certification before the rules are finalized. Therefore, a careful review of the proposed rules is helpful as we anticipate issuance of the final rules. While the proposed rules largely mirror statutory requirements (the basics which were laid out in prior posts here and here), IDOL has clarified or provided additional information on a number of topics.

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