The Workplace Transparency Act
The Workplace Transparency Act (“WTA”) (P.A. 101-0221) takes effect in Illinois on January 1, 2020 and its provisions will have an impact on employment agreements and separation agreements after its effective date. This means that current agreements covered under the WTA need to be reviewed and revised accordingly. As to employment agreements (such as contracts of employment):
As for separation/severance agreements (used primarily in termination cases):
The WTA also amends the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”) which will require employers to ensure that their employee handbooks and policy statements are updated accordingly:
The WTA also amends the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act by now including a definition for “gender violence” which means violence against a person based on actual or perceived sex or gender.
The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act
The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“CRTA”) also takes effect on January 1, 2020 and the CRTA has been subject to much debate by legal commentators. In its present form, employees can be subject to discipline if the employer has a good faith belief that the employee demonstrates articulable symptoms of cannabis impairment while working. This led to much confusion on employee drug testing and the effect of a failed drug test on whether an employee could be disciplined, including terminated. In an attempt to clarify this, Governor Pritzker signed into law Public Act 101-0593, which amends Section 10-50(e) of the CRTA to make it clear that an employee or applicant who fails a drug test would not have a cause of action against an employer if the employee was terminated, assuming the drug testing policy is reasonable and non-discriminatory. This would also include an applicant for employment who fails a post-offer drug test.
Employers should update their employee handbooks and policy statements based on the current form of the CRTA, but be mindful that more changes may be needed down the road if the amendment is signed into law.
If you need legal assistance on a specific matter or would like a review of your forms, policies, or company practices concerning any of the new laws or requirements, please contact Donald S. Rothschild or Brian M. Dougherty.
The authors, publisher, and distributor of this GSRNH Legal Update are not rendering legal or other professional advice or opinions on specific facts or matters. Under applicable rule of professional conduct, this communication may constitute attorney advertising.
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