Changes to the Public Act 102-0562 (PRRA) became part of the law at the beginning of January 2022. These changes hold employers responsible for breaches of disclosure regarding employee disciplinary reports.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Employers Must Give Written Notice
Without a signed waiver during the application process, the employer and even past employers must provide the employee with written notice when any disciplinary action is disclosed to a third party.
There are exceptions:
- If the employee waives their right to be informed while they are applying for another job.
- There is a court order to supply the disciplinary reports.
- The reports are requested by a governmental agency, such as a request from the labor board in conjunction with employment claims filed by the employee.
This change helps to prevent attacks on employees who leave their job and apply elsewhere. Employers are no longer able to simply disclose disciplinary action without the consent of the employee. By making it a legal requirement to tell employees of the release of disciplinary documentation, the employee can verify that those documents are real and the extent of what they disclose is true.
2. The PRRA and Collective Bargaining
Changes to the PRRA do not override collective bargaining agreements as those agreements are already informed, and the employee should understand how the collective bargaining agreement impacts their rights.
3. Notifying Employees of Disciplinary Disclosure
There is a time limit on when the employer must notify the employee. The employee must be notified prior to the disclosure. All disclosures must be mailed through USPS with first-class postage and mailed to the employee’s last known mailing address.
Employers cannot make a disclosure and then mail the notice to the employee. The last possible date by which notice can be sent is the day of the disclosure. Employers who disclose disciplinary information and then mail a notice to the employee are at risk of being fined.
4. It is the Employers Responsibility
It is the employers’ responsibility to understand the new changes to the PRRA. All HR personnel should be trained to meet the requirements of the new PRRA. In addition, it is suggested that these changes also be reflected in the policy and procedure manuals and as part of the hiring process.
These four changes to the Personal Record Review Act create a fairer workplace with the aim to decrease retaliatory actions by employers when an employee is applying for another job. The new changes give teeth to existing employment laws that help to protect workers and further make it difficult for employers to pretend they do not know about the laws or changes to the PRRA.
Contact Goldman & Ehrlich Today With Your Employment Law Question
If you are an employee whose rights have been violated and your disciplinary history exposed without notice, you have rights. Learn more about what your rights are and how to protect them by seeking help from an employment Lawyer. Goldman & Ehrlich is an employment law firm serving the employee community throughout the Chicago, IL area.