Chicago to Raise Its Minimum Wage

TremblayJason_web

Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

On December 2, 2014, the Chicago City Council followed several other municipalities around the country and approved an ordinance to raise the minimum wage. Effective July 1, 2015, Chicago employers of all sizes will be required to pay a minimum hourly wage of $10.00 (from its current $8.25 per hour) with successive increases to $13.00 per hour by July 1, 2019. Specifically, the minimum wage increases will be as follows:

$10.00/hour by July 1, 2015
$10.50/hour by July 1, 2016
$11.00/hour by July 1, 2017
$12.00/hour by July 1, 2018
$13.00/hour by July 1, 2019

Thereafter, beginning on July 1, 2020, the minimum wage in Chicago will increase on an annual basis indexed to the rate of inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index). However, there will be no increases if the unemployment rate in Chicago is 8.5% or higher in the preceding year, and any increases will be capped at 2.5% regardless of the inflation rate.

The Chicago ordinance also impacts employers with tipped employees, such as bars and restaurants. Under federal and state wage laws, Illinois employers can take a “tip credit” and pay tipped employees an hourly wage as low as $4.95, provided that the employees make at least minimum wage with their tips. By July 1, 2015, however, Chicago employers with tipped employees must pay $5.45/hour and $5.95/hour by July 1, 2016. And, beginning on July 1, 2017, the minimum hourly wage for tipped employees will be indexed to inflation using the same measure as regular wages discussed above.

Should you have any questions regarding this ordinance, please contact Arnstein & Lehr LLP.

Ban the Box Law Will Soon Apply to Virtually All Chicago Employers

TremblayJason_web

Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

On November 5, 2014, the Chicago City Council approved an ordinance that effectively makes the recently-passed Illinois’ Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act (commonly known as the Ban the Box Law) apply to all Chicago employers. The Illinois Ban the Box Law does not apply to employers with less than 15 employees, but there is no such exclusion in the Chicago ordinance. The purpose of the ordinance is to remove employment barriers for applicants in Chicago with prior arrest or criminal records.

The Chicago ordinance prohibits all Chicago employers to inquire about or into, consider, or require disclosure of an applicant’s criminal record or criminal history until after the applicant has been determined qualified for the relevant position and notified that the applicant has been selected for an interview. If there is no interview, then the employer is prohibited from inquiring into the applicant’s criminal record or history until a conditional offer of employment has been extended. The only exceptions to this prohibition are for positions where federal or state law excludes applicants with certain criminal convictions, positions where a standard fidelity or equivalent bond is required (and specified criminal offenses would disqualify the applicant) and positions that require a license under the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act.

The new Chicago ordinance goes even further than the Illinois Ban the Box Law in that, once a criminal background search is conducted, employers must take into account a series of factors before disqualifying an applicant for consideration for a position, such as the nature of the applicant’s specific criminal offense, when the offense took place, the severity of the offense and the relationship between the offense and the nature of the position being sought by the applicant.

Additionally, in the event that a Chicago employer makes the decision not to hire an applicant based, entirely or in part, on the applicant’s criminal record or history, the employer is required to inform the applicant of the specific basis for not being hired.

The Chicago Ban the Box ordinance, like its state counterpart, becomes effective for private employers on January 1, 2015. However, it became applicable to the City of Chicago and all of its “sister” agencies on November 5, 2014.

Ban The Box Law Will Soon Apply to Small Chicago Employers

TremblayJason_web

Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

On November 5, 2014, the Chicago City Council approved an ordinance that effectively makes the recently-passed Illinois’ Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act (commonly known as the Ban the Box Law) apply to Chicago employers with fewer than 15 employees. The purpose of the ordinance is to remove employment barriers for applicants in Chicago with prior arrest or criminal records.

The Chicago ordinance prohibits Chicago employers with fewer than 15 employees to inquire about or into, consider, or require disclosure of an applicant’s criminal record or criminal history until after the applicant has been determined qualified for the relevant position and notified that the applicant has been selected for an interview. If there is no interview, then the employer is prohibited from inquiring into the applicant’s criminal record or history until a conditional offer of employment has been extended. The only exceptions to this prohibition are for positions where federal or state law excludes applicants with certain criminal convictions, positions where a standard fidelity or equivalent bond is required (and specified criminal offenses would disqualify the applicant) and positions that require a license under the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act.

The new Chicago ordinance goes even further than the Illinois Ban the Box Law in that, once a criminal background search is conducted, employers must take into account a series of factors before disqualifying an applicant for consideration for a position, such as the nature of the applicant’s specific criminal offense, when the offense took place, the severity of the offense and the relationship between the offense and the nature of the position being sought by the applicant.

Additionally, in the event that a Chicago employer makes the decision not to hire an applicant based, entirely or in part, on the applicant’s criminal record or history, the employer is required to inform the applicant of the specific basis for not being hired.

The Chicago Ban the Box ordinance, like its state counterpart, becomes effective for private employers on January 1, 2015. However, it became applicable to the City of Chicago and all of its “sister” agencies on November 5, 2014.

Jason Tremblay presents The Regulatory and Legal Challenges Facing HR Experts

Chicago Partner Jason Tremblay presented “The Regulatory and Legal Challenges Facing HR Experts,” during a live session hosted by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers on Thursday, August 7 in Chicago.

Jason Tremblay presents Is Your Noncompete Enforceable? Tips and Traps in Drafting and Enforcing Noncompete Agreements

Chicago Partner Jason Tremblay presented “Is Your Noncompete Enforceable? Tips and Traps in Drafting and Enforcing Noncompete Agreements,” during a live webinar hosted by the American Bar Association on Tuesday, July 29. During this presentation, Mr. Tremblay discussed key considerations in drafting and enforcing noncompete agreements.

Jason Tremblay presents Is Your Noncompete Enforceable? Tips and Traps in Drafting and Enforcing Noncompete Agreements

Chicago Partner Jason Tremblay presented “Is Your Noncompete Enforceable? Tips and Traps in Drafting and Enforcing Noncompete Agreements,” during a live webinar hosted by the American Bar Association on Tuesday, July 29. During this presentation, Mr. Tremblay discussed key considerations in drafting and enforcing noncompete agreements.

Thomas Conley and Norman Jeddeloh author physician employment guide for AMA

Chicago Partners Thomas Conley and Norman Jeddeloh recently co-authored the “Annotated Model Physician-Group Practice Employment Agreement” for the American Medical Association. This book is a valuable resource for physicians, group practice owners and professional advisors who want to be prepared to negotiate employment agreements.

To learn more about this publication, click here.

Jason Tremblay presents to Illinois CPA Society on human resource topics

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Jason Tremblay presented, "Human Resources Best Practices" on May 12 to the Illinois CPA Society - Industry and Business Forum. He spoke before approximately 30 accountants on a wide range of human resource related topics, such as best hiring practices, proper discipline and termination and handling disabilities in the workplace.

Jason Tremblay presents to Illinois CPA Society on human resource topics

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Jason Tremblay presented, "Human Resources Best Practices" on May 12 to the Illinois CPA Society - Industry and Business Forum. He spoke before approximately 30 accountants on a wide range of human resource related topics, such as best hiring practices, proper discipline and termination and handling disabilities in the workplace.

Jason Tremblay presents to Illinois CPA Society on managing an accounting practice

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Jason Tremblay presented to the Illinois CPA Society on April 16 at a chapter event called, “Human Resource Best Practices.” Mr. Tremblay's presentation was called, “Best Practices for Managing Your Accounting Practice.”

For more information, please visit the Illinois CPA Society website here.