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Schaumburg Minimum Wage Violations AttorneyEarlier this month, Governor JB Pritzker signed an executive order that prevents any company that contracts with the state of Illinois from paying disabled workers less than the minimum wage. The current minimum wage in Illinois is $11 per hour and $6.60 per hour for tipped workers. When signing the order, the governor said that his action was also geared to pushing Congress to change the federal law that currently allows companies to pay disabled people less than the minimum wage.

Does Your Company Contract with the State?

According to the order, any vendor that currently pays a wage that is below the minimum will be required to renegotiate their contracts with the state. However, the governor did state that his order will not cost any worker who is being paid a subminimum wage their job. Instead, the state will work with their employers to make sure these companies will be able to keep providing disabled people with meaningful work opportunities while earning standard pay.

Currently, federal law allows employers to file for certification in order to hire people who are disabled and pay them at a subminimum wage. This law was passed in 1938 with the purpose of providing a temporary initiation for disabled people to enter the workforce. However, the law has never been updated.

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Schaumburg Employment Law LawyerOn August 13, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law an amendment to the Illinois Freedom to Work Act (820 ILCS § 90), which imposes restrictions on the use of non-competition and non-solicitation (employee and customer) restrictive covenants for Illinois employees. The law takes effect on January 1, 2022, and only applies to restrictive covenants entered into after January 1, 2022.

Below are some of the key provisions of the law:

  • The law prohibits employers from entering into non-competition agreements with employees who earn $75,000 per year or less and also prohibits employers from entering into non-solicit agreements with em­ployees who earn $45,000 per year or less.
  • For non-compete agreements, the salary threshold amounts will increase every five years by $5,000 until January 1, 2037, when the amount will equal 590,000. For non-solicit agreements, the salary threshold amounts will increase every five years by $2,500 until January 1, 2037, when the amount will equal $52,500.
  • Employers will now be required to advise employees to consult with an attorney before entering into a non-compete or non-solicit agreement and must also provide employees at least 14 days to review the agreement and decide whether to sign. Employees have the option of signing the agreement before the 14-day period has ended.
  • Employers are prohibited from entering into restrictive covenants with employees who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic or under circumstances that are similar to the COVID-19 pandemic unless enforcement of the covenant not to compete includes compensation equivalent to the employee's base salary at the time of termination for the period of enforcement minus compensation earned through subsequent employment during the period of enforcement.
  • If an employee prevails on a claim filed by an employer seeking to enforce a covenant not to compete or a covenant not to solicit, the employee can recover all costs and reasonable attorney’s fees from the employer regarding such claim. A court or arbitrator may also award appropriate relief.

Illinois employers should revisit their restrictive covenant agreements in light of these changes.

Schaumburg Employment Law AttorneyIn June, the Chicago City Council voted yes to a new ordinance that addresses sick leave and wage theft protections for people who work in the city. This new ordinance is in addition to another new ordinance our firm discussed in a prior post regarding the minimum wage change Chicago enacted and the potential penalties for violations.

New Law

The ordinance, SO2021-2182, applies to any business that employs four or more employees. If the employee is a domestic worker, then the law applies to businesses with one or more employees. The new ordinance is for any employee who works two or more hours within the city limits of Chicago during any two-week period. 

Under the new ordinance, which went into effect July 1, employees can use their paid sick leave for the following reasons:

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Schaumburg Employment Law AttorneyWhen the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, many employers were forced to quickly adapt to a new way of conducting business. For many businesses, this meant allowing employees to work from home. Employers had to find ways to ensure that remote workers were still meeting the requirements expected of them while employees had to find ways to juggle emails, online discussion boards, and video conferences from their living rooms. While switching to remote work was a major adjustment for many people, employers and employees are starting to recognize the benefits of work-from-home opportunities.  If you are one of the many employers who intend to continue remote work indefinitely, make sure you understand the employment law implications you may face.

Avoiding Discrimination in Work-From-Home Opportunities

Understandably, an employee’s ability to effectively conduct work duties remotely depends largely on the employee’s type of work. Some jobs are simply not suited for remote work. If some of your workers are allowed to work from home and others are not, make sure that there are documented, legitimate reasons for the differences in opportunities. Failure to do so can lead to accusations of discrimination.

Accurate Timekeeping is Crucial

Another concern employers utilizing remote workers must be aware of is timekeeping. Nonexempt employees should keep detailed records of their work hours. These hours should be regularly updated in the company’s timekeeping system. Do not let employees fall into the habit of failing to report work hours. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to keep track of nonexempt employees’ work hours. Lax recordkeeping can lead to lawsuits and an employer being forced to reimburse the employee for back pay and other damages. Employers must also ensure that employees understand company policies regarding vacation time, sick days, and meal breaks. 

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Schaumburg employment lawyer

Originally Published: 21 July 2020 -- Updated: July 7, 2021

On July 1, 2021, the minimum wage in Chicago became $15-an-hour. For servers and other workers who receive tips, the minimum wage is $9-an-hour. In Cook County, the minimum wage is $13-an-hour for regular employees and $6.60 for workers who receive tips. The state minimum wage in Illinois is currently $11-an-hour with a $1 increase scheduled to take effect January 1 of next year. By 2025, workers in Illinois are all set to receive $15-an-hour.

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1051 Perimeter Drive, Suite 400
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Phone: (847) 995-1205

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