As COVID-19 continues its deleterious effects on the economy, attorneys representing employees or employers need to understand employers’ obligations to their older employees when it comes to furloughs, layoffs, and severance packages that are compliant with the Older Workers Benefits Protections Act (OWBPA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), along with the EEOC’s recent guidance on federal anti-discrimination laws related to COVID-19.
Ensure training, policies and procedures reflect the most recent developments in Illinois impacted by Coronavirus/COVID-19, and what do you need to address outside of the pandemic that includes recent Illinois and local laws that have taken effect since 2019. The following should be on your radar: Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (effective 2020); Illinois Human Rights Act (recent amendments and developments addressing discrimination based on sexual harassment, disability, national origin/ancestry, retaliation); Victims Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA); Amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act of 2003, and the Wage Payment and Collection Act – addressing equal pay (effective January 2019 and September 2019; Chicago Fair Work Week; Illinois Expense Reimbursement Act; and temporary measures to put in place given Governor Pritzker’s “Stay at Home” Order. Laws in Illinois pertaining to paid leaves, unpaid leaves, unemployment compensation benefits, workers’ compensation, safety, and terminations
Learn how to create a genuine culture of respect in the workplace, provide adequate training at all levels, and adopt and maintain appropriate policies and reporting mechanisms. Understand the need for genuinely independent investigation of allegations, appropriate remediation, the importance of diversity at all levels within law firms, and avoiding unconscious bias in hiring and promotions.