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It was a busy week in Chicago and Illinois, as two sweeping employment law changes were passed. HR professionals and risk managers across the country should take note of what Illinois and Chicago did because it is almost certain the tenets of these acts will be lobbied for passage in other states.

First up, Chicago passed a predictive scheduling ordinance to go in effect on July 1, 2020. This ordinance, the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance, will require ten days notice to employees of their work schedules. This ordinance targets certain industries such as healthcare, hospitality, retail, food industry, manufacturing and building or warehouse services. It will apply to employers who have 100 or more employees (globally) of whom 50 or more employees are located in Chicago and primarily engage in the industries mentioned above.

In addition to the notice requirement, employers are also required to pay “predictability pay” if the employees accept shifts being less than ten hours after their last shift ended. If scheduled to work within ten hours of their last shift, employees have the right to decline the scheduled hours. This predictability pay is set at a rate of 1.25 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.

With Chicago enacting these sweeping standards, we predict other major metropolitan areas will follow suit within the next few years. We previously discussed Oregon and NYC passing a similar rules and we expect more cities and states to follow.


Second, and state-wide, Illinois passed an expansion to their Equal Pay Act which included a new provision concerning asking for wage & benefits history. The spark-notes version of the rule is this: after September 29, 2019, don’t ask applicants or employees at any stage of recruitment about their wage history.

In line with recent efforts to narrow the gender wage gap, it has been argued women are “locked” into their wages based on the unfair practice of considering wage history before making offers. By preventing employer’s access to this wage history, salary offerings will be based on education, expertise, and experience.

Beginning on September 29 Illinois employers, and recruiters, can no longer: (1) screen applicants based on their current or prior wage history, (2) use wage history as a consideration during the application process, or (3) require a disclosure of wages for the job offer. Wage and benefits history include other compensations, such as bonuses, overtime and commission, and health benefits.

HR professionals, in-house attorneys and risk managers should take note of what Illinois did because other states are certain to follow their lead on this subject. If you have any questions, please contact us at 651-389-5000 or to discuss with an attorney.

Thompson Coe and myHRgenius Tip of the Week is not intended as a solicitation, does not constitute legal advice, and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


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Kevin M. Mosher

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