Illinois: New Child Bereavement Leave Act

On July 29, 2016 Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Child Bereavement Leave Act which became effective immediately. chicago-61213_1920

The Act requires employers with 50 or more employees who are subject to the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide eligible employees with up to 10 days of unpaid time off following the death of the employee’s child. Employees become eligible for the leave based on the eligibility requirements of the FMLA – that is after the employee has worked at least 12 months for the employer and has worked at least 1,250 in the preceding 12 month period.

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Massachusetts Passes Extensive Pay Equity Law

Following a nationwide trend toward closing the wage gap between men and women, Massachusetts recently enacted the Act to Establish Pay Equity which replaces the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act and will become effective on July 1, 2018.

While Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, the federal Equal Pay Act and the Massachusetts state discrimination law already require employers to pay men and women equal wages for doing the same job; however this new law requires that employers pay equal wages to all employees doing “comparable work.”   The Act states that comparable work requires “substantially similar skill, effort and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions.”  This should not be determined based on the job title or job description alone.

Under the new law, employers are allowed to have “variations in wages” based only on the following six criteria: (1) a seniority system; (2) a “merit system”; (3) a system based on “quantity or quality of production, sales, or revenue”; (4) geographic location; (5) education, training or experience of the individual; (6) travel required by the position. Continue reading