Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hiring Preference to Veterans Permitted Under New Illinois Law

pillarsPrivate Illinois employers may now give preference to veterans in their hiring practices.

Governor Bruce Rauner has signed the Veterans Preference in Private Employment Act, which allows private employers to voluntarily implement hiring policies that give preference to individuals who have served in the military, whether on active or reserve duty, including the Illinois National Guard.

Employers wanting to take advantage of this new law  will need to have a written policy and reference it on job applications.  The policy must also be publicly displayed in the employer’s workplace or on the employer’s website.

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EEOC Affirms: Sexual Orientation Is Prohibited Under Title VII

EEOC LOGOThe EEOC has confirmed its position that Title VII prohibits discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation.  The EEOC’s statement followed on its prior determination that Title VII protects individuals against discrimination based on transgender status, gender identity, and an employee’s transitioning between genders. According to the EEOC, sexual orientation bias is “associational discrimination on the basis of sex.” Thus, employees who work for an employer with 15 or more employees can file a charge of sex discrimination with the EEOC if the employee has been discriminated against because of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Notwithstanding the EEOC’s position, there is still no federal law that explicitly protects individuals from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. However, 22 states (including Illinois), Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, have state-based employment nondiscrimination laws that cover sexual orientation and/or gender identity that apply to both private and public sector employers.

With so much recent attention, employers should be particularly attentive to issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity. We suggest updating any employment policies and practices to include prohibitions on discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity to help protect employers against EEOC and state-law challenges.

NLRB “Ambush Election Rules“ Upheld

vote-unionA challenge to the NLRB’s “ambush election rules” has failed.  A federal court sitting in the District of Columbia ruled that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups challenging the new election rules – which, as discussed in our prior blog post,  speed up the union election process – failed to prove that the rules violate any laws. The court rejected the groups’ contentions that the rules constitute “sweeping changes to the election process” and impinge on employers’ constitutional rights.

With the new rules seemingly here to stay, employers need to be prepared and ready to go.

Wage Theft Prevention Laws Spread… and D.C. deadline approaches

dc-blogThe District of Columbia has joined New York and California in enacting a Wage Theft Prevention Act.  And while D.C. employers have been required to provide certain notices since late February, the deadline for providing notices to current employees and meeting record-keeping requirements (including keeping more specific time records) is Wednesday, May 27th.

Wage Theft Prevention laws require employers to provide employees with a detailed notice setting out details about their compensation and how they are employed. While in California these notices need only be presented to non-exempt employees, in New York they must be given to all new employees (a requirement that employees be provided with notices annually was recently repealed).

The D.C. law requires that a notice similar to those required in these other jurisdictions  be provided to all current employees by Wednesday, May 27th (a sample of the “Notice of Hire” to be provided to employees notice can be found here).  Employers with employees in the District of Columbia need to act fast to provide these notices and post the required posting regarding the Wage Theft Prevention Act by the deadline.

But that’s not all…. the D.C. law also requires employers to record non-exempt employees’ “precise time worked”, rather than just “hours worked”. While the law doesn’t define “precise time worked,” it presumably requires that the employer record the employee’s start time, end time, and the beginning and end of any break time, rather than simply “eight hours worked.” The law requires that employers maintain these records for all employees who are non-exempt under D.C. standards (which are more employee-friendly than federal standards).

Companies with D.C. employees should confirm that notices are provided, that the required poster is posted and that a method for recording “precise time worked” is in effect by the time employees return from the Memorial Day holiday.