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March Legislative Updates from ILSHRM

    March 26, 2018

    To: Members of the Illinois Chamber /ELC Employment Law & Litigation Committee


    The Illinois House was in session this week and adjourned until April 9th. The Senate was not in session but returns next week to Springfield. This week, the House Labor Committee advanced on partisan roll call HB 813:


    Prevailing Wage Act to Include TIFs

    Sponsored by Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Collinsville), HB 813 was amended to add all projects financed in whole or in part with revenues received under the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act, the County Economic Development Project Area Property Tax Allocation Act, or the County Economic Development Project Area Tax Increment Allocation Act to the Prevailing Wage Act.


    Chamber Biometric Privacy Initiatives

    SB 3053, sponsored by Sen. Bill Cunningham(D-Chicago) and Sen. Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) is set to be called in the Senate Telecommunications and Information Technology Committee next Thursday. The measure initiated by the Illinois Chamber seeks to exclude from the Biometric Information Privacy Act businesses and organizations collecting, storing, or transmitting biometric information if: (i) the biometric information is used exclusively for employment, human resources, fraud prevention, or security purposes; (ii) the private entity does not sell, lease, trade, or similarly profit from the biometric identifier or biometric information collected; and (iii) the private entity stores, transmits, and protects the biometric identifiers and biometric information in a manner that is the same as or more protective than the manner in which the private entity stores, transmits, and protects other confidential and sensitive information. Opposition is coming from the Illinois Trial Lawyers and the ACLU. We are meeting with the ACLU prior to the hearing to discuss their concerns. The ACLU suggests that the current uproar from the employer community is an education problem. They oppose the exclusion because they believe employees should be notified that biometric identifiers are being collected by their employer.


    Rep. Andre Thapedi (D-Chicago) also is sponsoring a companion bill, HB 5103. It was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee which Rep. Thapedi chairs. It will be dealt with in the House when they return in April.


    Statute of Limitations for Employment Discrimination Extension

    The House Task Force on Sexual Harassment is pushing HB 5498 sponsored by Rep. Sarah Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). HB 5498 provides that a charge of discrimination may be filed with the Department of Human Rights within 365 (instead of the current180) days after the date that a civil rights violation allegedly has been committed. It also provides that if a charge is filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 300 calendar days (instead of 180 days) after the date of the alleged civil rights violation, the charge shall be deemed filed with the Department on the date filed with the EEOC. The legislation was approved by the House Executive Committee last week on a bipartisan 7-0 vote. In testimony before the House Task Force Tuesday morning, I explained the Illinois Chamber’s opposition. First, we consistently oppose any proposals to extend statute of limitations as they bring greater unpredictability and risk raising liability insurance costs for employers. Two, the 365 days is inconsistent with federal law. Three, the Illinois law provides a number of protections not covered by federal law. Finally, I informed Task Force members that there is a tremendous backlog at the Commission and extending the statute of limitations will only contribute to the backlog further. I suggested that the General Assembly closely look at the structure of the Human Rights Commission and its operations to address the backlog and to limit the changes only to sex harassment charges.


    Related to the issue are our efforts to work with various stakeholders, the agencies, Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, Sen. Heather Steans and the Governor’s Office to find realistic changes to the law to tackle and eliminate the backlog of employment discrimination charges in the system.




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