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News Laws in Effect as of January 1, 2020

Friday, January 3, 2020  
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There are several new laws and regulations in effect in 2020 that impact the restaurant and hospitality industry.

Please contact Matt Quinn, Assistant Director of Government Relations & Communications, at (312) 380-4122 or mquinn@illinoisrestaurants.org with any comments or questions about legislation, regulations, or IRA advocacy efforts. 

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Local

 

Chicago Restaurant Tax Increase

 

The Chicago City Council has passed a 0.25% increase to the city's current 0.25% restaurant tax in the 2020 budget package. Starting January 1, 2020, the city of Chicago's restaurant tax rate will be 0.50%. The IRA opposed this tax increase. 

Starting January 1, 2020, the total sales tax for restaurants in the city of Chicago will be 10.75% (inclusive of the city of Chicago's 0.50% restaurant tax). For restaurants located within the MPEA Food and Beverage Tax zone, the total sales tax will be 11.75% (inclusive of the city of Chicago's 0.50% restaurant tax and the 1.00% MPEA food and beverage tax).

 

State

 

Illinois Minimum Wage Increase

 

Effective January 1, 2020, Illinois' minimum wage for nontipped employees will increase to $9.25/hour. The minimum wage for tipped employees will increase to $5.55/hour. 

Effective July 1, 2020, Illinois' minimum wage for nontipped employees will increase to $10/hour. The minimum wage for tipped employees will increase to $6.00/hour. 

Click here for Illinois' upcoming minimum wage rates by year.

Note: businesses located in the city of Chicago or municipalities within Cook County that have opted into Cook County's minimum wage ordinance must comply with local regulations on minimum wage. 

 

Sexual Harassment Prevention and Policy Law

 

New legislation takes effect on January 1, 2020 that requires restaurant and bar employers to have a written sexual harassment policy, available in English and Spanish. The IRA has developed a policy template exclusively for IRA members that has been vetted by our attorneys. Click here to sign in and download the policy template policy in English and Spanish. 

The Illinois Department of Human Rights has announced that employers have until December 31, 2020 to comply with the training requirement of the new law. Approved online training is available through ServSafe's Sexual Harassment Prevention for the Restaurant Industry program in English and Spanish. 

Click here for more information on the new sexual harassment prevention law.

 

Single-Occupancy Restroom Signage Law
 

Effective January 1, 2020, all single-occupancy restrooms in public bathrooms must be outfitted with exterior signage that marks the single-occupancy restroom as a restroom and does not indicate any specific gender (rather than exterior signage indicating "all-gender" or "gender-neutral").

The IRA is currently in communication with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) regarding the roll out of this new law. IDPH will be issuing additional guidance for businesses in the coming weeks. 

Click here to read the law.

 

Allergen Signage Law - Enforcement Begins July 2020
 

A new law passed in Illinois that requires restaurants to display a notice informing customers that any information regarding food allergies must be communicated to an employee of the restaurant.  The employee who receives such information must then communicate it to the Person in Charge, or the Certified Food Protection Manager on duty. 

Restaurants can meet this requirement by displaying a notice regarding food allergies, or by providing a statement regarding food allergies on their menu.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has created signage that meets the requirements of the Act and is available for download here.

This legislation is currently in effect, with enforcement beginning on July 1, 2020.   

Click here for more information on the law.

 

Restaurant Meals SNAP Program - In Development
 

Governor Pritzker has signed into law a bill that requires the Department of Human Services (IDHS) to establish a Restaurant Meals Program to permit individuals who are elderly, persons with a disability, and homeless individuals to redeem their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at restaurants that contract with the Department to offer meals for eligible SNAP recipients at concessional prices.

IDHS is in the process of seeking federal approval to implement the SNAP Restaurant Meals program. Although the law is effective January 1, 2020, program details will not be available until the federal government approves the program application. 

The IRA will continue communicating with IDHS about this program, and will share information about the processes

Click here to read the law. 

 

Federal

 

Overtime Rules for Salaried Employees

 

After four years of proposed regulations and final rules -- followed by a court injunction and an appeals court ruling that put everything on hold several years ago -- a final federal overtime rule will take effect January 1, 2020.

Click here to register to watch a recording of the Restaurant Law Center's Nov. 13 webinar on the topic. Click here to download slides from the webinar. 

Among other things, the new rule from the U.S. Department of Labor will increase the compensation standards for the Fair Labor Standards Act's "executive, administrative and professional" exemptions. The so-called EAP exemptions determine which employees are exempt from overtime-pay requirements under federal law when they work more than 40 hours in a week. The rule sets the salary threshold at $35,568/ per year ($684/per week). 

Click here to read more about the new overtime rule. 


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