Since the Industrial Revolution that took place between the late 18th century and the mid 19th century, the United States has seen an emphasis placed on improving the lives of workers. There are numerous state and federal laws that have been enacted to protect the rights of employees, including laws about worker safety, wage and work hour standards, discrimination policies, and other things that restrict what employers can and cannot do. Like any other laws, workplace laws are always evolving. A recent public act that was signed into law in Illinois will add new employment laws and amend some that already exist.
Workplace Transparency Act
The Workplace Transparency Act was signed into law by the governor this past August. The new law will apply to all contracts, waivers, agreements, or clauses entered into after January 1, 2020 concerning sexual harassment violations or any other Title VII or human rights violations. Employees will be prohibited from unilaterally requiring arbitration (a form of alternative dispute resolution) for claims that arise from violations of any law that is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act
Beginning July 1, 2020, some hospitality and casino industry employers will face new laws concerning the safety of employees. Employees will now be required to be given a personal safety and notification device that they can use to summon for help. The sexual harassment and discrimination training will also be changed for employees in this industry. They will need to be expressly informed of their right to leave a work area if they perceive danger. Employers will also be required to take certain measures to protect their employees from guests who have engaged in sexual harassment and allow them time off if they wish to pursue legal action against such guests....