State & Local Employment Law Developments: Q1 2022

The first quarter of 2022 continued the trend of increasing regulation of the workplace by state and local governments. Although it is not possible to discuss all state and local laws, this update provides an overview of recent and upcoming legislative developments to help you and your organization stay in compliance. (Please note that developments related to issues such as minimum wage rates and COVID-19 are not included.)

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What Happens on March 24, 2022? And Other Things You Should Know About the Illinois Pay Data Reporting Law

On March 24, 2022, a new pay data reporting requirement will take effect for certain private employers in Illinois. Detailed discussions of this requirement and other aspects of the recent amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act of 2003 have appeared in prior posts, which are accessible here and here. Below are some key things you should know now.

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DOJ Encourages State Court to Consider Antitrust Principles to Invalidate Non-Compete Agreements

Non-compete agreements between employers and their employees traditionally are governed by state law. But that did not stop the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) from recently filing a statement of interest encouraging a Nevada state court to consider federal antitrust principles to invalidate non-compete agreements between a large medical group and its physician-employees. Taken together with other recent actions by the president and federal enforcement agencies, the DOJ’s decision to file this statement signals a more aggressive approach to non-compete enforcement at the federal level.

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Several States are Increasing Penalties for Enforcing Non-Compete Agreements

As non-competition laws and the scrutiny of non-compete agreements continue to be in the spotlight, several states are revisiting their non-compete laws.  Colorado has been in the spotlight after the Colorado Legislature passed S.B. 21-271 on July 6, 2021 in an effort to reform the sentencing provisions related to numerous petty offenses and misdemeanors. As a result, several Colorado laws related to labor and employment are affected, including Colorado’s statute addressing restrictive covenant agreements, C.R.S. § 8-2-113.

Under C.R.S. § 8-2-113, it is unlawful to: intimidate workers in order to limit their ability to engage in lawful work; and enter into covenants that restrict trade, such as non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, unless the covenants fit within limited exceptions provided under the statute. The penalty if convicted for violating the non-compete statute is currently a misdemeanor punishable by a fine between $10–$250, or jail time of not more than 60 days, or both. C.R.S. § 8-2-115.   Effective March 1, 2022, the penalty for violating the non-compete statute will be increased to a class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to 120 days in jail, or a fine of up to $750, or both, as a result of the changes from S.B. 21-271.  S.B. 21-271 also amends the text of C.R.S. § 8-2-113 to include the increased penalty as a new subsection (4).

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Artificial Intelligence Briefing: Tracking AI Regulation and Legislation

As more organizations use artificial intelligence and algorithms to drive decision-making processes, policymakers are beginning to address concerns about these tools — including their lack of transparency and potential for generating unintended bias and discrimination. In our inaugural artificial intelligence briefing, we provide a rundown of recent AI regulatory and legislative developments from across the U.S. that should be top of mind for any organization using AI or algorithms.

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March 2022 Kicks Off Equal Pay Registration Certification for Some Illinois Employers

In recent years, Illinois has enacted a complement of laws designed to address historical pay inequities among genders, races and other protected categories. Those laws prohibit employers from requesting or relying on an applicant’s salary history when making hiring decisions and impose a standard for proving equal pay claims less rigorous than the federal standard.  Last summer, we reported here of yet another Illinois equal pay development, when Illinois amended the Equal Pay Act of 2003, 820 ILCS 112/1, et seq. to require certain employers to obtain an equal pay registration certificate from the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) between March 24, 2022 and March 23, 2024, and every two years thereafter.

Employers who have more than 100 employees in the state of Illinois and are required to file an EEO-1 report with the EEOC are subject to this certification requirement. The window for obtaining the required certificate opens on March 24, 2022, and IDOL recently announced that it had begun sending notices to employers reminding them to register with IDOL.

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