United States: New Illinois Laws Require Employers To Reevaluate Policies And Practices

Breaks for Expressing Breastmilk Must Be Paid

Effective August 21, 2018, Illinois amended its Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act (820 ILCS 260/10). The prior law, which went into effect in 2001, required employers who have more than five employees to provide unpaid break time to an employee who needed to express breast milk for her nursing infant child. The amendment now requires employers to pay for "reasonable" break time spent expressing breast milk, no matter how long it takes or how often it needs to occur. A limit of up to one year after the birth has now replaced a previously undefined period.

Further, the prior version required the break time to run, when possible, concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee. The new version states that the break time "may" run concurrently but it no longer has to. Instead, an employer is required to provide "reasonable" break time as needed by the employee unless to do so would create an "undue hardship" as defined under the Illinois Human Rights Act (which is a fairly high burden for an employer to meet). The "undue hardship" standard is higher than the prior version, which allowed employers to refuse or restrict lactation breaks if to do so would "unduly disrupt the employer's operations."

The bottom line is that Illinois employers must immediately review their policies on expressing breast milk and further ensure that employees' pay is no longer being deducted for those breaks.

Employee Expense Reimbursement Now Mandated

Effective on January 1, 2019, Illinois will join eight other states in imposing a statutory requirement for employers to reimburse employees for certain expenses incurred. The Illinois Legislature has added a section to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act and will now require employers to reimburse employees for all "necessary expenditures" incurred by employees within the scope of employment and "directly related to services performed" by the employers. 820 ILCS 115/9.5. The term "necessary expenditures" is defined as "all reasonable expenditures or losses required of the employee in the discharge of employment duties and that inure to the primary benefit of the employer." The employer will not be responsible for any losses due to the employee's own negligence, due to normal wear, or due to theft (unless the theft was caused by the employer's negligence).

The new law requires employees to submit "appropriate" supporting documentation for any necessary expenditure within 30 calendar days after incurring the expense. The law allows employers to provide more than 30 days if they have a written policy. Absent supporting documentation—even if supporting documentation does not exist, is missing, or is lost--the employee can submit a signed statement in lieu of a receipt. The law does not address any specifics with respect to what a "statement" in lieu of a receipt must contain, whether an employer without a policy must accept a reimbursement request after 30 days, and/or whether an employer can impose a shorter period for submitting documentation. It remains to be seen how the Illinois Department of Labor and/or Illinois courts will interpret the new law.

The amendment does not apply to an employer that has a written expense reimbursement policy if an employee seeking reimbursement does not comply with that policy, unless the employer also fails to comply with the policy. Further, the new law states that an employer will not be liable to an employee if the employer did not authorize or require the expenditure. Finally, if the written expense reimbursement policy establishes specifications and guidelines for necessary expenditures, the employer will not be liable for the portion of the expenditure amount that exceeds the specifications or guidelines of the policy as long as the employer does not institute a policy that provides for no reimbursement or a de minimis reimbursement.

As noted above, several of the amendment's provisions are subject to interpretation, and even if the Illinois Department of Labor issues regulations, courts are likely to face questions about what expenses are considered "necessary," and whether an employer has "required" a particular expense (or type of expense). For example, employers commonly require, expect, or allow employees to use personal cellular phones or laptop computers to carry out work duties. Will an employer have to pay for the phone, or for the data plan, or for a portion of the data plan? What about use of a personal laptop or home internet service used to remotely connect to a company's servers when the employee chooses to work from home, or when an employee is traveling for work? Under the new amendment, which allows employers to have a written policy that establishes the specifications for the "necessary expenditures" as long as the policy does not provide for "no reimbursement or de minimis reimbursement," it would seem that an employer who requires or expects an employee to use his or her own equipment for work must provide at least some reimbursement, but may specify a flat rate of reimbursement, or may limit reimbursement depending on the extent to which the employee's equipment is expected to be used. Notably, courts in California—which has a law with substantially identical language to that in Illinois' new law—have found that employers are required to reimburse employees for expenses such as data plans and internet service, even if the cost to the employee is minimal (such as where the employee has an unlimited data plan).

The bottom line for Illinois employers is that they should establish or update expense reimbursement policies before the January 1, 2019, effective date. Policies should at least include:

  • The types of expenses that are reimbursable;
  • The amount or proportion of the expense eligible for reimbursement;
  • The type of documentary evidence (receipts, invoices, etc.) required for reimbursement; and
  • The time period in which employees have to submit documents.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions