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Illinois enacts several new labor laws for 2016


From Illinois Business Journal news services

CHICAGO — The Illinois Department of Labor has several new labor and safety laws to administer in 2016, from human trafficking to amusement park rides.

The laws all went into effect with the first of the year.

Public Act 99-0099 (HB2556) – Human Trafficking-Notices

Summary: This bill creates the Human Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act to require liquor stores, adult entertainment facilities, airports, bus stations, rail stations, truck stops, emergency rooms, urgent care centers, farm labor contractors, and privately-operated job recruitment centers to post a notice with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline number in a conspicuous place. IDOT must place notices in rest areas.

The notice must be at least 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches in size, written in a 16-point font, with the following message:

“If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave, whether it is commercial sex, housework, farm work, construction, factory, retail, or restaurant work, or any other activity, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1 (888) 373-7888 to access help and services.

Victims of slavery and human trafficking are protected under United States and Illinois law. The hotline is to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week; toll-free; operated by nonprofit nongovernmental organizations; anonymous and confidential; accessible in more than 160 languages; and able to provide help, referral to services, training and general information.

The notice must be printed in English, Spanish, and in one other language that is the most widely spoken language in the county where the establishment is located and for which translation is mandated by the federal Voting Rights Act.

Within six months of the effective date of this Act, the Department of Human Services must develop or adopt a model notice make the model notice available for download on the Department’s website.

Businesses who are required to post the notice and fail to do so are liable for a civil penalty of $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

The Department of Labor, while in the course of regulating a facility or business covered by this law, will monitor and enforce compliance. IDOL must provide a business or establishment out of compliance with reasonable notice of noncompliance and give them 30 days from the date the notice is sent to correct the violation. If it is not corrected, the Attorney General may bring an action to impose a civil penalty.

Public Act 99-0116 (HB3359) – Amusement Ride Safety

Summary: Currently IDOL inspects dry slides that are greater than 20 feet and are operated at a carnival, amusement enterprise, or fair. This bill removes the 20 foot height requirement and will allow IDOL to inspect all dry slides that are operated by our regulated community.

Public Act 99-0418 (HB3619) – Equal Pay Cover All Employers

Summary: Expands the Equal Pay Act to cover all employers, currently more than 3. The Act currently makes it illegal for employers of 4 or more employees to discriminate based on gender when it comes to wages paid for substantially similar work. It outlined certain exceptions that include seniority, merit system or a system that measures quality or quantity.

Changes the penalties and creates tiers based on employer size. An employer with fewer than 4 employees: first offense, a fine not to exceed $500; second offense, a fine not to exceed $2,500; third offense, a fine not to exceed $5,000. An employer with four or more employees: first offense, a fine not to exceed $2,500; second offense, a fine not to exceed $3,000; third offense, a fine not to exceed $5,000.

Public Act 99-0017 (SB38) – Min Wage – Alternate Shift

Summary: Amends the Minimum Wage Act. Provides that overtime compensation provisions of the Law do not apply to any employee who is a member of a bargaining unit recognized by the Illinois Labor Relations Board and whose union has contractually agreed to an alternate shift schedule as allowed by specified provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

Questions about the law may be directed to (312) 793-2800.

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