Changes in HR Laws to Keep on Your Radar in the Coming Months

Sweeping employment law changes could impact HR professionals and risk managers across the country 

Changes in HR laws in Chicago as well as states like California and New York could be a sign of things to come for other major metropolitan areas and states in the upcoming legislative sessions.  

Here is a rundown of recent legislative changes that could gain momentum in other cities and states across the country: 

  • Predictive scheduling ordinance – also called the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance – will require ten days’ notice to employees of their work schedules. This ordinance targets certain industries such as healthcare, hospitality, retail, food industry, manufacturing and building or warehouse services. It will apply to employers who have 100 or more employees (globally) of whom 50 or more employees are located in Chicago and primarily engage in the industries mentioned above.  
  • Predictability pay – in addition to the ordinance, employers are also required to pay “predictability pay” if the employees accept shifts being less than 10 hours after their last shift ended. If scheduled to work within 10 hours of their last shift, employees have the right to decline the scheduled hours. This predictability pay is set at a rate of 1.25 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.  
  • Wage history – don’t ask – Illinois passed an expansion to their Equal Pay Act which included a new provision to prohibit employers from asking applicants or employees at any stage of recruitment about their wage history. Beginning on September 29 Illinois employers, and recruiters, can no longer: (1) screen applicants based on their current or prior wage history, (2) use wage history as a consideration during the application process, or (3) require a disclosure of wages for the job offer. Wage and benefits history include other compensations, such as bonuses, overtime and commission, and health benefits.  
  • Workplace Transparency Act (WTA) – this will impact nearly every employer in Illinois and similar laws are already on the books in California and New York. The Illinois WTA covers four major areas: (1) it significantly restricts the inclusion of non-disclosure clauses in employment agreements, (2) limits employer’s ability to include mandatory arbitration clauses, and (3) requires annual harassment training for employees, and (4) requires annual reporting of settlements and judgments with harassment claims.  

New measures like these significantly impact how employers do business. The implications are vast and the penalties for noncompliance can be severe. Here are a few things employers should be doing to be prepared for changes such as the ones currently being experienced in Illinois and elsewhere:  

  • Review internal policies, procedures and agreements with legal counsel to see what, if any changes, need to be made. 
  • If you conduct business in multiple states, ensure you are in compliance with the state mandates where you operate. 
  • Because of the administrative and record-keeping obligations in the ordinance, employers may want to assess the workforce management software they are currently using to track things like the calculation of an employee’s regular rate of pay, how schedules for staff are built and moreCheck out BerganKDV’s solution, KPay, which offers a range of integrated solutions to support more efficient human capital management. 

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