In previous newsletters, we reported on several troubling pieces of proposed legislation that would have serious repercussions for employers in the State of Illinois. We can now report that, according to the Bill Tracking Report of the Illinois State Bar Association, these bills are now dead for this legislative session. These bills were:

Abusive Work Environment Act – a law creating a cause of action by an employee who alleges that he or she is the victim of “abusive conduct” or works in an “abusive work environment.”

Employment Application Act – a law preventing questions on employment applications about convictions, whether employees are on parole and establishing guidelines for criminal background checks. Conviction as a protected activity – an amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act to prevent employers from refusing to hire a qualified ex-offender solely because of a conviction.

Illinois Covenant Not to Compete Act – a law setting forth enforceable criteria for agreements limiting the rights of employees to compete against their former employers.

Unemployment Compensation for Union Members – an amendment to the unemployment compensation law allowing union members who are locked out during union negotiations to receive unemployment compensation during the lock out, thereby lessening the economic weapon used by employers during negotiations to obtain approval of contract proposals.

Alan M. Kaplan, former Chair of the Labor & Employment Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association, reports that the Section Council voted against a number of these proposed laws so that the Association’s legislative liaison would report its position to the State Legislature. For the 2009-2010 year, the incoming President of the Association has appointed Alan to the Business Advice Section Council.