Here’s a look at several new laws and regulations that could have a big impact on your small business. If you have questions, contact NFIB State Director Mark Grant at mark.grant@NFIB.org.
Public Act 101-0177 Wage History Question Prohibition (effective Oct. 1)
Amends the Equal Pay Act of 2003 prohibiting an employer from:
- screening job applicants based on their wage or salary history,
- requiring that an applicant’s prior wages satisfy minimum or maximum criteria,
- requesting or requiring that an applicant disclose prior wages or salary as a condition of being interviewed or as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment.
- The law prohibits an employer from seeking the salary, including benefits or other compensation or salary history, of a job applicant from any current or former employer, with some exceptions.
- Potential employees may freely provide past salary information, but employers must not ask for it.
Employers who do not comply could face fines and penalties from the Illinois Department of Labor and well as potential civil action and lawsuits.
Small Business Retirement Plans (effective Nov. 1 for businesses with 25-99 employees)
Illinois Secure Choice is a Roth IRA program run by the Illinois Treasurer’s Office. This program is directed at employers (with 25 or more employees) that do not already offer a savings plan for their employees. Employers with 25-99 employees must register by October.
The savings accounts are owned by individual participants and will be portable from job-to-job. Their accounts will be pooled and managed by a private investment company selected through a competitive bidding process.
- Their Illinois Secure Choice account is a Roth IRA
- The default savings rate is 5% of gross pay, but they can choose to change their contribution level or fund option at any time
- Employees will be auto enrolled after 30 days and will begin saving through payroll contributions
- Employees who do not want to participate MUST opt-out.
Public Act 101-0001 Minimum Wage Increase (effective Jan. 1, 2020)
The minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour by 2025. Employers will see two hikes in 2020. Tipped workers can still be paid 60% of the regular minimum wage. The new law also includes a payroll deduction tax credit for employers of 50 or few workers.
The first increase be $1 to $9.25 on Jan 1, 2020, followed by a 75 cent increase to $10 an hour on July 1, 2020.