SPRINGFIELD, IL (WEHT) – New laws are taking effect January 1. The changes include the Violent Crime Victims’ Leave Act, the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act, and the Consumer Coverage Disclosure Act.

The Violent Crime Victims’ Leave Act is designed to allow employees who are victims of violence or who have family or household members who are victims of violence to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per any 12-month period to seek medical help, legal assistance, counseling, safety planning, and other assistance. The law also prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who are victims of violence or who have family or household members who are victims of violence.

The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) is also now responsible for maintaining a database that allows the public to search certified payrolls submitted by construction contractors on public works projects subject to the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act. Contractors are required to file those certified payrolls by the fifteenth of each month. By the sixteenth day of each month following the month work was performed, IDOL will make payroll information available to the public.

The Consumer Coverage Disclosure Act is when new health insurance coverage must be disclosed to better inform employees by employers. While state health insurance coverage requirements are limited to state-regulated plans, the new law requires all employers doing business in Illinois to disclose to their employees what group health plans do and do not cover, if they provide group health insurance. Employers offering group health insurance plans in Illinois must provide employees with a comparison of coverage by the employer’s group health plan and the essential health benefits covered by ACA Marketplace health plans sold in Illinois.

“The mission at the Illinois Department of Labor is the same from year to year: protecting the rights, wages and welfare of workers. The tools we have to accomplish that mission sometimes change with legislative changes. There are several new laws that have either taken effect or will in the coming days that impact employees and employers across the state,” said Illinois Department of Labor Director Michael Kleinik.