ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE PASSES SB 1480
On January 13, 2021 the Illinois Legislature passed SB 1480, on February 5, 2021 the bill landed on Governor Pritzker’s desk. The bill has been described as a bill aimed at improving racial equity throughout the state. If the Governor signs the bill employers in Illinois can expect the following:
-New procedures that must be followed if an employer seeks to disqualify an applicant or employee based on a criminal conviction record.
-A requirement that employers report workforce demographic data to the Secretary of State for publication on the Secretary of State’s website.
-A requirement that employers obtain an equal pay certification and certify that they comply with federal and state discrimination and equal pay laws..
SB 1480 amends the Illinois Human Rights Act regarding employment decisions based on criminal convictions. The employer must determine that there is either a substantial relationship between the conviction and the position sought (which requires that the employer consider whether the employment position offers the opportunity for the same or a similar offense to occur and the circumstances leading to the conviction will recur in the employment position) or that the granting of employment would involve an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public. The bill includes several factors employers must consider in making this determination. If an employer seeks not to hire an individual based on a criminal record, the employer must give notice to the affected individual, engage in an interactive process, and consider information provided by the applicant about why the conviction should not be considered or be dispositive before it makes a decision to disqualify the applicant, and it must provide additional information to the employee if it does decide to disqualify the applicant.
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