Group photo of attorneys

Laws Applicable to All Companies and Penalties for Violation

Federal

Employee Polygraph Protection Act - Prohibitsemployers from using lie detectors in pre-employment screening. Penalties include civil penalties up to $100,000, payment of back wages, anc civil liability for compensatory damages and attorneys fees.

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) - Regulates retirement and welfare benefits and protects workers from unfair reduction or elimination of retirement and welfare benefit plans. Penalties include civil penalties up to $1,000 per day against the plan administrator and civil penalties against the parties engaged in a prohibited transaction ranging from 5-100% of the amount involved in the transaction.

Equal Pay Act (EPA) - Prohibits paying different wage rates to men and women doing substantially similar work unless the differential is justified by factors other than sex. Penalties include civil penalties up to $10,000, criminal prosecution, civil liability for unpaid wages, and liquidated damages in an amount equal to the unpaid wages.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA) - Requires employers using credit histories on current and prospective employees to advise the party of their rights under the Act and to obtain the parties written consent for the request. Penalties include civil penalties for actual damages, punitive damages and attorneys fees.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) - Restricts an employer’s group health plan from excluding individuals based upon a preexisting condition or their current health status. Requires employers keep records regarding length of coverage and to provide certificates to employees regarding length of coverage. Penalties include assessments of $100 per day and minimum assessment of $2,500 - $15,000 for non compliance after receipt of a Notice of Examination.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) - Sets child labor, minimum wage and overtime rules. Penalties include civil penalties up to $10,000, criminal prosecution and civil liability for back wages compensatory damages, liquidated damages, and attorneys fees.

Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) - Requires employers to furnish a workplace free from recognized hazards and to comply with standards for employee health and safety issued by the Secretary of Labor. Penalties include fines up to $500,000 and criminal prosecution in the event the violation results in death.

National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) - Protects unionizing workers from “union-busting tactics. Penalties include reinstatement, payment of back wages with interest, cease and decist orders, and fines.

State of Illinois

Wage Payment and Collection Act - Establishes when, where and how often wages will be paid. Penalties include fines up to $100 and criminal prosecution for the willful underpayment of wages

Minimum Wage and Overtime Law - Guarantees a minimum wage of $5.15 per hour for workers 18 and older; workers under 18 must be paid at least $4.65 per hour. Penalties include civil liability for unpaid wages, costs, attorneys fees and criminal prosecution.

Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act - Prohibits discrimination based upon an employee’s use of lawful products i.e. alcohol off the employer’s premises and outside of normal working hours, unless use of the product impairs the employee’s performance. Penalties include civil penalties of $200, civil liability for compensatory damages, attorneys fees and criminal prosecution.

New Hire Reporting Program - Requires employers to report the names, addresses and social security numbers of new employees to the Illinois Department of Employment Security within 20 days of each employee’s first day of employment. Penalties include civil penalties of $15 per employee not reported.

Laws Applicable to Companies Based on Number of Employees and Penalties for Each Violation

Federal Number of Employees
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) 20
Prohibits discrimination against individuals 40 years of age or older, including discrimination with respect to benefits, pensions, and early retirement programs. Penalties include reinstatement, payment of all unpaid wages and civil liability for compensatory damages.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 15
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of physical or mental disabilities. Penalties include civil damages up to $100,000 and civil liability for unpaid wages, compensatory damages and punitive damages not to exceed $300.000.
Consolidated Omnibus Benefits Reconciliation Act (COBRA) 20
Provides health insurance to terminated employees and their dependants who would otherwise lose insurance coverage upon termination. Penalties include civil damages up to $200 per day anc civil liability for compensatory damages.
Family and Medical Leave Act 50
Requires employers to provide an unpaid leave of absence up to 12 weeks annually to qualified employees. Penalties include fines up to $100 per day for each violation and civil liability for lost wages, benefits and liquidated damages not to exceed the amount of lost wages.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 15
Prohibits discrimination based on race, national origin, religion or sex, which includes discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. Penalties include reinstatement, civil liability for unpaid wages, compensatory damages and punitive damages not to exceed $300,000.
Worker Adjustment Retraining Act (WARN) 100
Requires 60 days written notice of large scale layoffs and plant closings. Penalties include fines up to $500 per day for each violation and civil liability up to 60 days of back pay and lost benefits.

State of Illinois Number of Employees
Personnel Record Review Act 5
Provides employees access to their personnel files. Penalties include civil penalties up to $200, compensatory damages, attorneys fees and criminal prosecution.
Illinois Human Rights Act 15
Prevents employers from making employment decisions based upon unlawful discrimination. Penalties include cease and desist orders, reinstatement of employees, payment of lost benefits, civil liability for unpaid wages, compensatory damages and attorneys fees.