Happy 2022 – New Employment Laws Taking Effect

As we turn the corner into a brand new year, there are new laws that Illinois has enacted which will impact the employment law landscape. These new laws will change many of the things that might have been taken for granted or not even been on the radar of most employers and employees. As your trusted legal advisor when it comes to the keeping you at the forefront of the legislative developments, we have compiled a quick synopsis of how things are going to change in 2022.

  • New State-Wide Minimum Wage: The “Lifting Up Illinois Working Families Act” has raised the minimum wage several times, with the ultimate goal of lifting it to $15 an hour. This year, the minimum wage will increase to $12 per hour, $7.20 an hour for tipped employees, and $9.25 for employees under age 18 (working less than 650 hours per calendar year.)  Hourly wages will continue to rise through 2025 when the state minimum wage reaches the level currently set in Chicago of $15.00 per hour. If current inflationary trends continue, wages in Chicago will likely rise to a statutory minimum of 2.5% ($15.37).
  • Non-compete clauses will be banned for individuals making less than $75,000 per year:  Effective January 1, 2022, an employer may NOT:
    1. Require an employee making less than $75,000.00 per year to sign a Non-Compete Agreement; This salary threshold will increase every 5 years by $5,000.00.
    2. Require an employee making less than $45,000.00 per year to sign a Non-Solicitation Agreement (restricting the right to hire the former employer’s employees). This salary threshold will increase every 5 years by $2,500.00.
    3.   Require an employee to enter into a Non-Compete Agreement if the employee lost their job due to the pandemic unless enforcement includes compensation equivalent the employee’s base salary for the period of enforcement.
    4. In addition, in order any Non-Compete Agreement to be enforceable, it must be supported by “adequate consideration.” What this means is, in the absence of some monetary benefit or professional opportunity/ (i.e. promotion), employers must provide employees with at least two years of continued employment.
    5. Finally, the new law will require employers to advise employees in writing to consult with an attorney before entering into a Non-Compete Agreement and give employees at least 14 days to have the agreement reviewed.

The new laws passed over the course of the last year can dramatically affect the employment relationship. Only a law firm that concentrates in employment related matters can help guide you through this minefield. With over 36 years’ experience in advising employers and employees on workplace issues, let Boznos Law work with you to ensure you are ready to meet the challenges posed by the changes to the employment laws. Call Bill Boznos today at (630) 375-1958 or contact us at www.boznoslawoffice.com/contact-us through our website.

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