When plaintiffs sue companies alleging that their websites do not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), courts start by answering two threshold legal questions. Does the ADA apply to websites? And if it does, which websites does it apply to? At least seven federal circuit courts have answered these questions and have reached three different conclusions. Until recently, California courts had provided little guidance. But on September 3, 2019, the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal decided Thurston v. Midvale Corporation (Case No. B291631). Thurston clarifies that commercial websites with a “nexus” to a physical location are subject to the ADA. Continue Reading California Court of Appeal Aligns with Ninth Circuit on ADA Website Accessibility Standards

The new decade brings Schiff Hardin’s Labor & Employment Group’s annual legislative update, summarizing new legislation in 2020 under federal law and in Illinois, California, New York, Michigan, and the District of Columbia.

Continue Reading 2020 Labor and Employment Legislative Developments

Following the trend that began in New York and California, Illinois’ own #MeToo-inspired legislation, called the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA), applies to all Illinois employers[1] and takes effect on January 1, 2020. Continue Reading New Year’s Reminder: Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training and Related #MeToo Protections to Take Effect in Illinois

Most Illinois employers are already aware of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (Cannabis Act) which, among other things, legalizes recreational use of marijuana in Illinois effective January 1, 2020.  On December 4, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law amendments to the Cannabis Act that, at a glance, appear to offer hope for employers seeking clarity about when they may discipline or refuse to hire an individual based on marijuana use. While the amendments make clear that employers may test applicants and employees for marijuana, the law continues to remain unclear as to what an employer may do with a positive marijuana result. Continue Reading Illinois Recreational Marijuana Law Amendments Permit “Reasonable” Drug Testing But Leave Uncertainty

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released the final version of its anticipated overtime exemption rule, setting a new annual salary threshold for “white collar” exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) at just over $35,000 per year.  In the DOL’s press release accompanying the final rule, the agency anticipated its action will “make 1.3 million American workers newly eligible for overtime pay.”  The new rule will take effect on January 1, 2020.[1] Continue Reading Increase in FLSA Overtime Exemption Threshold Expected to Make More than One Million Employees Newly Eligible for Overtime Pay

On September 11, 2019, the California Senate passed Assembly Bill 5 (A.B. 5), which – if signed into law – will codify the so-called “ABC Test” utilized by the California Supreme Court in Dynamex v. Superior Court of Los Angeles to hold that the company’s delivery drivers were employees, not independent contractors, for the purpose of applying California Department of Industrial Relations Wage Orders. The bill, which California Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign, will have major implications on so-called “gig economy” workers, potentially leading to many being reclassified as employees rather than independent contractors. Continue Reading Pending Major Worker Reclassification Law Aims to Burst California’s “Gig Economy” Bubble

As the #MeToo movement continues to sweep the country, on August 9, 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law Illinois Senate Bill 75 (now Public Act 101-0221) which will mandate statewide sexual harassment training for employers in Illinois and add other obligations and restrictions aimed at curbing sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

Taking effect in just a few short months, the Act will require at least some policy, practice, and/or contracts revisions by virtually all Illinois employers.

Substantively, Senate Bill 75 amends the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) and the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) in numerous significant ways, and enacts the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA) and Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act.

Unless otherwise noted, these amendments and new laws take effect January 1, 2020. Continue Reading Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training and Other Sweeping #MeToo Protections to Take Effect in Illinois

Last week, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law several amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act that are certain to have wide-ranging impacts. Most significantly, Illinois will join the growing number of states that prohibit employers from asking about or considering a job applicant’s prior salary history when making hiring decisions. The amendments will also modify an exception to the equal pay requirement that, in certain circumstances, allows employers to pay different wages to employees who work substantially similar jobs, and the amendments will expand the types and amounts of damages that are available for equal pay violations.

The new laws take effect on September 29, 2019, leaving little time for employers to adjust. Here’s what you need to know. Continue Reading Amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act

On July 24, 2019, the Chicago City Council voted to pass the Fair Workweek Ordinance that will require covered employers to, among other things, provide employees with at least 10 days’ advance notice of their work schedules and provide additional compensation to employees for any unscheduled changes to their scheduled work hours. Mayor Lori Lightfoot publically supported and is expected to sign the ordinance, which will go into effect on July 1, 2020. Continue Reading Chicago Fair Workweek Law Set to Impose Sweeping Predictable Workweek Requirements

The haze of Springfield’s recent legislative session has cleared, and Illinois has become the latest state poised to legalize marijuana. Like many other businesses throughout the country, Illinois employers will be faced with the complexity of enforcing their drug and substance abuse policies while their employees have the legal right to use marijuana outside of the workplace. Continue Reading Weeding Out the Issues of Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in Illinois